August 4, 2011 - As co-chairs of the Genocide Prevention Task Force, we welcome with enthusiasm President Obama’s directive to strengthen our government’s response to actual or threatened mass violations of human rights. The administration’s bold new initiative conforms closely to recommendations made by the Task Force to recognize genocide prevention as a presidential priority, emphasize early action, and stress the need to work closely with allies and friends.
We are particularly pleased to see the efforts of our bipartisan task force reflected in the presidential call for a high-level Atrocity Prevention Board to bring to bear the full range of our government’s assets and skills in the effort to deter, prevent and halt genocide. The president’s directive represents an unprecedented commitment on America’s part to implement the internationally-agreed upon “responsibility to protect” civilian populations threatened by massive violence and to ensure that genocide prevention and response become integral components of America’s national security strategy. Today’s action is a major step forward for our country’s long-term interests and national security and contributes to international leadership on genocide prevention. This is a forward-thinking plan that if fully implemented should eventually save countless lives.
The Genocide Prevention Task Force was launched on November 13, 2007 and released its report to the public on December 8, 2008. It was jointly convened by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, The American Academy of Diplomacy, and the U.S. Institute of Peace. It was funded by private foundations. Its goals were: (1) To spotlight genocide prevention as a national priority; and; (2) To develop practical policy recommendations to enhance the capacity of the U.S. government to respond to emerging threats of genocide and mass atrocities.
More from USIP on Genocide Prevention
- USIP’s Lawrence Woocher on the New Steps to Prevent Genocide , On the Issues
USIP’s Lawrence Woocher discusses President Barack Obama’s major announcement Thursday on new steps to prevent mass atrocities, including the creation of an interagency Atrocities Prevention Board and other initiatives. | August 2011
- Read the full Genocide Prevention Task Force report
- Responsibility to Protect Working Group
- Conflict Assessment and Intelligence Analysis, USIP Special Report
To be effective, policymaking and programming in conflict situations must start with an accurate understanding of local context, conflict actors, causes, and the dynamic relationships among them. The report argues that complex conflict situations can be better understood by tapping the potential synergy between two distinct approaches to analyzing conflicts—conflict assessment and intelligence analysis. | June 2011
- Making Peace After Genocide, USIP PeaceWorks
In this report, former presidential special envoy Howard Wolpe examines the four phases of peacemaking in Burundi after genocide. | April 2011
- Libya, Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect
On the Issues by Lawrence Woocher | March 29, 2011
- Confronting the Challenge of "Political Will"
Remarks by Richard H. Solomon and Lawrence Woocher
Instability Warning and Genocide Prevention Symposium
Vanderbilt University Law School | March 18, 2010
- Sign up to receive USIP's Conflict Analysis Prevention Newsletter, a bi-monthly newsletter providing highlights of USIP’s conceptual work, its region-specific work, and special projects related to conflict prevention.
- Read about the term "genocide" in USIP's Glossary of Terms for Conflict Management and Peacebuilding.