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Can we stop genocide?

by Archives October 16, 2007

This weekend’s International Montreal Convention for the Prevention of Genocide was a kick in the gut to many – particularly youth – as we sat and watched the opening ceremonies.
Stories of rape, of whole families being wiped out, and of humanity ripped apart were brought alive by the voices of survivors.
Marika Néni, a Hungarian Roma, who, as a young lady, gave birth to her first child in a Jewish ghetto – a stop-over to Auschwitz – to a little boy who died along with his father from hunger and as a “pretty young lady,” was often chosen by the soldiers and repeatedly raped.
Or Esther Mujawayo, who escaped death during the Rwandan genocide, but lost hundreds of family and friends and was brave enough to step up and condemn the international community and passionately spit at inaction and its perpetuation during the ceremony.
We are responsible for the death of Esther’s family, for the multiple times Marika was raped in a dirty backroom of the camp she was enslaved in and for unfair death around the world. Moreover, we are responsible for coming violence.
As discussed during the convention, there are warning signs that spell civil war and genocide. Us, as youth, are inspired and motivated. Many of us still equipped with hope and passion with a huge backing of resources. We are left responsible to step in.
Those who are weathered – who have worked at the United Nations for decades, who have seen violence at the hands of self-interested governments and international bodies – are done with hope and belief. They remain transformed, cynical, realist and, for the most part, accurate on the situation of today’s world order, an economical – political hegemony. But, as was mentioned during the conference, genocide, killing and territorial selfishness and self-interest in survival are all part of human nature. There is nothing wrong with survival of self – after all, we are here to survive and learn.
However, it will remain morally and fundamentally wrong to kill when preventative mechanisms can be put in place. Furthermore, we have opportunities. We have the breathing room to make decisions. We have the time and the money – a good majority of us – to invest some time in the understanding of the world’s economic hierarchy, and to participate in it’s undoing.
In apathy, indifference and a loss – or a non-existence – of curiosity to learn, we are losing our humanity. Yet, we have the choice to offer our labor, our minds and our ambitions to the development of social, political and economical equality. Instead of looking away embarrassed – as many people I know do – we are responsible for discussing and talking about unnecessary, torturous death,
What I’m trying to say is that, as a human, you are responsible for devoting a portion of your life to aiding the development of opportunities for people around the world. We are responsible for putting aside our day-to-day worries from homework, to career ambition, to romance, to whatever self-centered subjects we deal with, to look beyond and give those who have no luxury of choice, a change.
Interested in ending indifference?

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