UNITAR Seminar on Genocide Prevention, 23-24 January 2013, UN Headquarters, New York

UNITAR Seminar on Genocide Prevention, 23-24 January 2013, United Nations Headquarters New York


While conflict has many causes, genocidal conflict is identity-based. Genocide and related atrocities tend to occur in societies with diverse national, racial, ethnic or religious groups that are locked in identity-related conflicts. It is not simply differences in identity, whether real or perceived, that generate conflict, but the implication of those differences in terms of access to power and wealth, services and resources, employment, development opportunities, citizenship and the enjoyment of fundamental rights and freedoms. These conflicts are fomented by discrimination, hate speech inciting violence and other violations of human rights. Given that no country is perfectly homogeneous, genocide represents a truly global challenge.

The 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide confirms that genocide, whether committed in time of peace or war, is a crime under international law which parties to the Convention undertake “to prevent and to punish”. At the 2005 World Summit, Heads of State and Government unanimously affirmed that “each individual State has the responsibility to protect its populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.” They agreed that, when appropriate, the international community should assist States in exercising that responsibility by building their protection capacities before crises and conflicts break out. However, when a state “manifestly fails” to protect its population from the four specified crimes, the Heads of State and Government confirmed that the international community was prepared to take collective action, through the Security Council and in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.


This two-day, intensive workshop on the prevention of genocide intends to provide interested representatives from the UN and from the NGO and academic sector with a comprehensive and impartial knowledge base on the definitions of genocide and related war crimes, as well as to critically examine and discuss the international legal framework and strategies for the prevention of genocide, including measures currently undertaken by the United Nations.

 More specifically, at the end of the seminar participants will:

  • be able to define and recognize actions of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and ethnic cleansing,
  • have gained substantial knowledge on the work of the United Nations in the field of genocide prevention,
  • be able to critically assess the concept of the responsibility to protect,
  • be able to identify early warning strategies for the prevention of genocide and other mass atrocities,
  • be able to identify the role of national and regional actors in the prevention of ethnic violence and cleansing.


The programme will be based on a participatory approach and include expert presentations and seminar style discussions, as well as a case study exercise. Adequate time will be allocated for participants to interact with resource persons. Participants will receive a comprehensive set of reference and background material, including selected articles and other reference documents, copies of PowerPoint presentations, and other relevant materials. Resource persons will comprise experts on genocide prevention from the UN as well as from the NGO and academic sector. Participants who successfully complete the orientation programme by attending all sessions will receive a Certificate of Participation.

Target Audience

The seminar is open to members of permanent missions accredited to the United Nations, as well as to interested persons from the NGO and academic sector.

Date and Venue

The seminar will take place in Conference Room A (NLB) at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from 10:00 am to 01:00 pm and from 03:00 pm to 05:00 pm on Wednesday, 23 January and Thursday, 24 January.

Contact and Registration

For information on participation fee and registration, please visit http://www.unitar.org/event/node/93875

Tags: Conflict, Genocide, Nations, Prevention, Training, United

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For more details and registration, please go to http://www.unitar.org/event/node/93875


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