Leading experts discussed the state of atrocity prevention as a growing field of peacebuilding theory and practice.

In 2017, a half-million Rohingya fled attacks on their homes in Burma. Eight million face starvation amid Yemen’s war. Atrocities against civilians continue in Syria, South Sudan and elsewhere. What lessons did we learn from the Holocaust – if any? And how can we strengthen norms and institutions to prevent future atrocities more effectively? On January 30, USIP hosted a discussion on the state of atrocity prevention with leading experts.

In recent decades we have seen new commitments to protect civilians from mass atrocities. Still, policymakers face obstacles. They may lack access to areas at risk, or leverage over possible perpetrators. So how can we translate political commitments into timely and effective practice? Is it possible to identify risk and prevent mass violence before it erupts? How can justice mechanisms help ensure accountability and prevent future mass violence?

The conversation continued online at #SwissIHRAseries.

Speakers

Ambassador Princeton Lyman, Welcome 
Senior Advisor to the President,  U.S. Institute of Peace

Ambassador Martin Dahinden, Opening Remarks
Ambassador of Switzerland to the United States of America

Jonas Claes, Moderator
Senior Program Officer, U.S. Institute of Peace

Mô Bleeker
Special Envoy for Dealing with the Past and the Prevention of Atrocities, Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs 

Lawrence Woocher 
Research Director, Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum

Menachem Rosensaft
General Council, World Jewish Congress

Connect with us!

Embassy of Switzerland in the United States of America 
Instagram: @swissembassyusa
Twitter: @SwissEmbassyUSA

United States Institute of Peace
Instagram: @USIPeace
Twitter: @USIP 

Related Publications

Want more accountability for the Taliban? Give more money for human rights monitoring.

Want more accountability for the Taliban? Give more money for human rights monitoring.

Thursday, September 29, 2022

By: Belquis Ahmadi;  Scott Worden

Ahead of the U.N. General Assembly last week, U.N. Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Afghanistan Richard Bennett released his first report grading the Taliban’s treatment of Afghans’ rights. It was an F. In the past year, the Taliban have engaged in a full-scale assault on Afghan’s human rights, denying women access to public life, dismantling human rights institutions, corrupting independent judicial processes, and engaging in extralegal measures to maintain control or to exact revenge for opposition to their rule. That is one of the main reasons — along with their continued support of al-Qaida and a refusal to form a more inclusive government — that Afghanistan has no representation at the U.N.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Human RightsJustice, Security & Rule of Law

Four Ways to Include Conflict-Related Sexual Violence in Atrocity Prevention

Four Ways to Include Conflict-Related Sexual Violence in Atrocity Prevention

Thursday, September 29, 2022

By: Lauren Baillie;  Kathleen Kuehnast, Ph.D.;  Mikaylah Ladue

Conflict-related sexual violence is not only an indicator of rising atrocity risk — it can also constitute an atrocity crime itself. And while the U.S. government has implemented conflict-related sexual violence response efforts, concurrent international efforts on the issue offer a solid foundation for the United States to go beyond responding to these crimes and toward prevention.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Conflict Analysis & PreventionGenderHuman Rights

To Build a Unified Resistance and Democratic Myanmar, Discrimination Must End

To Build a Unified Resistance and Democratic Myanmar, Discrimination Must End

Thursday, September 8, 2022

By: Billy Ford;  Aung Ko Ko

Early on the morning of Myanmar’s February 2021 coup, Mya Aye, a prominent Muslim activist, was one of the first arrested by the new junta regime. Since then, thousands more have been imprisoned or killed by the regime, including dozens of Muslims, like prominent student leader Wai Moe Naing, and other marginalized minorities who have fought against the military junta alongside other ethnic and religious groups. Although the resistance shares a common enemy in the brutal junta, it has yet to fully embrace a vision for a more inclusive country that overcomes Myanmar’s legacy of ethnic and religious discrimination. To broaden its base of support domestically and internationally, resistance leaders should commit to address structural discrimination against minorities in Myanmar.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & GovernanceHuman Rights

View All Publications