Event to mark the 75th Anniversary of the Convention on the
Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide and the
International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of the Crime of
Genocide and of the Prevention of this Crime
FRIDAY, 8 DECEMBER 2023
11:00AM – 1:00 PM EST
UNITED NATIONS HEADQUARTERS
“A Living Force in World Society: The Legacy of the 1948
Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of
By its resolution 69/323 of 29 September 2015, the United Nations General
Assembly established 9 December as the International Day of
Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of the Crime of Genocide and of
the Prevention of this Crime.
9 December marks the day in 1948 when the United Nations General
Assembly adopted the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment
of the Crime of Genocide (the Genocide Convention).
Every year, the United Nations Special Adviser on the Prevention of
Genocide organizes events to mark this International Day, honoring the
victims of genocide and the anniversary of the adoption of the Convention.
The 1948 Genocide Convention codified for the first time the crime of
genocide in international law. Its preamble recognizes that “at all periods
of history genocide has inflicted great losses on humanity” and that
international cooperation is required to “liberate humankind from such an
To date, 153 States have ratified the Convention.
Achieving universal ratification of the Convention remains an important
step in advancing genocide prevention.
The Genocide Convention includes the obligation not only to punish the crime
of genocide but, crucially, to prevent it.
In the 75 years since its adoption, the Genocide Convention has played an
important role in the development of international criminal law, in holding
perpetrators of this crime accountability and in giving a voice to its many
The principles set out in the Convention have been utilized by international
criminal tribunals to prosecute perpetrators, and the crime of genocide, as
set out in the Convention, today forms part of the core crimes for which
the International Criminal Court has jurisdiction.
The Convention has also supported national jurisdictions to ensure
accountability for this crime.
At the same time, the prevention obligation of the Convention has provided a
framework for promoting early warning and it has spurred national,
regional and international mechanisms for prevention.
This year’s event to mark the 75th anniversary of the Genocide Convention
will seek to highlight some of the achievements that emanate from the
Convention, showcasing its lasting legacy.
The event will also reflect on the challenges that remain. Genocide is still
a threat in the world today. Around the world, populations remain at risk of
The need to invest in prevention as envisaged by the Convention
drafters 75 years ago remains as relevant as ever. The event, therefore, will
also seek to showcase the work of champions of prevention and their
tireless efforts to protect populations from the scourge of genocide.
The event will build on a series of expert meetings to be convened
by the United Nations Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide
in the lead up to the 9 December event, which will seek to explore
in detail the impact of the Convention in the areas of accountability,
protection and prevention.
The event will commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Genocide
I) Showcasing its legacy and impact at the international, regional
and national levels.
II) Demonstrating its continued relevance as a tool for prevention
and punishment of the crime of genocide and showcasing
positive examples of champions of prevention working in the
fields of prevention, protection and accountability for genocide.
The event will be open to Member States, UN staff, civil society, media and
the public. Permanent Representatives of Member States in regional
groups will be invited to speak.
FORMAT AND AGENDA:
The event will be held in person at the United Nations Headquarters in New
York, at the Trusteeship Council Chambers.
To participate in person please
It will also be live webcasted on UNTV (http://webtv.un.org).
Detailed agenda to follow.