International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of the Crime of Genocide and of the Prevention of this Crime, 9 December
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at a wreath-laying ceremony in Kigali to commemorate the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. UN Photo/Evan Schneider
In September 2015, the United Nations General Assembly established 9 December as the International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of the Crime of Genocide and of the Prevention of this Crime. The 9th of December is the anniversary of the adoption of the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (the “Genocide Convention”).
The purpose of the day is to raise awareness of the Genocide Convention and its role in combating and preventing the crime of genocide, as defined in the Convention, and to commemorate and honour its victims.
In adopting the resolution, without a vote, the 193-member Assembly reiterated the responsibility of each individual State to protect its populations from genocide, which entails the prevention of such a crime, including incitement to it.
“The prevention of genocide is a specific obligation under international law. Governments must act on this imperative by investing in prevention and taking preventive action. On this new international observance, let us recognize the need to work together more concertedly to protect individuals from gross human rights violations and uphold our common humanity.”
— United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon