Human Rights Council adopted the resolution on “Prevention of Genocide”

03 April, 2024

On 3 April United Nations Human Rights Council in its 55th session adopted by consensus the resolution on the “Prevention of Genocide” tabled by Armenia.

Based on the Convention on “Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide” this biennial resolution calls for the attention of the UN member states to the risks of this atrocity and the need to prevent it.

Taking into account the contemporary challenges, this year’s text was complimented with important provisions on the early warning and genocide associated risks. In particular, the exploitation of armed conflicts for commission of genocide as well as starvation of civilians as a prohibited method of combat are listed among those risks.

The resolution emphasizes that impunity is a significant risk factor for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, stressing that it needs to be addressed through investigation, prosecution and punishment. It is notable that the resolution specifically stresses the role of the International Court of Justice in issues of prevention and punishment of the crime of genocide.

The resolution mandates organization of a Panel discussion on the topic of early warning during the 58th session of the HRC. It calls upon the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to encourage the participation of member states as well as the Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide, the treaty bodies, the special procedures mandate holders of the Human Rights Council, civil society, national human rights institutions, academic circles and private sector in the event.

This initiative by Armenia is an important contribution to the strengthening of the international agenda for prevention of genocides and mass atrocities, moving forward rights-based approaches to contemporary challenges and for finding institutional solutions to intersecting issues of international humanitarian law and international human rights law.

It is also important to stress that the resolution on the “Prevention of Genocide” tabled by Armenia enjoys wide cross-regional support and co-sponsorship of states from all five regional groups. 

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