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UN Convention on Genocide - Essay Example

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The formation of UN Convention on Genocide through the relentless efforts and contribution of Raphael Lemkin and others brought change in socio-economic and political crime against humanity that has been enjoyed to date. The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the…
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UN Convention on Genocide
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UN Convention on Genocide The formation of UN Convention on Genocide through the relentless efforts and contribution of Raphael Lemkin and others brought change in socio-economic and political crime against humanity that has been enjoyed to date. The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide was created and signed in Paris by the United Nations on December 9th, 1948, after World War II. It was significant because it defined genocide in legal terms through a treaty signed by all the participating nations in the United Nations (Wilt 237). It was also formed to prevent and punish actions of genocide that occur during war and peacetime. The contribution of Raphael Lemkin is hailed as he was the leading force behind this convention and through extensive lobbying in which he made the word "genocide" an official word. The word genocide was rooted from the words "genos" which means family, tribe, or race, while "cide" stood for killing. Lemkin was of Jewish descent, and was greatly affected by the Jewish Holocaust. It is important to note that the Armenian genocide was the first annihilation that truly ignited his passion to raise awareness on genocide.
Article 2 in the Resolution 260 (III) of document defines the acts of genocide as, killing any groups of people due to their nationality, ethnicity, race or religious group. Before the document there was no way to legally define what was considered genocide, and there was also no way to punish any person or groups of people for committing it, especially during wartime (Wilt 238). The document is important because it protects the citizens of every country involved with the convention from genocide. For example, Article 3 punishes any person who commits genocide, "whether they are constitutionally responsible rulers, public officials or private individuals". Another important point is Hitlers infamous genocide which contributed in shedding more lights on the acts of genocide that is why there was plenty of support from the United Nations for The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.
Work cited
Wilt, Harmen . The Genocide Convention: The Legacy of 60 Years. Leiden: M. Nijhoff Pub, 2012. Print. Read More
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