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UN Whitaker Report on Genocide, 1985, paragraphs 1-6, pages 1-13 [ Table of Contents , Previous Section , Next Section ]


1 . This draft report has been prepared pursuant to Economic and Social Council resolution 1983/33 of 27 May 1983 by which the Council requested the Sub-Commission "to appoint one of its members as Special Rapporteur with the mandate to revise, as a whole, and update the study on the question of the prevention and punishment of the crime of genocide, taking into consideration the views expressed by the members of the Sub-Commission and the Commission on Human Rights, as well as replies of Governments, specialized agencies and other organizations of the United Nations system, regional organizations and non-governmental organizations to a questionnaire to be prepared by the Special Rapporteur." In its decision 1983/2 the Sub-Commission decided to appoint Mr. Benjamin Whitaker to undertake the revised and updated study.

Background of the study on the question of the prevention and punishment of the crime of genocide (E/CN.4/Sub.2/416)

2. In the second part of its first session, the General Assembly affirmed in resolution 96 (I) of 11 December 1946, that genocide was a crime under international law which the civilized world condemned and that those guilty of it, whoever they were and for whatever reason they had committed It, were punishable. The Assembly invited Member States to enact the necessary legislation for the prevention and punishment of that crime and recommended that intersectional co-operation should be organized for the purpose. The Assembly requested the Economic and Social Council to undertake the necessary studies, with a view to drawing up a draft convention on the crime of genocide. The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide was .approved by the General Assembly, by resolution 260 A (III) of 9 December 1948, and entered into force on 12 January 1951.

3. In resolution 1420 (XLVI) of 6 June 1969, the Economic and Social Council approved the decision adopted by. the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities in its resolution 8 (XX) to undertake a study of the question of the prevention .and punishment of the crime of genocide. The Council authorized-the Sub-Commission to designate a Special Rapporteur to carry out the study, and the 'Sub-Commission in resolution 1" (XXIV) of 18 August 1971, appointed Mr. Nicodème Ruhashyankiko, a national of Rwanda who was then a member, of the- Sub-Commission, as its Special Rapporteur.

4. Mr. Ruhashyankiko presented a preliminary report and three progress reports to the Sub-Commission in 1973, and his study to the Sub-Commission at its thirty-first session in 1978.

5. The Sub-Commission expressed its thanks to the Special Rapporteur and transmitted the study to the Commission on Hman Rights with the recommendation that it should be given the Widest possible distribution. The Commission, at its thirty-fifth session, in 1979, approved the decision of the Sub-Commission in decision 9 (XXXV) of 14 March 1979.

6 . This earlier study, contained in document E/CN.4/sub.2/416, dated 4 July 1978, is available for reference.

UN Whitaker Report on Genocide, 1985, Introduction [ Table of Contents , Previous Section , Next Section ]

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