The Macksey Journal


This paper traces the relationship between the Cold War Era and the United States' refusal to ratify the U.N. Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide treaty within the time period of 1948-1989. While both the Cold War and the Genocide Treaty have been heavily studied, their relationship has not been well explored. In this paper, I argue that the Cold War was the main reason for the refusal to ratify the Genocide Treaty that the United States had originally been a huge part of crafting. Through using primary sources from government officials from each decade as well as secondary scholarly sources on the Cold War and the Genocide Convention I aim to show that factors such as rivalry and paranoia between the United States and the Soviet Union led to the failure of ratification. The perspective of the Soviet Union during this time is also discussed in order to point out that both sides experienced this paranoia.