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The Second Voksenaasen statement 2008


"Beyond Horror" (2008)

See below for FRENCH VERSION


On 17 November 2007 the first Voksenaasen Statement concluded a dialogue conference on genocide as ‘a first initial step towards further reflections and explorations’. A year later, this second conference in the ‘Genocide-Mass Violence Series’ focused particularly on the cases of Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Sixty years after the adoption of the Genocide Convention by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 9th December 1948 we are witnessing institutionalized ways to prosecute perpetrators for the first time in more than 50 years since the Nuremberg trials. However, the scope of such courts and justice remains limited. They often depend upon the political will of those who take decisions mainly if not exclusively guided by their own interests, which are vested in economic, military and political strength. Such bias points to the limitations of the notions of both genocide and reconciliation. In the absence of a more comprehensive and binding way to deal with these and other forms of mass violence and crimes against humanity action will remain selective. It is vested in a concept of international law, whose application remains often limited to its Eurocentric roots.

A global notion of justice, which should be a guiding principle and applicable in all cases where large scale violations of basic human rights occur, is confronted with and limited by the restrictions created through claims for sole control over domestic jurisdiction, national law and state sovereignty. This corresponds at times with a scandalously unashamed degree of disinterest bordering on negligence if not complicity, when decisive acts to prevent further and end ongoing atrocities are lacking.

The political will of the international community to take decisive action is a prerequisite to prevent worse to come. Such intervention has to be based on a clearly formulated and binding mandate to act accordingly. If a responsibility to protect by the international community of states wants to have the undivided recognition, legitimacy and respect, it must be a universally applicable concept, which does not exclude particular cases due to individual interests of those having a large degree of power in the decision making process. All human beings everywhere are entitled to protection. The violation of fundamental human rights has to be equally condemned in all cases where human beings suffer from oppression, neglect, marginalization, violence and other forms of terror. A truly United Nations would need to provide the adequate participation of all in a system, which cares about the well being of all people in this world and expects unconditional compliance with the codified law in existence especially by those, who are claiming the moral high grounds and pose as the gatekeepers and watchdogs in matters of human rights and democracy.

Efforts towards a further democratization of the United Nations as the governing institution over global matters of concern should be an integral part of seeking more constructive and effective ways to protect a growing number of people from further suffering and destruction not only but also through direct forms of mass violence executed. Continental and sub-regional bodies, such as the African Union and SADC, should also be challenged to meet their obligations: they ought to reduce suffering and contribute to human security and the welfare of the people instead of remaining loyal to other governments and heads of states despite the lack of performance and legitimacy.

By seeking to understand the complexities of each specific, multi-layered and –dimensional situation in which mass destruction of human and other life is initiated, promoted, executed, tolerated and ignored, we are also trying to establish a common platform for action. We need to acknowledge a set of shared values and norms as a guiding principle and to act jointly against the passive acceptance of such fundamental, large-scale violation of human rights. As human beings, our loyalty and solidarity should always remain with other human beings. Our solidarity should be in the first place with the most vulnerable and abused. Women and children therefore require our special care and concern.  We therefore will focus our concerns in the third conference to follow in this series especially on the situation and rights of children.

In pursuance of such goals, our deliberations and discussions have remained loyal to what we have stated last year: ‘THE ONLY HEGEMONY ACCEPTABLE IS THE HEGEMONY OF HUMAN RIGHTS-BASED IDEALS SERVING ALL PEOPLE OF THIS WORLD AS HUMAN BEINGS IN THEIR EQUAL AND UNDIVIDED RIGHTS.


Oslo, 21 November 2008


French version:


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II ème déclaration de Voksenaasen (2008)

Le 17 nov. 2007, la déclaration de Voksenaasen a parvenue à instaurer une conférence de dialogue sur le génocide consideré comme première étape décisive dans la médiation et l’exploration.

Une année après, la deuxième conférence sur les génocides étniques et sur les escalades des violences qui ont mis en péril des milliens des vies particulièrement le cas du Rwanda et de la République Démocratique du Congo.

60 ans après l’adoption de la convention sur le génocide par l’assemblée générale des Nations Unies, nous sommes témoins de changement opéré. Entre autre l’institutionalisation des certaines mesures.

Après les enquêtes de Nuremberg, pour la première fois 50 ans plus tard, nous constatons l’application des mesures sérieuses pour traduire en justice les criminels

Néamoins les possibilités de ces tribinaux et de cour de justice sont limitées car elles dépendent de la volonté politique qui a intérêt dans le système économique, militaire et l’ambiance politique. Ces facteurs déterminent les limitations de la notion globale de la justice qui doit servir de guide, cependant cette notion globale de la justice est violée, elle n’est pas respectée.

Le grand problème reside à ce que certains abus echappent au contrôle exercé par la juridiction domestique, les lois nationales et la sauverainété de l’État

La volonté politique de la communauté internationales veut prévenir les massacres futurs. Les lois et ordonnances prises par la communauté internationale doivent être fondées sur les decisions prises et des conditions recquises

La résponsabilité que la communauté internationale s’est assigné (dans ce cas de génocide) ne peut être reconnue et respecter que si elle est impartial et équitable, mais aussi l’objectivité des decideurs dans la communauté intérnationale est très important

Toute personne a la responsabilité de proteger, s’il ose violer le droit de l’homme, qui qu’il soit, doit être également poursuivi, condamné ou traduit en justice aussi longtemps qu’il a opprimé, violé, négligé ou autre acte de crime. Les Nations Unis doivent prendre la responsabilité de faire respecter les lois et les ordonnances qui sont arrêtés pour proteger l’être humain

Avec l’analyse de ce qui se passe, nous essayons de nous constituer en plat-forme pour mieux comprendre les abus causés par l’être humain, contre son semblable.  Nous devons reconnaitre les valeurs et les normes pour bien agir en conséquence afin de faire respecter le droit . Et en cas de violation, nous devons être interpeler et agir

En tant être humain nous devons manifester notre loyauté et notre solidarité envers nos semblables et non pas au gouvernement ou à l’État. Notre solidarité doit être diriger d’abord envers les gens les plus vulnérables. La troisième conférance, mettra plus l’accent sur les droits des enfants.

En continuant dans cette même optique, ceci prouve que nous restons fideles à ce qui a été déclaré l’année passée, par la poursuite de nos objectifs, nos discussions, nos déliberations et surtout en s’alignant derrière la déclaration de l’année passée qui stipule ce qui suit : “ NOUS DEVONS TOUJOURS CONTINUER À SERVIR, TOUT LE MONDE, COMME ÊTRE HUMAIN DANS ÉGALITÉ ET AYANT TOUS LES MÊMES DROITS“


Voksenaasen 21 Novembre 2008


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