Dhaka, Bangladesh
Bangladesh to help evolve discourse on genocide prevention: FM

Bangladesh to help evolve discourse on genocide prevention: FM

Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali on Friday said Bangladesh will remain engaged in doing its part to drive home the message of 'never, never and never again' in relation to genocides and mass atrocity crimes, reports UNB. "We strongly believe that the messages of prevention, prosecution and memorialisation of genocides need to be resonated through all regions and continents of the World," he said while speaking on the Asia Pacific context and the world stage in general. Minister Ali was addressing the inaugural ceremony of the three-day 5th International Conference on Bangladesh Genocide and Justice at Liberation War Museum, Agargaon in the city. On trials of war criminals in Bangladesh, the Foreign Minister said Dhaka expects the international community would consider the larger canvass of these trials, and not just see them through the narrow prism of the nature of penalties handed down to those convicted. "Considering the socio-political fabric of Bangladesh, we have reasons to believe that retributive justice for the horrific crimes committed would help pave the way Bangladesh to help evolve discourse on genocide for restorative justice and reconciliation in the long run," he said. He continued: "It is, therefore, only expected of all of us to refrain from any acts of brinkmanship that may jeopardise our national peace, stability and security." In Bangladesh, the National Parliament on March 11 March 2017 adopted a unanimous resolution to observe March 25 as the National Genocide Day. "Remembrance is intrinsically related to rendering justice to victims and reconcilliation. We have a duty to remember- this is a social, moral and ethical imperative," said the Foreign Minister. He said remembering the victims of genocide and the crimes committed in the past must contribute to understanding of the present and guide Bangladesh's actions in the future. "Acknowledging past genocides, addressing the consequences and fulfilling the rights of the victims not only dignifies the victims, it also represents our willingness not to let these crimes be repeated," he said. Minister Ali said owing to the efforts made by the Liberation War Museum and others, the people of Bangladesh had never allowed the horrific crimes of 1971 to escape their collective memories, even in an environment of impunity. "Our long, arduous struggle to rebuild a war-ravaged country has inspired us to contribute to UN Peacekeeping Operations in different parts of the world in lead numbers," he said. In the same spirit, he said, Bangladesh wants to remain engaged in contributing to the evolving discourse on prevention of genocides and mass atrocity crimes. Experts from Bangladesh, Argentina, India, Japan, Germany, Indonesia, Canada, Cambodia and the USA are participating in the conference.

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