International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of the Crime of Genocide and of the Prevention of this Crime

Statement given by Norway's Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative May-Elin Stener, 9 December 2016.

Thank you for giving me the floor, and thanks to the United Nations Office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect, for organizing this topical event.

The United Nations was born out of the ashes of the genocidal crimes committed during and before World War II.

Preventing such crimes from occurring again is the singular, most important promise on which the United Nations was founded.

Sadly, so many of today's humanitarian crises give testimony to our collective failure to live up to our promise of 'never again'.

As we, pained to the core, commemorate those who have fallen victim to genocide throughout history, we must be equally determined in our work to ensure that history does not repeat itself.

Norway is committed to working for a United Nations that effectively deters and responds to genocidal crimes. The principle of Responsibility to Protect (R2P) must continue to guide our efforts.

R2P makes it unequivocally clear that no government can be indifferent to international crimes against civilians and that we are collectively obliged to prevent and respond effectively to such crimes.

The UN Office on Genocide Prevention and Responsibility to Protect has provided invaluable assistance to Member States in this regard and it is imperative that we allocate the requisite resources so that the Office can continue and expand its activities.

Holding to account those responsible for genocide is also imperative. In this regard, Norway reiterates its staunch support for the ICC, which plays an essential role in preventing and ensuring accountability for genocidal crimes.

Norway is heartened by all of those who have reaffirmed their commitment to preventing genocide here today and we look forward to working alongside all of you to progress our agenda, which is also the agenda of the United Nations.

Let me close by again expressing our appreciation to the organizers and thanking them for convening this important meeting.

I thank you.