New York: “Genocides in the recent past must be recovered from our collective amnesia, like the ones committed in Bangladesh in 1971. Having endured the worst form of Genocide ourselves, we know the pain” –said Ambassador Masud Bin Momen, Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the UN, today, at an event of the ‘69th Anniversary of the Genocide Convention’ and ‘International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of the Crime of Genocide and of the Prevention of this Crime’, organized by United Nations at its Headquarters in New York.
Quoting a part of the Prime Minister’s special message given in commemoration of this day – “The 1971 genocide included targeted elimination of individuals on the ground of religion, race and political belief. The intellectuals were killed brutally. To pay homage to the victims of the 1971 genocide, our national parliament has recently declared 25th March as “Genocide Day”, the Ambassador said, “This is an indication how closely we hold the issue of Genocide to our heart”.
The PR reiterated Bangladesh’s support for universalization of ‘the Genocide Convention’ and ‘the Rome Statute on the International Criminal Court’. He emphasised on the importance of early warning in prevention of genocide. Referring to the recent remarks of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights whether the systematic human rights violation and atrocity crimes committed in Myanmar’s Rakhaine State could be ruled out as having ‘elements genocide’, should not be qualified as such, Ambassador Masud emphasised on the need for coming to terms with these questions.
Miguel de Sepra Soares, Under Secretary General for Legal Affairs and UN Legal Counsel represented the Secretary General at the event and delivered the welcome remarks. United Nations Special Advisor on the Prevention of Genocide Mr. Adama Dieng was the keynote speaker of this event while Ms. Silvia Fernandez de Gurmendi, President of the International Criminal Court; Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, PR of Armenia and Jean-Claude Felix do Rego PR of Benin highlighted in their speeches the state obligations under this Genocide Convention, its development and current challenges.
Besides Bangladesh, UK, Latvia, Turkey, Mexico, Azerbaijan and Sudan also spoke on the occasion. All the speakers urged the international community to summon their collective conscience to prevent this heinous crime.