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Convention On The Punishment And The Prevention Of The Crime Of Genocide

October 18, 2000 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

UN Convention on Genocide

The Contracting Parties,

Having considered the declaration made by the General
Assembly of the United Nations in its resolution 96
(I) dated 11 December 1946 that genocide is a crime
under international law, contrary to the spirit and
aims of the United Nations and condemned by the
civilized world,

Recognizing that at all periods of history genocide
has inflicted great losses on humanity, and

Being convinced that, in order to liberate mankind
from such an odious scourge, international
co-operation is required,

Hereby agree as hereinafter provided:

Article I

The Contracting Parties confirm that genocide, whether
committed in time of peace or in time of war, is a
crime under international law which they undertake to
prevent and to punish.

Article II

In the present Convention, genocide means any of the
following acts committed with intent to destroy, in
whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or
religious group, as such:

(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members
of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of
life calculated to bring about its physical
destruction in whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births
within the group;
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to
another group.

Article III

The following acts shall be punishable:

(a) Genocide;
(b) Conspiracy to commit genocide;
(c) Direct and public incitement to commit genocide;
(d) Attempt to commit genocide;
(e) Complicity in genocide.

Article IV

Persons committing genocide or any of the other acts
enumerated in article III shall be punished, whether
they are constitutionally responsible rulers, public
officials or private individuals.

Article V

The Contracting Parties undertake to enact, in
accordance with their respective Constitutions, the
necessary legislation to give effect to the provisions
of the present Convention, and, in particular, to
provide effective penalties for persons guilty of
genocide or any of the other acts enumerated in
article III.

Article VI

Persons charged with genocide or any of the other acts
enumerated in article III shall be tried by a
competent tribunal of the State in the territory of
which the act was committed, or by such international
penal tribunal as may have jurisdiction with respect
to those Contracting Parties which shall have accepted
its jurisdiction.

Article VII

Genocide and the other acts enumerated in article III
shall not be considered as political crimes for the
purpose of extradition. The Contracting Parties pledge
themselves in such cases to grant extradition in
accordance with their laws and treaties in force.

Article VIII

Any Contracting Party may call upon the competent
organs of the United Nations to take such action under
the Charter of the United Nations as they consider
appropriate for the prevention and suppression of acts
of genocide or any of the other acts enumerated in
article III.

Article IX

Disputes between the Contracting Parties relating to
the interpretation, application or fulfilment of the
present Convention, including those relating to the
responsibility of a State for genocide or for any of
the other acts enumerated in article III, shall be
submitted to the International Court of Justice at the
request of any of the parties to the dispute.

Article X

The present Convention, of which the Chinese, English,
French, Russian and Spanish texts are equally
authentic, shall bear the date of 9 December 1948.

Article XI

The present Convention shall be open until 31 December
1949 for signature on behalf of any Member of the
United Nations and of any non-member State to which an
invitation to sign has been addressed by the General
Assembly. The present Convention shall be ratified,
and the instruments of ratification shall be deposited
with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
After 1 January 1950, the present Convention may be
acceded to on behalf of any Member of the United
Nations and of any non-member State which has received
an invitation as aforesaid. Instruments of accession
shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the
United Nations.

Article XII

Any Contracting Party may at any time, by notification
addressed to the Secretary-General of the United
Nations, extend the application of the present
Convention to all or any of the territories for the
conduct of whose foreign relations that Contracting
Party is responsible.

Article XIII

On the day when the first twenty instruments of
ratification or accession have been deposited, the
Secretary-General shall draw up a proc s-verbal and
transmit a copy thereof to each Member of the United
Nations and to each of the non-member States
contemplated in article XI.

The present Convention shall come into force on the
ninetieth day following the date of deposit of the
twentieth instrument of ratification or accession. Any
ratification or accession effected, subsequent to the
latter date shall become effective on the ninetieth
day following the deposit of the instrument of
ratification or accession.

Article XIV

The present Convention shall remain in effect for a
period of ten years as from the date of its coming
into force. It shall thereafter remain in force for
successive periods of five years for such Contracting
Parties as have not denounced it at least six months
before the expiration of the current period.
Denunciation shall be effected by a written
notification addressed to the Secretary-General of the
United Nations.

Article XV

If, as a result of denunciations, the number of
Parties to the present Convention should become less
than sixteen, the Convention shall cease to be in
force as from the date on which the last of these
denunciations shall become effective.

Article XVI

A request for the revision of the present Convention
may be made at any time by any Contracting Party by
means of a notification in writing addressed to the
Secretary-General. The General Assembly shall decide
upon the steps, if any, to be taken in respect of such
request.

Article XVII

The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall
notify all Members of the United Nations and the
non-member States contemplated in article XI of the
following:

(a) Signatures, ratifications and accessions received
in accordance with article XI;
(b) Notifications received in accordance with article
XII;
(c) The date upon which the present Convention comes
into force in accordance with article XIII;
(d) Denunciations received in accordance with article
XIV;
(e) The abrogation of the Convention in accordance
with article XV;
(f) Notifications received in accordance with article
XVI.

Article XVIII

The original of the present Convention shall be
deposited in the archives of the United Nations. A
certified copy of the Convention shall be transmitted
to each Member of the United Nations and to each of
the non-member States contemplated in article XI.

Article XIX

The present Convention shall be registered by the
Secretary-General of the United Nations on the date of
its coming into force.

Approved and proposed for signature and ratification
or accession by General Assembly resolution 260 A
(III) of 9 December 1948

ENTRY INTO FORCE: 12 January 1951, under the terms of
article XIII

1Current North American status: Canada, signature 28
Nov 1949, ratification 3 Sep 1952; Mexico, signature
14 Dec 1948, ratification 22 Jul 1952; United States
of America, signature 11 Dec 1948, ratification 25 Nov
1988.

Declarations and Reservations made by the United
States at ratification.

Reservations:

“1. That with reference to article IX of the
Convention, before any dispute to which the United
States is a party may be submitted to the jurisdiction
of the International Court of Justice under this
article, the specific consent of the United States is
required in each case.

“2. That nothing in the Convention requires or
authorizes legislation or other action by the United
States of America prohibited by the Constitution of
the United States as interpreted by the United
States.”

Understandings:

“1. That the term ‘intent to destroy, in whole or in
part, a national, ethnical, racial, or religious group
as such’ appearing in article II means the specific
intent to destroy, in whole or in substantial part, a
national, ethnical, racial or religious group as such
by the acts specified in article II.

“2. That the term ‘mental harm’ in article II (b)
means permanent impairment of mental faculties through
drugs, torture or similar techniques.

“3. That the pledge to grant extradition in accordance
with a state’s laws and treaties in force found in
article VII extends only to acts which are criminal
under the laws of both the requesting and the
requested state and nothing in article VI affects the
right of any state to bring to trial before its own
tribunals any of its nationals for acts committed
outside a state.

“4. That acts in the course of armed conflicts
committed without the specific intent required by
article II are not sufficient to constitute genocide
as defined by this Convention.

“5. That with regard to the reference to an
international penal tribunal in article VI of the
Convention, the United States declares that it
reserves the right to effect its participation in any
such tribunal only by a treaty entered into
specifically for that purpose with the advice and
consent of the Senate.”

Editor’s note: objections of record to the one or more
reservations by the United Sates, were made by
Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Ireland, Italy,
Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, United
Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. A
declaration of clarification was made by the Federal
Republic of Germany.

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