The UNITED NATIONS TEXT of
CONVENTION ON THE PREVENTION AND
PUNISHMENT OF THE CRIME OF GENOCIDE
Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. New York: United Nations Department of Public Information DPI/1055-December 1991.
Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. New York: United Nations Department of Public Information DPI/489 -1973.Gerald & Maas
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The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide was adopted unanimously by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 9, 1948. As of March 18, 1996, 42 countries originally signed the Convention; 142 countries are currently parties through signing and ratification, or accession or succession.
Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bahrain, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Jordan, Kuwait, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Tonga, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, United States of America, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Yugoslavia, Zaire, Zimbabwe.
CONVENTION ON THE PREVENTION AND
PUNISHMENT OF THE CRIME OF 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:
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.
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 groups, 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.
The following acts shall be punishable:
b. Conspiracy to commit genocide;
c. Direct and public incitement to commit genocide;
d. Attempt to commit genocide;
e. Complicity in genocide.
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.
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 of any of the other acts enumerated in Article III.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The present Convention, of which the Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish texts are equally authentic, shall bear the date of 9 December 1948.
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.
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.
On the day when the first twenty instruments of ratification or accession have been deposited, the Secretary-General shall draw up a procès-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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The present Covenant shall be registered by the Secretary-General of the United Nations on the date of its coming into force.
Declarations and Reservations1 concerning various articles were made by Albania, Algeria, Argentina, Bahrain, Belarus, Bulgaria, China, Czech Republic, Finland, Hungary, India, Malaysia, Mongolia, Morocco, Myanmar, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Singapore, Slovakia, Spain, Ukraine, United States of America, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen.
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.
"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."
"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.
Objection by Mexico: 4 June 1990
"The Government of Mexico believes that the reservation made by the United States Government to article IX of the aforesaid Convention should be considered invalid because it is not in keeping with the object and purpose of the Convention, nor with the principle governing the interpretation of treaties whereby no State can invoke provisions of its domestic law as a reason for not complying with a treaty.
"If the aforementioned reservation were applied, it would give rise to a situation of uncertainty as to the scope of the obligations which the United States Government would assume with respect to the Convention.
"Mexico's objection to the reservation in question should not be interpreted as preventing the entry into force of the 1948 Convention between the [Mexican] Government and the United States Government."
This document is one of several U.N. documents concerning
human rights which are published as:
COMMON RIGHTS & EXPECTATIONS
Primary International Treaties Protecting
The Rights Of All People
UNITED NATIONS TEXTS
CURRENT NORTH AMERICAN
RESERVATIONS AND DECLARATIONS
1996 Gerald and Maas Ottawa
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