with Dr. Payam Akhavan.

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Unlike natural disasters, genocide is a political choice. It can thus be predicted and prevented. The UN has repeatedly failed to intervene against on-going genocide, in Bosnia, Rwanda, and Darfur. The political cost of armed intervention is usually prohibitive where narrow national interests are not involved. The time to act is before manageable conflict escalates into genocidal violence. An emphasis on early warning and modest measures such as ending incitement to hatred through radio broadcasts in Ivory Coast, or preventive deployment of peacekeepers as in Macedonia, point to a new direction for confronting this central challenge to the world community.

PAYAM AKHAVAN, Professor of International Law, McGill University, served as UN war crimes prosecutor, The Hague, and counsel before the World Court, is co-founder of the Iran Human Rights Documentation Centre, chair of the Global Conference on Prevention of Genocide, author of a UN Report on Prevention of Genocide, and Co-Produced “Genos.Cide: The Great Challenge”