Conference invitation: Kurdish Genocide Recognition in the Netherlands

25th Anniversary of the Halabja Massacre: Recognition as a Tool to Prevent Genocide

Monday, 18 March 2013, 13.00 – 17.00 – Nieuwspoort – Lange Poten 10,The Hague

The Hague, 7 March 2013 – The Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) is holding a conference about the  recognition  of  the  Iraqi  Kurdish  Genocide  on  18  March  2013  in  The  Hague,  to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Halabja Massacre. The conference will bring together academics, Kurdish Organizations, NGOs and politicians with an interest in the Kurdish question.

On 16 March 1988, Saddam Hussein unleashed a large scale chemical weapons attack against the rebellious Kurdish town of Halabja that caused for the deaths of at least 5000 civilians. 25 years later, the movement to recognize the exactions perpetrated against the Iraqi Kurds as genocide is finally gathering steam in the international arena. Several States have already embarked on the initiative, including Canada, France, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

The recognition of this event implicates the acknowledgement of the persecution of the Kurds and the terror inflicted upon them, as well as the lack of action by the international community to protect them and further bring to justice its perpetrators. During the first commemoration of the Halabja Massacre in 2009, the United Nations urged for its recognition as genocide to deter future atrocities. Therefore, the importance of this recognition lies also on the prevention of future acts of genocide.

In December 2012  keurde de gemeente Den Haag het plan om een monument te bouwen om de Halabja genocide te herdenken goed. De voortdurende inzet van de Gemeente Den Haag om mensenrechten te bevorderen hebben international aandacht gegeven aan de unieke positie als “Stad van Vrede en Recht”. Daarnaast is het hoofdkwartier van de Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapens,  diezelfde wapens die meer dan 5000 koerden hebben gedood in Halabja 25 jaar geleden, in Den Haag gevestigd. Deze unieke positie maakt Den Haag de perfect locatie voor een conferentie om de Halabja

2012 the city of The Hague approved a plan to build a monument commemorating the Halabja genocide. The city’s continuous efforts to promote human rights have brought international attention to its unique position as the “City of Peace and Justice”. Adding to this is the fact that The Hague hosts the headquarter of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the very weapons that killed more than 5000 Kurds in Halabja 25 years ago. This unique position makes The Hague the perfect location for a conference to commemorate the Halabja Massacre, raise awareness of genocide recognition as a tool against future exactions and facilitate the dialogue about recognition in the Netherlands.

More detailed information on the Conference will be available soon on and on our Facebook page. 

UNPO Office   Laan van Meerdervoort 70 – 2517 AN The Hague – The Netherlands

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