On 21 September, the United States Institute of Peace hosted a public event to help launch a new report from the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies (MIGS), based at Concordia University, Mobilizing the Will to Intervene: Leadership and Action to Prevent Mass Atrocities. Video files of the event are now available on this page.

On 21 September, the United States Institute of Peace hosted a public event to help launch a new report from the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies (MIGS), based at Concordia University, Mobilizing the Will to Intervene: Leadership and Action to Prevent Mass Atrocities.

The report is the product of the Will to Intervene (W2I) Project, a research initiative created by Lieut. General (retired) Roméo Dallaire and Professor Frank Chalk, Director of MIGS, and led by Kyle Matthews, which aims to operationalize the principles of the Responsibility to Protect. More than 80 interviews were conducted with high-level policy makers, members of Congress, NGO representatives, and journalists, some for the first time on record. Drawing on the lessons learned from the 1994 Rwandan Genocide and the 1999 Kosovo crisis, the report makes key recommendations to government officials, legislators, civil society and the media in the United States and Canada to generate the political will to prevent mass atrocities.

After Prof. Chalk briefly introduced the report's findings, the panel with Gen. Dallaire and former senior U.S. government officials discussed the report’s policy proposals and the challenges of mobilizing the domestic will in the U.S. to prevent mass atrocities.

Speakers

Video Archive

For further information on the W2I Project please visit http://migs.concordia.ca.

Copies of the report can be downloaded at http://migs.concordia.ca/W2I/W2I_Project.html.

Latest Publications

Mobilization, Negotiation, and Transition in Burkina Faso

Mobilization, Negotiation, and Transition in Burkina Faso

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

By: Eloïse Bertrand

In October 2014, a massive popular uprising unseated Burkina Faso’s long-time president, Blaise Compaoré, and drove a civilian-led transition that culminated in free and fair elections in November 2015. This report shows the importance of the national culture of dialogue and consensus and the benefit of a vast, resilient network across negotiating groups. Although violence in the country has since increased, lessons from Burkina Faso’s transition can inform the dynamics of popular mobilization, negotiations, and prospects for long-term peace and democracy in other settings.

Type: Special Report

Nonviolent Action

South Sudan: From 10 States to 32 States and Back Again

South Sudan: From 10 States to 32 States and Back Again

Monday, March 1, 2021

By: Matthew Pritchard; Aly Verjee

Last year, South Sudan reintroduced 10 subnational states in South Sudan, in place of the 32 states controversially created in 2017. Far from being an obscure matter of administrative organization, the initial, dramatic redivision of territory in the midst of protracted violence and large-scale displacement had a significant impact on representation, as well as social, economic, and political relations throughout the country. In 2018-19, researchers commissioned by USIP sought to better understand the decision-making process behind the creation of the 32 states in South Sudan. Researchers Matthew Pritchard and Aly Verjee discuss their findings in light of current developments.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & Governance

Breaking the Stalemate: Biden Can Use the U.S.-Taliban Deal to Bring Peace

Breaking the Stalemate: Biden Can Use the U.S.-Taliban Deal to Bring Peace

Thursday, February 25, 2021

By: Scott Worden

On the eve of the one-year anniversary of the U.S.-Taliban agreement, Afghanistan remains unfortunately far away from peace. The historic agreement paved the way for a full U.S. withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan and the start of intra-Afghan talks on a political settlement of the conflict. As the May 1 withdrawal deadline nears, the Biden administration is undertaking a rapid Afghanistan policy review to determine its overall strategy toward the slow-moving intra-Afghan negotiations in Doha, Qatar. A key reason for the lack of movement in talks is that both sides are anxiously waiting to see what Biden decides. 

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Peace Processes

Months After Protests, Nigeria Needs Police Accountability

Months After Protests, Nigeria Needs Police Accountability

Thursday, February 25, 2021

By: Emily Cole

In Nigeria and more than a dozen nations—the United States, Brazil and Japan are others—public protests erupted in the past year against police brutality. Across the globe, police violence traumatizes the marginalized, spares the powerful and remains unaddressed until the abuse is illuminated to broad public view. While brutality is typically rooted among a minority of officers, it persists because weak systems of police accountability offer impunity, even to repeat offenders. In Nigeria, as in other countries, the solution will require building strong accountability mechanisms—both within police agencies and externally, in the communities they serve.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Justice, Security & Rule of Law; Democracy & Governance

Libya: Amid Hope for Peace, Regional Rifts Still Pose Hurdles

Libya: Amid Hope for Peace, Regional Rifts Still Pose Hurdles

Friday, February 26, 2021

By: Simona Ross; Stefan Wolff

Libyans and the United Nations advanced their current effort to end almost a decade of instability and war this month when a U.N.-backed forum nominated an interim government to prepare nationwide elections by the end of 2021. The new transitional government brings hope that this process—the third major U.N. peace effort in Libya—might lead to stability. Still, achieving lasting peace will require that the process address the main underlying driver of conflict: the divisions among Libya’s three main regions, notably over how to organize the government. It also will need the United States and other countries to support the transitional government and hold Libya’s contesting sides accountable.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Peace Processes; Democracy & Governance

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