Working Multilaterally To Prevent Genocide

Posted by Victoria Holt
March 28, 2013
Under Secretary Wendy Sherman and UN Special Adviser Adama Dieng Discuss Atrocity Prevention

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.



Kurt A.
United Kingdom
March 28, 2013

Kurt A. in the United Kingdom writes:

Given several Regions in more recent times have suffered numerous atrocities and also concerns of Genocide may I ask what would be those prioritized under discussions that I accept would be planned for the near future. Given concerns of Christians being senselessly killed by allowing religion based followers to the concerns of the more generalized Burma. Whilst these are duly noted what are the thoughts on future developments relating to Asia and the destabilized condition of on going conflicts.

John R.
March 28, 2013

Why dose the USA hate me so much

Constance C.
March 28, 2013

Constance Lynne C. in Iceland writes:

Please stop the genocidal atrocities in Syria! It's evil to sit back as the citizens in Syria beg for our and the world's intervention!

March 28, 2013

Vinaiooki in Italy writes:

Please stop organized Tamil genocide by Sri Lankan oppressive regime.

New Mexico, USA
March 29, 2013

Eric in New Mexico writes:

Well, if the internationmal community wants to prevent genocide, there's a sure-fire way to do that.

Just ban dictatorships, and prevent dictators from coming into power in the first place.

You'll find that there will be a lot less mental ilness present on the world stage, as well as a lot less conflict, political stupidity, human suffering, and folks threatening nuclear war whenever they want attention.

And if the international community and/or the US gov. is not willing to physicly remove the dictators now in power that are making war on their people, starving them, and committing atrocities in violation of their population's human rights;
Then be prepared to ask yourselves why folks didn't act sooner to take the action (military and otherwise) to remove them before so many people died needlessly, simply because the international community couldn't come to grips with the fact that diplomacy harly ever changes a dictator's calculus.

Don't just take my word for this as fact, you can check this statement with the State dept's chief historian if you'all need a reality check.

And I look at this following quote and while it is true...

“[p]reventing mass atrocities and genocide is a core national security interest and a core moral responsibility of the United States.” rings just a bit hollow while so many atrocities are committed across this planet on a daily basis by dictators with WMD's hell bent on causing the US to intervene in order to prevent genocide, and this government hasn't yet made the decision to put a stop to it, by every means, with every option available on and off "the table".

The President implied the other day basicly that "we're damed if we do and damned if we don't" in the eyes of public opinion when we intervene for humanitarian purposes or not...militarily.

Well, when did public opinion ever prevent this nation and its President from doing right by the people, regardless of nationality or how hard it may be to assure their right to live in peace and prosperity?

Or does genocide happen because it's politicly expedient to not take action militarily in time to prevent it, because some think maybe somehow more folks will be killed if folks act to intervene militarily to remove dictators from power, rather than if we don't (and not intervening is an action unto itself), and simply hope and pray dictators listen to diplomatic reason, all the while they are killing their people?

Well, nothing worthwile was ever achieved without some risk involved, but the risk involved in allowing these situations to continue is far greater than folks dare to imagine at the moment.

And you know darn well treating the symptoms of genocide with a humanitarian aid band-aid is not going to stop the slaughter of innocents. Nor does it in any way represent "doing enough", regardless of how many millions of dollars governments donate for relief or profess to place "pressure" on dictators to step aside from power.

Please, I'd really love it if the State dept spokesperson or any senior official with enough guts to answer these questions would post their response here, publicly.

As a US citizen, my job is to inspire my government to think and occasionally remind you'all that you work for us, the American people. But in the 21st century,this gov. has an admitted publicly stated obligation to all people on this planet, and as it regards ever allowing genocide to take place...this government must answer to all must every government ultimately.

So the least you folks can do is try and answer a rather complicated question of moral certitude directly and uniquivocably, when so many lives are at stake in the world.

History will not tolerate excuses why folks have failed to act when the evidence has been before them for some time now, I hope you'all understand this and work to pre-empt a greater tragedy to come, involving the use of WMD's in the hands of dictators.

And if not now, when?


March 29, 2013

Abrahams in Uganda writes:

Atrocities prevention is a very wise strategy to combat and ensure that human rights are proactively prevented. I wish to focus my views on Syria and what is happening there. It is pretty obvious that several atrocities have been committed against the Syrian people. Why is the US on one hand and the rest of the world hesitant to intervene in this conflict. Do we surely need to wait for for example the use of chemical weapons like some world leaders have appeared to suggest, in order to justify intervention in this conflict? Its pretty clear that the government of the day is determined to use force to force its continuity and sustainability. What sort of precedent is being set in this particular case? No government should ever be allowed to act criminally towards its citizens. And if the world minds about peace and human rights, isn't it contradictory that our position regarding the conflict in Syria suggests otherwise.

Let the world led by Countries like the US and others take a more responsible position regarding the events in Syria. The sooner the intervention, the better for especially the Syrians who continue to suffer at the hands of Assad who is legally obligated to protect the Syrian people.

April 2, 2013

Mahmood in Bangladesh writes:

Power hunkers goes for genocide to hold power illegally... peoples sentiment and emotions should never be over rulled....Created Leaders make Protracted funs with the fate of the people.....Restore peoples right,,,,,,,,,,


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