It has been 50 years since the United Nations first recognized the need to establish an international criminal court, to prosecute crimes such as genocide. In resolution 260 of 9 December 1948, the General Assembly, "Recognizing that at all periods of history genocide has inflicted great losses on humanity; and being convinced that, in order to liberate mankind from such an odious scourge, international co-operation is required", adopted the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. Article I of that convention characterizes genocide as "a crime under international law", and article VI provides that persons charged with genocide "shall be tried by a competent tribunal of the State in the territory of which the act was committed or by such international penal tribunal as may have jurisdiction . . ." In the same resolution, the General Assembly also invited the International Law Commission "to study the desirability and possibility of establishing an international judicial organ for the trial of persons charged with genocide . . ."