Amendment to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide and the Rome Statute
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
The Global Embassy of Activists for Peace officially launched its Justice for Peace campaign at the Supreme Court of Justice of Paraguay. Among the campaign’s key components is the international judicial forum "New Proposals for the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide."
In this context, Dr. William Soto, Ambassador of the Global Embassy of Activists for Peace, emphasized some observations and proposed an amendment to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, a text adopted by the United Nations in 1948, commonly known as the "Genocide Convention".
Dr. Soto stated that at the time, the Genocide Convention was a necessary response to genocidal violence; however, times and societies have changed. Due to these changes in time, the scope of the Genocide Convention is currently too narrow, as it restricts the protection of the victims of genocides committed by political and economic groups. It only considers genocide to be physical violence, thus marginalizing cultural genocide and ethnocide, among others, from the scope of the Genocide Convention.
Furthermore, it only considers the forcible transfer of children to be genocide, excluding from this crime the forcible transfer of adults from one group to another. He also emphasized that we must fill the gaps in the Convention of 1948 and the Rome Statute of 1998, because they provide opportunities that may well be exploited by those with genocidal instincts.
Dr. Soto called on the honorable justices of the Supreme Court, judges, prosecutors, attorneys, scholars and treatise writers to join in efforts to promote this amendment which is profoundly needed among our people.
He also expressed: My proposal as global ambassador for peace is to amend the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide and the Rome Statute. I believe that given the rise of a globalized society in constant change and dynamism, the scope of these instruments of international law is currently limited."
Due to the overflowing evidence of discrimination, intolerance and violence against certain groups encountered in this century, it is necessary to promote the modification of the Genocide Convention and the Rome Statute to include political and economic groups as passive actors of genocide, and define cultural genocide, ethnocide and the forcible transfer of adults as crimes, given that all of these acts are perpetrated with the intention of annihilating groups of individuals.
The campaign of the Global Embassy of Activists for Peace for the amendment of the Genocide Convention establishes that when it comes to measures taken by the UN for the prevention, counteraction or punishment of genocide, none of the five powers may exercise the right of veto. If the decision is made against the suspension of the right to veto as a genocide countermeasure, it must at least be required that a veto be adopted by the majority of the five members of the Security Council of the United Nations Organization.
Democratic principles, humanitarian reasoning and respect for dignity and the right for people, as members of a group, to exist, prevent any single country from vetoing decisions made by the majority of the United Nations representatives, as a measure of genocide counteraction or prevention. This project also promotes the inclusion of at least one country in Latin American and the Caribbean as a permanent member of the Security Council of the United Nations.
Furthermore, Dr. Soto emphasized that it is necessary to fight against racism and all forms of discrimination in order to prevent their repetition, and that in the development of this genocide prevention policy, it is necessary to establish permanent observatories to monitor segregation and racial, political, religious, cultural, gender, or any other kind of discrimination in countries where these observatories have not yet been implemented.
The official presentation of the proposal of Dr. Soto and the Global Embassy of Activists for Peace will first be presented in all Latin American countries, after which it will be presented in other continents.