Mr. Winid discussed what the UN can do to prevent international genocides through education in order to translate war into peace. Ms. Power shared stories wherein individuals took risks to save thousands of lives, emphasizing the impact ordinary people can have. Mr. Churkin commemorated the victims of World War II and condemned Nazi crimes, saying that they used sadistic methods to kill and torture civilians. Resistance to Naziism’s revival is necessary to stabilize the future. Mr. Grant explained that responses to early signs of genocide have improved — nations have tools to prevent genocide and spark early action against it. It was further stated that criminals who cause genocidal violence must be held accountable and member states need to uphold human rights and foster mutual respect, education, and tolerance. Mr. Dieng discussed recent crises and their international impacts, nothing the massive loss of life in the Central African Republic, Darfur, North Korea, Syria, and Ukraine. The resulting displacement of people, he added, leads to social and economic strain on host countries.
Mr. Eugène Richard Gasana spoke next. He started by referencing Auschwitz, and he stated that UN has a duty to make sure a horror like Auschwitz never happens again. He stated that political intervention and political will are necessary in stopping and preventing future genocides. Long-term structural and short-term operational plans must be created to be used in times of crisis. He stated that international communities should heavily support national governments in preventing genocides.
Mr. Ron Prosor spoke mainly about Israel’s position regarding this matter. He pointed out that European Jews are once again living in fear while their homes, place of worship, and workplaces are being attacked out of hatred. Mr. Prosor claimed that “Europe is facing an epidemic of antisemitism.”
Meeting: “Why have we failed in preventing genocides and how to change that?”
Date & Location: Wednesday, January 21st, 2015. ECOSOC Chamber, UNHQ, New York.
Speakers: Boguslaw Winid, Permanent Representative of Poland; Jan Eliasson Deputy Secretary-General; Samantha Power, Permanent Representative of the United States; Vitaly Churkin, Permanent Representative of Russia; Mark Lyall Grant, Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom; Alexis Lamek, Deputy Permanent Representative of France; Adama Dieng, Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Genocide; Piotr Cuwinski, Director of the Memorial and State Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau; Eugene-Richard Gasana, Permanent Representative of Rwanda; Ron Prosor, Permanent Representative of Israel; Harald Braun, Permanent Representative of Germany; Philippe Bolopion, United Nations Director of Human Rights Watch; Robert Kostro, Director of the Museum of Polish History.
Written by WIT Representatives: Paige Stokols, James Victory, Alis Yoo, Brian Lee, and Ellie Guner
Edited by WIT Representative: Philip Bracey