The Budapest Centre for Mass Atrocities Prevention releases its Statement to pay special tribute to Raphael Lemkin for his pioneering work and tireless struggle for the adoption of the Genocide Convention on 9 December 1948, as a direct response to the systematic and planned extermination of the Jewish people during the Holocaust as well as to the crimes committed by the Stalinist regime.
Despite the numerous and important progresses our world has witnessed in the implementation of the Responsibility to Protect norm – which enables Member States to act both during peace and wartime to proactively protect their citizens for gross human rights violations – the international community has repeatedly failed in preventing many ethnic, national, religious and racial groups from becoming victims of these extreme crimes. Geopolitical rivalry, the protection of state
sovereignty and the principle of non-intervention, are very often being used as a cover for dictators and extremists, excessive legalism, gaps, or even contradictions between universal and national values are often cited as main reasons for this inaction.
Today, we want to decisively stress the crucial role this principle plays in promoting and enhancing the protection of human rights worldwide. Preventing genocide is a collective and individual, political and moral responsibility and duty, and the Budapest Centre for Mass Atrocities Prevention invites all member states, in particular the Permanent Members of the Security Council of the United Nations, the Secretary-General and the UN Office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect to seize the opportunity of the 70th anniversary of adoption of the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide and launch a process of dialogue focusing on overcoming the causes of inaction to better protect the victims, strengthen the preventive approach and increase accountability.
The Budapest Centre, as co-founder of the European Center for Responsibility to Protect, invites the European Union to be the primary mover, together with other international actors and stakeholders and appeals to its partners to support this initiative and help its implementation.