Australian Permanent Mission and Consulate-General
Switzerland, Liechtenstein


Human Rights Council - 25th Regular Session

Item 3
Interactive Dialogue with the SASG on the Prevention of Genocide
Australian statement

7 March 2014

Australia thanks the Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide for his presentation and for his ongoing efforts to address this particularly abhorrent crime and abuse of human rights, and importantly to prevent future occurrences.

We particularly welcome this chance to discuss the prevention of genocide given that this year marks the 20th Anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide.

The Genocide Convention was one of the first treaties to be adopted by the newly established United Nations General Assembly. It marked an important point in the development of international criminal law. The Convention has been widely accepted as providing the definitive definition of genocide, incorporated into the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

While the existence of the prohibition of genocide under international law and the obligation of States to prevent it are beyond doubt, more can and must be done to turn the words ‘never again’ into action. This is the case for all serious international crimes - war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide are all utterly abhorrent and offend our common humanity.

Australia continues to support international and regional efforts to prosecute serious international crimes, including in the Asia-Pacific region.

It is important that we work together to end impunity, above all so that we can deter and prevent future serious international crimes.