Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing in our Times: From Rwanda to the Rohingyas
Following the Bosnian and Rwandan genocides of the 1990s, the international community vowed ‘never again’. Yet further conflicts, mass killings and displacements have prompted us to question why intervention takes so long, and how we can stop and prevent genocide and ethnic cleansing in our times. Bringing together a distinguished panel of international speakers and practitioners in the area, the Trinity Long Room Hub’s Behind the Headlines discussion will look at the historical context to genocide and ethnic cleansing; how the international community respond to cases of genocide; the geo-political dimension; UN system failure and reform; and case studies including present day Myanmar.
Professor Ben Kiernan is the Whitney Griswold Professor of History at Yale University, and author of Blood and Soil: A World History of Genocide and Extermination from Sparta to Darfur. Currently a visiting fellow at the Trinity Long Room Hub, Professor Kiernan will provide a historical context to the concept of genocide and its meaning, including historical examples of genocide and ethnic cleansing.
Professor Rosemary Byrne is Associate Professor in International Law, School of Law, Trinity College Dublin and a former Human Rights Commissioner for the Irish Human Rights Commission. She will consider the approach of the international community in the prosecution of genocide and ethnic cleansing, and its more ambivalent response to survivors seeking international protection.
Dr Jude Lal Fernando is Assistant Professor in Intercultural Theology and Interreligious Studies at the Irish School of Ecumenics, Trinity College Dublin and will look at the geo-political fault lines which impede international cooperation and speedy responses to cases of genocide and ethnic cleansing. He will also discuss the United Nations’ role and what has been referred to as ‘UN system failure.’
Mr Denis Halliday is a former United Nations Assistant Secretary- General and was the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq from 1 September 1997 until 1998. Denis will provide his front-line experience of genocidal action. He will look at the United Nations Security Council, its five veto powers and argue that without change and reform, the UN will continue to fail all those at risk of genocide.