Mar 06, 2013

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

UNPO is holding a conference about the recognition of the Kurdish Genocide on 18 March 2013 in The Hague.

Monday, 18 March 2013, 13.00 - 17.00

Nieuwspoort - Lange Poten 10,The Hague


The Hague, 6 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 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 information on the Conference will be available soon on and on our Facebook page



Monday, 18 March 2013, 13.00 - 17.00

13: 30 – Opening statement

- Mr. Marino Busdachin, Secretary General UNPO


13.45 – Panel I: The Halabja Massacre: 25 years later

- 25th Commemoration of the Halabja Massacre

Mr. Bakir Lashkari, Halabja Committee & Foundation Halabja Monument

- Kurdish advocacy on Genocide recognition

Mr. Latif Tali, Federatie Koerden in Nederland (FedKom) (Dutch) 

 - Mr. Keywan Faramarzi, Komala (Dutch)

- The Halabja and Anfal Operation: the causes and consequences & the role of the international community. (Dutch)

Dr. Mariwan Kanie, University of Amsterdam



15.15 – Panel II: The Necessity to Recognize Genocide in the Netherlands

-   Differences between the legal definition of genocide and genocide in the public imagination H. van der Wilt, expert in Genocide studies

-   Passions and expects of the People of Halabja 25 years after the genocide

Mr.Abdollah Hejab, Representative of the Iranian Kurdistan and member of the UNPO Presidency

-  Dutch country visits to chemical attacks locations

Mr. Khass Naseri, expert on religious minorities in Kurdistan

- Personal message of the governor of Halabja (read out)

- Achieving political recognition of genocide

Drs. Harry van Bommel, Member of the Dutch Parliament (SP)



17:00 Conference Close

UNPO Office                       

Laan van Meerdervoort 70

2517 AN The Hague

The Netherlands

Tel: +31 (0)70 3646504

Email: [email protected]