Syria, Iraq, Darfur, Burundi,... The intolerable list of mass atrocities that are committed before our eyes, some of which could develop into genocides, is long.
Simultaneously, we are witnessing a rise in genocide denial across our continent, through political parties as well as through a certain popular culture, in varying forms: denial or reversal of facts, relativism, confusion, competition of victims. As late Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Elie Wiesel teaches us: “the executioner always kills twice, the second time through silence” : genocide denial is the continuation of genocide.
So getting involved in genocide and mass atrocities prevention and against genocide denial is one and the same movement.
It is about preserving a fundamental value, life, and a commitment that transcends community or national identities and partisan divides. It concerns us all.
Members of parliaments have an ability to take action, thus hold a special responsibility. This responsibility obliges us to act.
Therefore, coming from various backgrounds and beyond the disagreements that sometimes divide us, we unite, in the name of our shared humanity, in preventing genocide and mass atrocities and fighting against genocide denial.
Through a universalist approach, we will act to ensure that concern for the Other prevails over indifference, truth over lie, knowledge over ignorance, solidarity over selfishness, life over destruction.
We get involved to prevent genocide and mass atrocities in cooperation with the various international, regional and national organizations, both governmental and of civil society, working on it, in order to ensure that the Responsibility to Protect is implemented with rigor and efficiency.
Concretely, we will first take part in the documentation of facts, in particular with our presence on the ground. We will inform and warn the general public as well as our governments, the European, regional and international institutions and the other parliaments about at risk situations.
We will also act to make sure that these institutions, starting with our governments, resolutely commit themselves to putting an end to all potentially genocidal situations, wherever they may take place in the world.
Finally, we will work to put in place within institutions, starting with our parliaments, mechanisms to monitor at risk situations and to intervene to prevent mass atrocities or stop those already taking place.
>Our commitment against the denial of genocide, as defined by the 1948 UN Convention and recognized by international institutions and the academic world, will spread in several different ways.
By engaging in public debate to flush out and fight the various expressions of genocide denial, and by elaborating laws when it represents the most efficient tool.
Disseminating knowledge allows to push genocide denial back. As a consequence, we will ensure that historians are able to work with utmost freedom, especially by working for an open access to all concerned archives and by supporting research in this domain.
Education and transmission are fundamental to our shared fight. Knowledge of the histories and memories of genocides will offer current and future generations an openness to the world, attention to the Other, a greater lucidity, and will contribute to a shared culture of human rights.
With this perspective, we will take part in the commemorations of genocides in the places where they took place or with the authorities representing the victims. With solidarity, we will support the survivors, the Righteous people, the resistance fighters, as well as their descendants, for the effects of genocide spread with generations.
Likewise, we will organize actions dedicated to transmission within our parliaments and we will support those organized by civil society and by other public institutions.Lastly, we will act to ensure that the histories and memories of genocides are accurately incorporated into school curricula and we will support the development of their studies in the academic world.
Primo Lévi said: “It happened, therefore it can happen again: this is the core of what we have to say. This can happen, and everywhere.” For our generations as well as for the following ones, our vigilance and commitment will be unfailing
Benjamin Abtan is founder and coordinator of the “Elie Wiesel Network”, European Network of Parliamentarians for the Prevention of Genocide and Mass Atrocities and against Genocide Denial and President of the European Grassroots Antiracist Movement - EGAM.
179 Parliamentarians from 24 national Parliaments and the European Parliament, coming from various political trends and 31 countries in total, get involved together in the “Elie Wiesel Network”.
They are listed, along with the acronyms of their parties, below or at www.egam.eu.
