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Briefing "Global Action Against Mass Atrocity Crimes" GAAMAC III

Intervention by the Permanent Representative of the Argentine Republic, Amb. Martín García Moritán

March 27

I would like to start by thanking the Swiss Government, as current Chair of the Steering Group of the "Global Action Against Mass Atrocity Crimes" for putting together this panel and leading on the organization of this briefing in New York on the upcoming GAAMAC III in Uganda.

I would also like to especially highlight the intervention and the key role of the United Nations Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, Mr. Adama Dieng, in supporting this initiative since its inception.

In the last decades, Argentina has taken an active role in developing tools and mechanisms for the prevention of genocide and mass atrocities at national, regional and international level. We have also put in place strategies to connect our domestic and foreign policies in order to actively contribute to the debates of the International community on this serious question.

Our commitment to promote the prevention of genocide, the education on the Holocaust and other genocides is the result of our own history, bearing in mind that the process of memory, truth, and justice is one of the main cores of our human rights policy.

In this context, we participate in many relevant regional and international initiatives on the prevention of genocide to promote strong institutional arrangements and advance legislation at national level.

With this same spirit, we joined Australia, Costa Rica, Denmark, Switzerland and Tanzania to launch in 2013 the Global Action Against Mass Atrocity Crimes (GAAMAC), aiming at the prevention through the provision of assistance and advice to those countries that require it and to establish a platform for exchanging good practices and lessons learned.

The role of GAAMAC in this field has proven crucial, as prevention is not an easy task. The cooperation between governments, international organizations, civil society and the academia is vital to be able to achieve the political will and momentum needed to pass legislation and strengthening the national mechanisms for atrocity prevention. Therefore, learning from each other and exchanging ideas and good practices help to keep advancing the prevention agenda.

We also consider important the promotion of cross-regional initiatives, including the involvement of civil society, to share experiences. In this context, we have co-organized and participated in conferences on the prevention of genocide back at home in Buenos Aires, and around the world in Arusha (Tanzania), Bern (Switzerland) and Phnom Penh (Cambodia).

The central objective of these meetings has been to address the importance of prevention of genocide and other mass atrocities, ethnic cleansing, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Argentina is also a founding member of the Latin American Network for the Prevention of Genocide. This program is aimed at preventing future atrocities based on the Latin American experience in this area, through the development of a community of sensitive and informed public officials on the subject.

The ultimate goal of all these mechanisms is to strengthen and consolidate a global architecture based on existing and emerging prevention systems, such as the Joint Office of the United Nations Secretary-General Special Advisers on Prevention of Genocide and Responsibility to Protect, Early Warning Systems and the designation of national focal points, among others.

To conclude, I would also like to make a reference to the role of the International Criminal Court on the prevention of genocide through the fight against impunity of the most horrendous crimes, reinforcing its role as a tool to promote the respect of human rights in order to achieve a sustainable peace, in accordance with international law and the Charter of the United Nations.

The prevention of genocide is a very challenging goal for any country. It would only be achieved through education and a strong political commitment in order to develop national, regional and international mechanisms that could reinforce each-other.

We do not know when the moment to make use of those tools will come; therefore, we need to be ready and prepared to work together with the international community for the safety and benefit of our societies.

I am sure that GAAMAC III will be a great opportunity to advance the prevention agenda and facilitate the cross-learning process among all stakeholders. We hope to see many of your countries represented in Uganda.

I thank you.

Fondo argentino de cooperación sur-sur y triangular