Concept note

Third Global Forum
Against the Crime of Genocide
December 9-11, 2018
(Concept note)

Education has pivotal significance in effectively countering the gravest challenges that the Humanity faces. In this regard the education on genocide prevention is an essential pillar of prevention efforts. The 2015 UN Human Rights Council Resolution on genocide prevention highlights the importance of education and appeals to the governments of the member states to support raising awareness on genocide prevention, through promotion of relevant educational programs. The role of genocide education and remembrance has been underlined by regional security organizations as well, particularly the OSCE, the structures of which have been tasked to implement the commitments undertaken by participating states in this regard.

The 3rd Global Forum against the Crime of Genocide, to be held in 2018, will be dedicated to the issues of genocide prevention through education. It will examine the challenges and opportunities, experiences and perspectives of the genocide education.

The event is organized with the support of the United Nations Special Adviser of the Secretary General on the Prevention of Genocide and in close cooperation with the International Association of Genocide Scholars.

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The 2018 Global Forum will commence on December 9 on the 70th Anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. The December 9th was declared as an International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of the Crime of Genocide and of the Prevention of this Crime through the Resolution of the UN General Assembly initiated by Armenia. It was based on a resolution on genocide prevention that was again initiated by Armenia and adopted by consensus in 2015 by the UN Human Rights Council.

The conference deliberations will start on December 10, 2018, on the International Day of Human Rights that also marks the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Day One (December 9)

Concert dedicated to the 70th Anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

Day two (December 10)

Opening of the Forum. High-level segment

The session will be open for addresses by high-level guests and dignitaries

Plenary Session: 70th Anniversaries of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (adopted respectively on December 9 and 10, 1948)

The session will focus on the background of the adoption of Genocide Convention, its role, steps undertaken in accordance to it, results and lessons learnt.

The session will also focus on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The supplementary roles of the two simultaneously adopted international tools (Genocide Convention and Human Rights Declaration) will be highlighted in the context of protection of individuals and groups.

Panel One. Museums and genocide. Supporting Genocide Prevention through Perpetuation of Remembrance Days of Genocide Victims

The panel will examine the role of genocide museums, memorial sites and institutes in the fight against the crime of genocide from the viewpoint of visualizing, information coverage and dissemination.

A central component of social education is public commemoration, which itself takes many forms. The panel will discuss the importance of museum and memorial sites’ attendance, raising awareness about genocides through commemoration days, the significance of various countries’ experiences in this matter, examination of commonalities.

Invitees: Heads and scholars from genocide museums and institutes.

Panel Two. New approaches to education and art about genocide and its prevention

This panel will look at new training projects and public education strategies of genocide prevention, including the use of social media, distance education and mapping technology. Panelists will discuss what is important to teach, whom it is important to teach, and how education can best be leveraged to have a lasting effect on the society. Panel will also review the reflection of genocide in art and culture, and its impact on genocide prevention.

Invitees: Eminent teacher trainers, media activists, executive directors of NGOs and university-based prevention education programs and training projects working both on the global and local levels as well as artists and art scholars

Day Three (December 11)

Panel Three. Combating genocide denial and propaganda of xenophobia

This panel will examine how genocide histories are erased from, trivialized and denied in textbooks and curricula across the world, and what strategies can be employed to counter denialism in education and have a positive impact on societies. Elaboration and endorsement of programs directed at prevention of dissemination of xenophobia and denial through networks will be touched upon.

Special attention will be paid to making steps in raising awareness of younger generation on countering xenophobia, hatred and intolerance, thus contributing to the preventing measures against the formation of genocidal environment.

Panel Four. The role of education and awareness raising in the prevention of the crime of genocide

The panel will discuss the role that education and awareness raising (particularly through teaching about human rights, tolerance and non-discrimination, fundamental human rights) are playing in preventing identity-based crimes. The activities of international organizations, particularly the UN Office on Genocide Prevention, in raising awareness about genocides will be presented. The views will be exchanged on the national experiences of the observance of the UN‘s International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of the Crime of Genocide and of the Prevention of this Crime.

The session will focus on school education, university education and information dissemination, as well as the efforts implemented in this regard by the international organizations and civil society.

Invitees: Human rights, genocide scholars, officials in charge of education, heads and representatives of leading universities, international criminal and humanitarian law institutes and faculties.

Concluding Panel.

The Forum will conclude with the Chair’s summary.

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