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UNITAR/Office of the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide Workshop on Genocide Prevention

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UNITAR/Office of the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide Workshop on Genocide Prevention

Deadline: Closed
The registration is closed.
New York, United States
20 Jan 2014 to 21 Jan 2014
Duration of event:
2 Days
Programme Area:
Multilateral Diplomacy, Peacemaking and Conflict Prevention
Specific Target Audience:
The workshop is free-of-charge for diplomats assigned to a UN Permanent Mission from a low or middle income country according to the World Bank classification. Diplomats from high-income countries and representatives of international, intergovernmental, and non-governmental organizations, civil society and other interested individuals are required to pay the participation fee.
Event Focal Point Email:
Event Focal Point Contact Number:
(212) 963-9196
Other Event Details:
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 delegates, particularly those delegates engaged in Human Rights and Humanitarian issues, with a comprehensive and impartial knowledge base on the definitions of genocide and related war crimes. It will also critically examine the international legal framework and strategies for the prevention of genocide, including Responsibility to Protect.

At the end of the workshop participants should be able to:

  • define and recognize what actions are considered; genocide, crimes against humanity, atrocity crimes and ethnic cleansing, 
  • describe the work of the United Nations in the field of genocide prevention,
  • critically assess the concept of the Responsibility to Protect,
  • identify early warning strategies for the prevention of genocide and other mass atrocities,
  • identify the role of national and regional actors in the prevention of ethnic violence and cleansing and implementing the Responsibility to Protect. 

Conducted in English, this workshop takes place over two days and discusses the following topics: legal framework for the prevention and punishment of atrocity crimes; a socio-historical perspective of genocide; the Responsibility to Protect; global challenges for prevention with the use of case studies; the role of the UN in preventing atrocity crimes and the role of national and regional actors in implementing the Responsibility to Protect. It will also feature a simulation exercise demonstrating how to identify risk factors for genocide and make recommendations for response. 


The workshop will be based on a participatory approach with 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.  

The workshop is open to members of permanent missions to the United Nations, especially those delegates participating in third and fourth comittees, as well as to interested persons from NGOs and the academic sector.


Participants who successfully complete the workshop by attending all sessions will receive a Certificate of Participation. 

The workshop will take place in Conference Room B (CB) at the United Nations Headquarters on Monday, 20 January 2014 from 10.00 a.m. until 6.00 p.m. and on Tuesday, 21 January 2014 from 10.00 a.m. until 5.30 p.m. Registration will take place on Monday from 9.30 a.m. in Conference Room B (CB).

Please register online at

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