TRENTON – A resolution sponsored by Senators Joseph V. Doria, Jr. and Loretta Weinberg that would designate May 19-25, 2006 as “Genocide Awareness Week” in New Jersey was unanimously approved today by the Senate State Government Committee.
“Too often in our world, acts of unspeakable violence are perpetrated against a people in the name of genocide or ethnic cleansing,” said Senator Doria, D-Hudson. ” The same basic pattern follows, whether you’re talking about Nazi Germany or the Darfur region of the Sudan. Genocide destabilizes the bonds that hold us together in the brotherhood of humanity, and the free world has an obligation to oppose any attempts to eradicate an ethnic group for political, racial or religious reasons.”
“The issue of genocide is one that affects us all, no matter who is being targeted,” said Senator Weinberg, D-Bergen. “Genocide is defined as the deliberate and systematic destruction of a group of people. Right now in Darfur, Sudan millions of people are fighting for their lives; they are trying to protect themselves and their families from attempted rape, murder and other horrific acts perpetrated by renegade groups. It is our responsibility as human beings to look out for our fellow man, and do all we can to increase awareness of this issue, to help put a stop to the killing, and to make sure that no other group of people has to endure such barbaric acts.”
The Senators’ resolution, SR-31, would establish the “Genocide Awareness Week” in order to focus attention on the issue of genocide, to establish policies and programs to increase awareness of crises around the globe and to prevent future attempts of genocide. The resolution would call on the Governor to issue a proclamation requesting that public officials and citizens observe the week with activities and programs aimed at teaching the public about the effects of genocide.
This measure now heads to the full Senate for consideration.