56 Members of the European Parliament, from 20 countries:
Lars Adaktusson, EPP (Sweden), Beatriz Becerra Basterrechea, Vice-Chair of the subcommittee on Human Rights, ALDE (Spain), Brando Benifei, S&D (Italy), Michał Boni, EPP (Poland), José Bové, Greens/EFA (France), Klaus Buchner, Greens/EFA (Germany), Seb Dance, S&D (United Kingdom), Karima Delli, Greens/EFA (France), Mark Demesmaeker, Member of the bureau of ECR, ECR (Belgium), Anneliese Dodds, S&D (United Kingdom), Pascal Durand, Greens/EFA (France), Frank Engel, EPP (Luxembourg), Tanja Fajon, Vice-chair of S&D, S&D (Slovenia), José Ignácio Faria, ALDE (Portugal), Charles Goerens, ALDE (Luxembourg), Ana Gomes, S&D (Portugal), Nathalie Griesbeck, ALDE (France), Richard Howitt, S&D (United Kingdom), Danuta Huebner, Chair of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs, EPP (Poland), Yannick Jadot, Greens/EFA (France), Ivan Jakovčić, ALDE (Croatia), Eva Joly, Greens/EFA (France), Jude Kirton-Darling, S&D (United Kingdom), Stelios Kouloglou, Vice-Chair of the Committee on Development, GUE/NGL (Greece), Dr. Andrey Kovatchev, EPP (Bulgaria), Merja Kyllönen, GUE/NGL (Finland), Philippe Lamberts, Co-Chair of Greens/EFA, Greens/EFA (Belgium), Patrick Le Hyaric, Vice-Chair of GUE/NGL, GUE/NGL (France), Monica Macovei, ECR (Romania), Costas Mavrides, S&D (Cyprus), Louis Michel, Former European Commissioner for Science and Research Policy then for Development and Humanitarian Aid, former Belgian Deputy PM and Minister of Foreign Affairs, ALDE (Belgium), Claude Moraes, Chair of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, S&D (United Kingdom), Luigi Morgano, S&D (Italy), Maite Pagazaurtundúa, ALDE (Spain), Pier Antonio Panzeri, S&D (Italy), Demetris Papadakis, S&D (Cyprus), Sirpa Pietikainen, EPP (Finland), Soraya Post, S&D (Sweden), Christian Dan Preda, Vice-chair of the Subcommittee on Human Rights, EPP (Romania), Michèle Rivasi, Vice-Chair of Greens/EFA, Greens/EFA (France), Sofia Sakorafa, Member of the bureau of GUE/NGL, GUE/NGL (Greece), Marietje Schaake, ALDE, (Netherlands), Csaba Sógor, EPP (Romania), Helga Stevens, Vice-Chair of ECR, ECR (Belgium), Dr. Charles Tannock, ECR (United Kingdom), Marc Tarabella, ALDE (Belgium), Ernest Urtasun, Greens/EFA (Spain), Ivo Vajgl, ALDE (Slovenia), Bodil Valero, Greens/EFA (Sweden), Hilde Vautmans, ALDE (Belgium), Julie Ward, S&D (United Kingdom), Renate Weber, ALDE (Romania), Josef Weidenholzer, Vice-chair of S&D, S&D (Austria), Cecilia Wikström, Chair of the Committee on Petitions, ALDE (Sweden), Boris Zala, S&D (Slovakia), Gabriele Zimmer, Chair of GUE/NGL, GUE/NGL (Germany)
123 Members of National Parliaments, from 24 National Parliaments :
Alev Korun, MP, Chairperson of the Human Rights Committee in the National Council, The Greens – The Green Alternative, Ingrid Winkler, Senator, Vice-president of the Federal Council, SPÖ.
Dennis Gratz, MP, NS/HC, Ismet Osmanović, MP, SDA, Saša Magazinović, MP, SDP BiH, Šemsudin Mehmedović, MP, SDA.
Domagoj Hajduković, MP, Deputy Chairperson of the Committee on Human and National Minority Rights, SDP, Milorad Pupovac, MP, Vice-President of SDSS, SDSS, Veljko Kajtazi, MP, Independent.
Li Andersson, MP, First Vice-Chair of the VAS Parliamentary Group, VAS, Timo Harakka, MP, SDP, Jutta Urpilainen, MP, former Minister of Finance, former Deputy Prime Minister, Former chairperson of the SDP, SDP.
