Raising Awareness

One of the tasks of the Office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect is to promote a greater understanding of the causes and dynamics of genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity, of the measures that could be taken to prevent them, and of the responsibility of States and the international community in this regard.

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In particular, the Office aims at promoting knowledge and raising awareness about the specific dynamics that have historically contributed to shape environments conducive to the commission of genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity. Based on those historical experiences, the Office has identified specific short, medium and long-term dynamics, on which it works to raise awareness in all regions of the world. The Office also engages in new research on topics that can help better understand current dynamics and new developments both in relation to the commission of atrocity crimes as well as their prevention.

The Office has worked regularly with the United Nations system, Member States, regional and sub-regional organisations and civil society to generate discussions on the role of each actor in working collectively towards preventing the most serious international crimes, particularly within the responsibility to protect principle. The Office advocates in particular for the integration of the prevention of atrocity crimes in the programs or policies of those actors.

Within its raising awareness and outreach activities, the Office regularly organises high-level events and public briefings on thematic issues relevant to atrocity prevention and the responsibility to protect. Click here if you would like to know about upcoming events. The Special Advisers and their staff also attend events organised across the world where they promote these issues.

Every year on 9 December the Office marks the adoption of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. Since 2015, by General Assembly resolution A/RES/69/323, that day also became the International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of the Crime of Genocide and of the Prevention of this Crime. Learn more about the International Day.