Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum

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Harry S. Truman
1945-1953


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Provided courtesy of The American Presidency Project.  John Woolley and Gerhard Peters. University of California, Santa Barbara.
  121. Special Message to the Senate Transmitting Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide  
June 16, 1949

To the Senate of the United States:

With a view to receiving the advice and consent of the Senate to ratification, I transmit herewith a certified copy of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, adopted unanimously by the General Assembly of the United Nations in Paris on December 9, 1948, and signed on behalf of the United States on December 11, 1948.

The character of the Convention is explained in the enclosed report of the Acting Secretary of State. I endorse the recommendations of the Acting Secretary of State in his report and urge that the Senate advise and consent to my ratification of this Convention.

In my letter of February 5, 1947, transmitting to the Congress my first annual report on the activities of the United Nations and the participation of the United States therein, I pointed out that one of the important achievements of the General Assembly's First Session was the agreement of the Members of the United Nations that genocide constitutes a crime under international law. I also emphasized that America has long been a symbol of freedom and democratic progress to peoples less favored than we have been and that we must maintain their belief in us by our policies and our acts.

By the leading part the United States has taken in the United Nations in producing an effective international legal instrument outlawing the world-shocking crime of genocide, we have established before the world our firm and clear policy toward that crime. By giving its advice and consent to my ratification of this Convention, which I urge, the Senate of the United States will demonstrate that the United States is prepared to take effective action on its part to contribute to the establishment of principles of law and justice.
HARRY S. TRUMAN

NOTE: The United States is not a party to the Convention. As of July 1964 it was still pending before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

The text of the Convention is printed in the Department of State Bulletin (vol. 19, p. 756) and in Executive O (81st Cong., 1st sess.). The report of James E. Webb, Acting Secretary of State, is printed in the Department of State Bulletin (vol. 21, p. 844).
 
Provided courtesy of The American Presidency Project.  John Woolley and Gerhard Peters. University of California, Santa Barbara.