Michel Amiel, Senator, F13, David Assouline, Senator, Vice-President of the Commission of Culture, Education and Communication, PS, Danielle Auroi, MP, President of the Committee of European Affairs, EELV, Nicolas Bays, MP, Vice-President of the Commission of National Defense and Armed Forces, PS, Jean-Pierre Blazy, MP, PS, Valérie Boyer, MP, Fanélie Carrey-Conte, MP, PS, Luc Carvounas, Senator, Dominique Chauvel, MP, PS, Roland Courteau, Senator, Vice-President of the delegation for Women’s rights and the equality of opportunity between men and women, PS, Pascale Crozon, MP, PS, Fanny Dombre-Coste, MP, PS, Cécile Duflot, MP, Former Minister of Housing and Territorial Equality, EELV, Hervé Féron, MP, PS, Jean-Louis Gagnaire, MP, PS, Joëlle Garriaud-Maylam, Senator, PS, Joël Giraud, MP, PRG, Meyer Habib, MP, Vice-President of the study group on antisemitism, UDI, Razzy Hammadi, MP, PS, Sophie Joissains, Senator, UDI, Philippe Kaltenbach, Senator, PS, Claude Kern, Senator, UDI, Jean-Christophe Lagarde, MP, President of UDI, François-Michel Lambert, MP, PS, Noël Mamère, MP, EELV, Jean-Pierre Masseret, Senator, PS, Sandrine Mazetier, MP, Vice-President of the Assemblée Nationale, PS, Alain Milon, Senator, LR, Paul Molac, MP, PS, Philippe Noguès, MP, Independent, Christophe Premat, MP, PS, Francois Rochebloine, MP, UDI, Barbara Romagnan, MP, PS, Jean-Louis Roumégas, MP, EELV, Rudy Salles, MP, NC, Eva Sas, MP, Vice-President of the Commission of Finances, EELV, Gabriel Serville, MP, PSG, Pascal Terrasse, MP, PS, Nelly Tocqueville, Senator, PS, Catherine Troallic, MP, PS.
Marieluise Beck, MP, Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Die Grünen, Dr. Franziska Brantner, MP, President of the Subcommittee on Civilian Crisis Prevention, Conflict Resolution and networked action, Die Grünen, Dr. Karamba Diaby, Member of the Parliament, Deputy Chairman of the Committee for Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid, SPD, Barbara Hendricks, MP, SPD, Peter Meiwald, MP, Die Grünen.
Temur Maisuradze, MP, GDDG.
Fofi Gennimata, MP, President of PASOK, Former Deputy Minister of Health and Welfare.
Gerry Adams, MP, President of the Sinn Féin, SF, John Brady, MP, SF, Pat Buckley, MP, SF, Seán Crowe, MP, SF, David Cullinane, MP, SF, Pearse Doherty, MP, SF, Dessie Ellis, MP, SF, Martin Ferris, MP, SF, Kathleen Funchion, MP, SF, Martin Kenny, MP, SF, Mary Lou McDonald, MP, Vice-president of the SF, SF, Finian McGrath, MP, Independent, Denise Mitchell, MP, SF, Imelda Munster, MP, SF, Carol Nolan, MP, SF, Eoin Ó Broin, MP, SF, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin, MP, SF, Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire, MP, SF, Aengus Ó Snodaigh, MP, SF, Jonathan O'Brien, MP, SF, Louise O'Reilly, MP, SF, Thomas Pringle, MP, Independent, Maurice Quinlivan, MP, SF, Bríd Smith, MP, PBPA, Brian Stanley, MP, SF, Peadar Tóibín, MP, SF.
Michele Bordo, MP, President of the Committee of European Union Policies, PD, Vannino Chiti, Senator, President of the Committee of European Union Policies, Former Vice-President of the Italian Senate, PD, Luigi Manconi, Senator, President of the Special Commission for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights, PD, Maino Marchi, MP, PD, Elio Massimo Palmizio, MP, Secretary of the Commission of Defense, FI-PdL, Franco Panizza, Senator, Executive Secretary of PATT, PATT, Loredana De Petris, Senator, President of SEL Group in the Senate, SEL, Francesco Scalia, Senator, PD, Gea Schirò, MP, PD, Arturo Scotto, MP, Leader of SEL Party in Parliament, SEL, Mara Valdinosi, Senator, PD, Giorgio Zanin, MP, PD.
