Ethics & International Affairs Volume 11 (1997): Articles: The United States and the Genocide Convention: Leading Advocate and Leading Obstacle [Abstract]

Dec 4, 1997

While the United States is now an international leader in the fight against genocide and human rights abuses, it only recently ratified the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide—forty years after the convention's unanimous adoption by the UN General Assembly. Korey provides a description of the long struggle for ratification of the Genocide Convention, detailing decades of work by a committee of fifty-two nongovernmental organizations lobbying the Senate and the American Bar Association, the treaty's key opponent. Despite the public support for the United Nations and human rights by the United States, failure to ratify the Genocide Convention stemmed primarily from the fear that international covenants were threats to U.S. sovereignty. The United States finally overcame this fear with the ratification of the Genocide Convention in 1988, which opened the door for U.S. leadership.

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