KAMPALA, May 23 (Xinhua) -- Government representatives, civil society and experts on Wednesday started a three day meeting to devise ways of preventing mass atrocities like genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.
Over 200 delegates, convening under Global Action Against Mass Atrocity Crimes (GAAMAC), a state-led network, are exchanging good practice and lessons learned from ongoing experiences of prevention like early warning systems, prevention of hate speech, role of politicians among others.
Adama Dieng, the Special Adviser of the Secretary General on the Prevention of Genocide, told reporters that there is a lot of conflict in the world which can or has led to mass atrocities.
"It is extremely worrying, we are seeing intolerance being on the rise, we are seeing far right-wing groups emerging in Europe, we are seeing cynical western politicians using all types of issues like migration to cast blame on people, all this leads to hatred, leading to committing of atrocities," Dieng said.
He said in Africa, the situation on South Sudan is worrying noting that atrocities are being committed in the eastern African country since fighting broke out in December 2013.
UN figures show that over one million South Sudanese have crossed into Uganda fleeing fight back home.
"It is really time that we invested more in prevention. The (UN) Secretary General Antonio Guterres reminded us a couple of months ago that in the last 10 years, the international community spent 233 billion U.S. dollars on humanitarian intervention, peacekeeping and refugees. Imagine that even 1 percent of that amount was is being used on prevention," Dieng said.
Nicholas Opio, a human rights advocate, argued that issues that cause conflict like corruption, poor governance need to be addressed to avoid leading to situations that cause mass atrocities.
One key feature of the meeting will be the presentation of the Africa Working Group Manual on "Best Practices on the Establishment and Management of National Mechanisms for Genocide and Mass Atrocities Prevention."
Dieng said he hopes that manual will be used as a blue print to prevent or stop factors that lead to the committing of mass atrocities around the world.
The last biannual GAAMAC meeting was held in Costa Rica and the Philippines.