Marija Aušrinė Pavilionienė, MP, LSDR.
Yves Cruchten, MP, Secretary General of the Luxembourg Socialist Workers' Party, LSAP.
Aleksandar Nikoloski, MP, Vice President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, VMRO-DPMNE Party.
Hon. Joe Mizzi, MP, Minister of Transport and Infrastructures, PL.
Azra Jasavić, MP, PCG.
Linda Voortman, MP, Green Left.
Rasmus Hansson, MP, National Spokesperson for the Green Party, Green Party.
Jan Klawiter, MP, PiS, Marcin Święcicki, MP, Former Minister of Foreign Economic Affairs, PO.
Carles Mulet García, Senator, CC.
Said Abdu, MP, Liberal, Birgitta Ohlsson, MP, Former Minister of European Union Affairs, Liberal (Sweden).
Laurence Fehlmann Rielle, MP - National Council, PSS.
Garo Paylan, MP, HDP.
Hanna Hopko, MP, Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Independent.
United Kingdom :
Rt Hon Hilary Benn, Shadow Foreign Secretary, MP, Labour, Tom Brake, MP, Foreign Affairs Spokesperson and Chief Whip in the House of Commons for the Lib Dems, Lib Dems, Ruth Cadbury, MP, Labour, Rt Hon Frank Field, MP, Labour, Clive Lewis, MP, Labour, John McNally, MP, SNP, Rt Hon Andrew Mitchell, MP, Conservative, Steve Rotheram, MP, Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Leader of the Opposition, Labour, Tommy Sheppard, MP, Shadow SNP Spokesperson on the Cabinet Office in the House of the Commons, SNP, Michelle R. Thomson, MP, Independent.
European Parliament Political Groups :
ALDE – Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe
EPP – European People’s Party (Christian Democrats)
Greens/EFA - The Greens/European Free Alliance
GUE/NGL – Confederal Group of the European United Left – Nordic Green Left
S&D – Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats
ECR – European Conservatives and Reformists
National MPs political parties :
CC – Commitment Coalition (Spain)
Conservative – Conservative Party (United Kingdom)
Die Grünen – Alliance '90/The Greens (Germany)
EELV – Europe Ecology – The Greens (France)
F13 – La Force du 13 (France)
FI-PdL – Forza Italia - The People of Freedom
GDDG – Georgian Dream – Democratic Georgia (Georgia)
Green Left (Netherlands)
Green Party (Norway)
HDP – Peoples' Democratic Party
L – Liberals (Sweden)
Labour – Labour Party (United Kingdom)
Lib Dems – Liberal Democrats
LR – The Republicans (France)
LSAP – Luxembourg Socialist Workers' Party (Luxembourg)
LSDR – Social Democratic Party of Lithuania (Lithuania)
NC – New Center (France)
NS/HC – Our Party (Bosnia-Herzegovina)
PASOK – Panhellenic Socialist Movement (Greece)
PATT – Trentino Tyrolean Autonomist Party (Italy)
PBPA – People Before Profit Alliance (Ireland)
PCG – Positive Montenegro (Montenegro)
PD – Democratic Party (Italy)
PiS – Law and Justice (Poland)
PO – Civic Platform (Poland)
PRG – Radical Party of the Left (France)
PS – Socialist Party (France)
PSG – Guyanese Socialist Party (France)
PSS – Swiss Socialist Party
SDA - Party of Democratic Action (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
SDP – Social Democratic Party (Croatia)
SDP – Social Democratic Party of Finland (Finland)
SDP BiH – Social Democratic Party of Bosnia and Herzegovina
SDSS – Independent Democratic Serb Party (Croatia)
SEL – Left Ecology Freedom (Italy)
SF – Sinn Féin (Ireland)
SNP – Scottish National Party (United Kingdom)
SPD – Social Democratic Party (Germany)
SPÖ –Social Democratic Party (Austria)
The Greens – The Green Alternative (Austria)
UDI – The Union of Democrats and Independents (France)
VAS – Left Alliance (Finland)
VMRO-DPMNE – Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization – Democratic Party for Macedonian National Unity (Macedonia)