Echenberg Family Global Conference on the Prevention of Genocide
Our origins, lives and beliefs are diverse. We are young and we have all been impacted by genocide in different ways. We come together to move our world away from a culture of reaction toward a culture of prevention.
Genocide is a man-made evil, not an inevitable calamity. Although it is often masked by war, each instance of genocide is preceded by identifiable signs of early warning. Genocide is foreseeable and thus preventable.
History shows us the cycle of genocide. Ideologies of hate and exclusion combine with violence. The absence of accountability and justice makes genocide a cost-free policy for those who perpetrate it. Denial and silence about past atrocities foster further hatred, laying the foundation for genocide to repeat. This cycle can and must be broken.
Together we can act before lives are lost. We can build a global society that promotes prevention long before the need for reaction. By this declaration, we hold ourselves accountable to fulfill our responsibility to prevent.
We bond into a network, which undertakes that:
- Where a society is legitimizing the ideologies of exclusion, we will support initiatives that promote respect, inclusion and common humanity. Through our network, we will use and share our knowledge and experience, working alongside local youth.
- Where a society is at risk of genocide, we will support existing initiatives to deploy resources immediately on all levels, before violence escalates. We will work, in particular, with the United Nations Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide.
- In the aftermath of genocide, we will promote recognition and empathy, justice and accountability. We will seek out those who were not complicit in genocide and share their example to reinforce a culture of prevention.
Our commitment is not limited by time or place. Our success will be measured by atrocities that do not occur. Our goal is a world without genocide.
We cannot succeed alone. We ask that you hear us and join us.
Young Leaders at the Echenberg Family
Global Conference on the Prevention of Genocide
Montréal, Québec, October 13, 2007
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