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Adama Dieng steps down as UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide

19 Aug 2020 13:42

After more than eight years as UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, Mr. Adama Dieng is stepping down to turn his focus “to strengthening transparency and rule of law across Africa as well as reinforcing the dialogue between civil society and major institutions in Africa”, announced the UN.

In his role, the Senegalese was a strong proponent of turning prevention from a concept to “a practical reality that can be implemented as the national and regional levels”. Mr Dieng’s mandate was marked by efforts such as establishing early warning methodology and verification protocols; making recommendations to the Security Council; advocating for the universal ratification of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime and Genocide: promoting a bottom-up approach to prevention and more recently, combatting hate speech.

A strong supporter of GAAMAC and its unique approach of convening both states and civil society to work on the prevention of atrocities, Mr. Dieng attended several GAAMAC Global Meetings. In 2016, during a plenary session at GAAMAC II in Manila, he called for all participants to brainstorm and formulate concrete proposals to prevent atrocities more effectively. This inspired many participants and ultimately led to the creation of GAAMAC’s regional initiatives from Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe and Latin America.

I loved the way he cooperated with joy and conviction and challenged the participants to come up with ideas for concrete results on the ground. The GAAMAC Africa Working Group ended up winning the prize for the best idea which they delivered and continue to do so!” remembers fondly Mô Bleeker, GAAMAC Chair.

Adama’s unconditional support was instrumental even before we began thinking about GAAMAC”, added Ms. Bleeker. “Besides ensuring that UN Secretary-General Gutteres was aware of this platform and encouraging its members to become more active, Adama’s encouragements and active presence were already felt as a strong support for the GAAMAC Community of Commitment”.

GAAMAC would like to warmly thank Mr. Dieng for his enthusiastic support and commitment since the very first steps of GAAMAC, as well as his constant attention to make prevention a reality on the ground.