September 16, 2019
 In 2023-Definition of Genocide

Country: Belarus
Delegate Name: Phoebe Navin

Submitted To: Legal Committee
From: Belarus
Subject: Definition of Genocide

The nation of Belarus stands with the current definition of genocide yet believes that slight changes to the definition and enforcement must be made. Belarus is currently in agreement with the Genocide Convention of 1948 and has pledged to prevent and punish genocide in any circumstance. Yet the current definition of genocide is vague and occasionally faulty in identification and enforcement. To be able to punish and prevent this heinous crime correctly, slight changes need to be added to the current definition of genocide.
Recently, there has been an increasing number of accusations of genocide in diplomatic conflict. Although genocide can happen in such a circumstance, a war or political conflict doesn’t automatically constitute genocide. If the intent isn’t to eradicate and destroy, then the conflict isn’t genocide. Extreme accusations are often thrown out during times of conflict, eliminating the seriousness of this crime and delaying the reaction due to unsureness. Belarus believes it’s in the best interest of the UN to strengthen these definitions, instead of leaving much up to interpretation. This will shorten reaction time to actual genocide, and the UN can additionally spend more time on prevention instead of identification.
Additionally, Belarus is of the firm belief that it is in the UN’s best interest for the enforcement of genocide to extend to all lands, whether it is non-self-governing or not. Allowing some territories to not be included leaves room for legal genocide. As the UN creates a world attempting to eliminate genocide, why should non-self-governing territories be able to continue genocide-related practices? There is no reason; it simply allows genocide back into the world. It destroys the entire solution previously created. No matter the location, genocide must be stopped worldwide.
Belarus encourages other countries to amend the definition of genocide, leaving less up for interpretation. Identifying the motive as the difference between war crimes and genocide will make prevention and identification a faster process, leaving more time to eradicate the problem. Additionally, Belarus is concerned with Article Twelve and believes the best way is to eliminate it entirely because it only leads to more concealed “legal” genocide. A suitable resolution will consider amending the current definition and action plan to fit the concerns above, while also putting more emphasis on preventing genociding in any way possible.
The 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide is currently the most relevant document on genocide. Belarus and many other countries are all in agreement that “genocide, whether committed in time of peace or in time of war, is a crime under international law which they undertake to prevent and to punish”. The 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide holds the UN’s current opinions and definition of genocide, and little to no changes in the definition have happened to this document, a fact Belarus hopes to modify.
Belarus optimistically looks forward to discussing this topic and clarifying the terms so genocide can be quickly identified and prevented to the point of eradication. Belarus hopes to further this improvement in the definition through collaboration with other countries. Belarus is open to any and all revisions and hopes to collaborate with other countries to solve this ongoing problem and hopes their allies in the treaty will aid and collaborate to help improve the enforcement of genocide.


Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide 1948
Accessed 19 Nov. 2023

United Nations Treaty Collections: Status of Treaties
Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide 1948*1etlvsf*_ga*MTc2MTkwNjIzMy4xNjk4MzMzNzE5*_ga_TK9BQL5X7Z*MTcwMDE0MzMyMi42LjEuMTcwMDE0NDQwMS4wLjAuMA..#EndDec
Accessed 19 Nov. 2023

ICC: Situation in Ukraine
Accessed 19 Nov. 2023

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