Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy spoke Tuesday at the International Conference for the Prevention of Genocide in Brussels, encouraging “maximum efforts to avoid sectarian conflict”.
The conference, held to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide that left between half a million and a million dead, was attended by over 100 countries and Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-Moon.
During his speech, Fahmy called genocide “a stain on humanity” which stands in opposition to “the United Nations 1948 Convention on the Prevention of the Crime of Genocide, which [was] joined and ratified by 144 member states.”
The Egyptian foreign minister then noted that many underdeveloped and developing nations “lack the tools, technical and human resources, and institutions that enable them to develop national strategies to address the factors that lead to this heinous crime,” according to a statement released by the ministry.
Fahmy said some of the factors include incitement to violence, hate speech, discrimination, as well as economic factors. Fahmy then suggested that “the world has become more closely intertwined through social networks [which] are exploited for dissemination of hate speech and incitement to violence”. Social networking has recently come under fire in Egypt as the Ministry of Interior has recently started monitoring online social media pages which it believes incite violence against the police or army, arresting dozens of people for posting videos of police cars burning or personal information of security officials.
The foreign minister concluded that “the international community should shoulder responsibility” in preventing genocide, but added that all countries should adhere to the principal of “sovereignty-based responsibility”.
Fahmy is in Brussels for the fourth European Union-Africa summit.
The theme of this summit is “Investing in People, Prosperity, and Peace”, and will cover topics “including peace, security, investment, climate change and migration”. Previous summits took place in Cairo (2000), Lisbon (2007) and Tripoli (2010).