May 28, 1951
INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSITCE
PLEADINGS, ORAL ARGUMENTS, DOCUMENTS
RESERVATIONS TO THE
CONVENTION ON THE PREVENTION
AND PUNISHMENT OF THE
CRIME OF GENOCIDE
ADVISORY OPINION OF MAY 28TH, 1951
SECTION C. -- WRITTEN STATEMENTS
4. -- Written statement of the Government of the United States of America............... 23
4. WRITTEN STATEMENT OF THE GOVERNMENT OF THE
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
WRITTEN STATEMENT OF THE U.S.A. 25
I. The Genocide Convention
The Genocide Convention resulted from the inhuman and barbarous practices which prevailed in certain countries prior to and during World War II, when entire religious, racial and national minority groups were threatened with and subjected to deliberate extermination. The practice of genocide has occurred throughout human history. The Roman persecution of the Christians, the Turkish massacres of Armenians, the extermination of millions of Jews and Poles by the Nazis are outstanding examples of the crime of genocide. This was the background when the General Assembly of the United Nations considered the problem of genocide. Not once, but twice, that body declared unanimously that the practice of genocide is criminal under international law and that States ought to take steps to prevent and punish genocide.
In 1946 the First General Assembly declared by Resolution 96 (I) that genocide was a crime under international law and entrusted to the Economic and Social Council the task of drafting a convention on the subject. An Ad Hoc Committee on Genocide was constituted by the Economic and Social Council for this purpose.
A Convention drawn up by that Committee and amended by the General Assembly was unanimously approved by the General Assembly in Paris on December 9, 1948.