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Switzerland ratifies U.N. genocide convention

The Swiss parliament has ratified the U.N. genocide convention, which has already been ratified by 129 other nations and is one of the most broadly-accepted international conventions.

This content was published on December 8, 1999 - 12:15

The Swiss parliament has ratified the U.N. genocide convention, which has already been ratified by 129 other nations and is one of the most broadly-accepted international conventions.

The House of Representatives on Wednesday voted unanimously to adopt the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. It was approved by the U.N. General Assembly in 1948 and came into force in 1951.

Swiss ratification became possible after legal amendments were adopted, making genocide a crime and listing prison terms for violations of between ten years and life.

Swiss Foreign Minister Joseph Deiss underlined that, for years, Switzerland had observed the spirit of the convention. But he welcomed the fact that his country had finally joined the international community in this realm.

The United Nations defines genocide as “acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group.”

Conspiracy to commit genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide, attempt to commit genocide and complicity in genocide are all also considered crimes by international standards.

From staff and wire reports.

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