Conclusion: Genocide and Mass Atrocities in Asia
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The legacy of genocide and mass atrocities in Asia is profound. Genocides, mass killings, human-induced famines and the extreme violence associated with nation building have resulted in tens of millions of deaths in the post World War II period. As this volume demonstrates, the impact of this violence - not only on the nations directly affected but on the region as a whole - should not be underestimated. For nations that have experienced genocide and mass atrocities, the rebuilding process is one that spans decades and generations. Such extreme violence severely compromises fundamental physical, social and societal structures, leading to extreme poverty and underdevelopment, a legacy of impunity for perpetrators, and vast numbers of refugees and displaced persons. Even decades later, nations such as China, East Timor and Cambodia struggle to recover from the economic and societal consequences of the mass atrocities they experienced. Some of these countries, such as East Timor and Cambodia, have also sought to address their past through transitional justice processes, as contributors Alex Hinton and Heather Castel have elucidated. Such redress appears unlikely in Indonesia, as contributor Annie Pohlman has discussed, and elsewhere. Furthermore, these legacies also reverberate at the international level, as contributors Phil Orchard and Deborah Mayersen have discussed. The failure of the United Nations to respond decisively to mass atrocities in Asia, and the failure of key legal instruments such as the Genocide Convention to facilitate such a response, have contributed to a history of ineffective international responses to extreme violence in Asia.