French Experts Hold Conference on Genocide

PARIS–A one-day conference on issues surrounding the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide took place at UNESCO in Paris on Saturday.

The participants included several law professors from French universities in Paris–an Appeals Court judge and a UN rapporteur–and Louise Arbour–the prosecutor at Hague’s International Court prosecuting the genocides in former Yugoslavia and Rawanda.

Also invited to this conference was Armenian genocide scholar Professor Vahakn Dadrian–the only non-French and foreign expert.

His paper–which he delivered in French–dealt with the topic of the origin and evolution of the legal norm of "humanitarian intervention" as presently applied in Kosovo and Serbia by the combined military efforts of NATO.

The paper was organized in such a way as to focus on and underscore the Armenian case of genocide–in terms of its links to the fiasco of 19th century humanitarian intervention by the Great Powers who tried unsuccessfully to restrain Ottoman Turkey in its genocide against its Armenian population.

The idea for the conference sprang from the July 17,1998 adoption at a UN Conference in Rome by delegates from 150 countries of the Statute establishing a Permanent International Criminal Court to try future cases of crimes against humanity and war crimes.

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