Guterres stresses need of detecting early warning signs of genocide

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has stressed the need to detect early warning signs of genocide.

Genocide never fails to shock the world when it occurs. But it is never committed without clear, multiple warning signs. The victims are often early targets of hate speech, discrimination and violence, said Guterres.

“One of our remaining challenges, 72 years after the Genocide Convention’s adoption, is to promptly recognize and act on these warning signs,” he told an event for the International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of the Crime of Genocide and of the Prevention of this Crime.

“We need to remain constantly vigilant of key political, human rights, humanitarian, social and economic developments worldwide to identify early the risks of genocide and other atrocity crimes.”

The UN chief said: Hate speech is one of these warning signs, and there is a need to do better in rejecting it in all its forms, Xinhua reported.

This includes ensuring that technology companies and social media platforms play their part. The power of social media in disseminating hate speech and polarizing communities cannot be underestimated, he said.

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