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ICTR Registrar Adama Dieng Appointed UN Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide

The Secretary-General of the United Nations Mr. Ban Ki-moon has appointed Mr. Adama Dieng of Senegal, currently serving as Registrar of the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), as his Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide. The appointment was announced yesterday in New York.

Mr. Dieng will replace Francis Deng of Sudan, who has served in the post since 2007. 

As a legal and human rights expert, Mr. Dieng has a distinguished career in contributing to the strengthening of rule of law, fighting impunity and promoting capacity building in the area of judicial and democratic institutions, including through fact-finding missions, publications and media.

He has also contributed to the establishment of several non-governmental organizations in Africa. He served as Secretary-General of the International Commission of Jurists, UN Independent Expert for Haiti; and Envoy of the UN Secretary-General to Malawi. He was the driving force behind the establishment of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the drafting of the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption.

Mr. Dieng possesses experience in working with a number of international organizations, including the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

The Office of the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide was set up in 2004 in recognition of the international community’s collective failure to prevent or stop past genocides. It is tasked by the Security Council with collecting and assessing information on situations that might lead to genocide.

The said Office is also mandated to advise the Secretary-General and, through him, the Security Council, and make recommendations to prevent or halt genocide, as well as to liaise with the UN system on preventive measures and enhance the UN’s capacity to analyze and manage information on genocide or related crimes.

Mr. Adama Dieng was born on 22 May 1950. He began his career as Registrar of the Regional and Labour Courts in Senegal in 1973, and then served as Registrar of the Supreme Court of Senegal for six years. In 1982, he joined the International Commission of Jurists where he served successively as Legal Officer for Africa, Executive Secretary and, from October 1990 to May 2000 as Secretary-General.

On 26 January 2001, he was appointed Registrar of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda by the Secretary-General of the United Nations. He took up his duties on 1 March 2001. He has served the ICTR for three consecutive terms spearheading internal administrative reforms, vigorous diplomatic outreach and groundbreaking achievements in the management of an ad hoc Tribunal in the field of international criminal justice. He has further immensely contributed to the successful discharge of the ICTR mandate and the implementation of its Completion Strategy.

This appointment has highlighted the overall achievements of the ICTR, which has become, over the years, the cradle of legal luminaries and professionals, who are currently making notable contributions to the shinning and the triumph of International Criminal Justice, the Rule of Law and the Respect for Human Rights. These key components are instrumental in the fight against impunity and the consolidation of global peace and international security. Among these are, the former Presidents of the Tribunal Judge Navanethem Pillay, who is the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Judge Erik Møse of the European Court of Human Rights and Judge Sir Charles Michael Dennis Byron, President of the Caribbean Court of Justice; Prosecutor Hassan Bubacar Jallow now Prosecutor of the UN Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals of the ICTR; Ms Fatou Bensouda, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC); Judge Robert Fremir, and Mr. Chile Eboe-Osuji, Judges of the ICC, Ms. Silvania Arbia, Registrar of ICC, Mr. Didier Daniel Preira, Deputy Registrar of ICC; Mr. Fredrik Harhoff, Mr. Antoine Kesia-Mbe Mindua and Ms. Prisca Nyambe, ad-litem Judges of the ICTY; and Mr. Jean Pelé Fomété, Registrar of the United Nations Dispute Tribunal (UNDT). Others who have become prominent judicial leaders in their national jurisdictions are Mr. Lovemore G. Munlo, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Appeal of Malawi, Judge Asoka De Silva, Chief Justice of Sri Lanka, and Mr. Mohamed Chande Othman, Chief Justice of The United Republic of Tanzania.

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