Education in peace, key to preventing genocide, Vatican says

During his intervention at the Fourth Stockholm International Forum “Preventing Genocide,” Archbishop Celestino Migliore, the Holy See Permanent Observer to the United Nations, insisted that education in peace and mutual understanding is the key to preventing future genocides.

“Humanity has seen world wars, genocides, mass murders, and ethnic cleansings,” said Migliore. “However, among all forms of large-scale violence, genocide sets itself apart by the evil motivation behind it, namely, its specific intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a nation, a race, an ethnic or religious group, a defenseless or vulnerable group of human beings, simply for being such.”

“My delegation,” he stated, “wishes to highlight three specific points: first, the need to implement existing legal instruments against genocide; second, the central role of the international, regional and sub-regional organizations; third, the commitment to education and vigilance against genocide.”

The Nuncio emphasized that the instruments and structures against genocide "have not prevented new genocides from happening.”

“The international community is duty-bound to examine why they failed; have they become wanting in the face of evolving criminal strategies, or due to a lack of political will to implement them or due to interests overriding the survival of a nation or a group, or due to all these factors combined.”

Archbishop Migliore closed by stating that “educating individuals and communities on the horrors of genocide is a perennial and ever-timely duty incumbent upon us all.” “Genocide remains, unfortunately, a constant menace in some regions of the world” and “is latent in places where eliminating the other is considered a 'fast solution' to drawn out rivalries and unresolved conflicts.”

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