On Tuesday, March 26, the UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide Adama Dieng came to Washington, D.C. to discuss efforts for atrocity prevention with Under Secretary for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman and other senior U.S. officials, briefing on his work internationally and thanking the United States for its establishment of the Atrocities Prevention Board (APB) by President Obama.
In my meeting with Special Adviser Dieng, we stressed the importance of working closely with the United Nations, multilateral--as well as bilateral--partners on preventing genocide and mass atrocities, before they occur.
During a full day of consultations, Special Adviser Dieng also met with State and inter-agency participants in the work of the Atrocities Prevention Board--including the Bureau of International Organization Affairs, the Office of Global Criminal Justice, the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, the Department of Justice, Department of Defense and the Multilateral and Human Rights Directorate of the National Security Staff--and expressed his appreciation for the APB's work both on specific country situations and on bringing attention to the issue from the U.S. government. The Office of the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide and the U.S. government share joint interests, including training, early warning and prevention. The visit highlighted areas for increased U.S.-UN cooperation, and areas for strengthening overall capacity in the atrocity prevention realm, such as enhancing the tools available to peacekeeping operations, better cooperation with UN actors, and supporting prevention efforts by regional and sub-regional organizations.
The Atrocities Prevention Board , established by President Obama through Presidential Study Directive 10, August 4, 2011, is a high-level, interagency board that meets monthly to address emerging atrocity threats and develop better tools and policies on atrocity prevention and response strategies for the U.S. government. It is founded upon the principle that “[p]reventing mass atrocities and genocide is a core national security interest and a core moral responsibility of the United States.”
Originally from Senegal, Special Adviser Dieng served as the Registrar of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda from 2001 until he took up this post in July 2012. He was also the Secretary-General of the International Commission of Jurists for ten years.