Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} The United States Institute of Peace welcomes the announcement by President Barack Obama on new initiatives to prevent mass atrocities and to impose consequences on serious human rights violators as a needed step forward.

For Immediate Release, August 4, 2011
Contact: Allison Sturma, 202-429-4725

(Washington) – The United States Institute of Peace (USIP) welcomes the announcement by President Barack Obama on new initiatives to prevent mass atrocities and to impose consequences on serious human rights violators as a needed step forward.

"Preventing and responding to mass atrocities and war crimes is a critical national security interest and the Institute is committed to supporting the administration’s efforts,” said Tara Sonenshine, executive vice president of USIP. “We are particularly pleased that many of the recommendations of the Genocide Prevention Task Force, which was convened by the United States Institute of Peace, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and the American Academy of Diplomacy, were heeded."

In line with the president's announcement, the 2008 Task Force report stressed early intervention and the need to develop international partnerships to respond to emerging crises. Specifically, the Task Force report called for a standing interagency board to coordinate action across the U.S. government and creating a set of resources, or "toolkit."

Former Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright and former Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen, the co-chairs of the bipartisan Genocide Prevention Task Force also issued a statement commending the president's action. In part, they stated:

"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." 

For more information on the Presidential Directive, visit

Additional Resources

  • Read the entire Genocide Prevention Task Force Report, available on
  • Preventing Genocide
    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.
  • Responsibility to Protect Working Group
    Jointly organized by the United States Institute of Peace, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and the Brookings Institution, the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) working group seeks to increase understanding of R2P and identify concrete steps to bolster the political will of U.S. decision-makers to respond in a timely manner to threats of genocide, crimes against humanity and other mass atrocities in this emerging national norm.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Read about the term "genocide" in USIP's Glossary of Terms for Conflict Management and Peacebuilding.

The United States Institute of Peace (USIP) provides the analysis, training and tools that help to prevent, manage and end violent international conflicts, promote stability and professionalize the field of peacebuilding. Learn more at

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