Secretary-General's Message for 2016

As we mark the second International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of the Crime of Genocide and of the Prevention of this Crime, we pay tribute to the memory of the victims and reaffirm our pledge to prevent such atrocities.

Decades have passed since the adoption of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide on 9 December 1948. Yet we continue to be confronted with extreme acts of violence against individuals and communities simply because of their national, racial, religious or ethnic identity.

I am gravely concerned about the rising hostility and prejudice against immigrants and those labelled outsiders. There can be no place for exclusionary or superior views of identity, or for divisive attempts to separate people into “us and them”. We have seen in the tragedies of history where this dark path can lead.

Member States and the international community must honour the suffering of the victims of genocide, and of their families, by working even harder against expressions of hatred, intolerance, racism and xenophobia. Let us spare no effort to uphold our moral and legal responsibility to protect populations against genocide.

Ban Ki-moon

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