The threats and opportunities of the 21st century demand that increased attention be paid to practical questions about how to design and implement effective prevention strategies—beyond continual calls to "act early," instill a "culture of prevention," and, above all, mobilize "political will." To this end, USIP is currently developing intellectual capital on evidence-based prevention, early warning, and the prevention of mass atrocities.
- Confronting the Challenge of "Political Will"
On March 18, 2010, USIP President Richard Solomon delivered a speech entitled, "Confronting the Challenge of Political Will," at Vanderbilt University in which he talked about the Genocide Prveention Task Force.
- Can We Prevent the Next War?
On January 15, 2010, USIP brough together leading thinkers on the concepts, tools and strategies for conflict prevention. The enormous human and financial costs of current conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Sudan and elsewhere have prompted renewed attention to our ability to prevent conflicts from becoming violent.
- Preventing Genocide and Mass Atrocities
The Genocide Prevention Task Force was officially launched on November 13, 2007. The Task Force is co-convened by USIP in partnership with the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and the American Academy of Diplomacy, and is co-chaired by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former Secretary of Defense William Cohen. It will generate practical recommendations to enhance the U.S. government's capacity to respond to emerging threats of genocide and mass atrocities.
- Toward Evidence-Based Conflict Prevention
The Center for Conflict Analysis and Prevention convened a meeting of about thirty conflict prevention experts on September 24-25, 2007. The meeting explored current knowledge and practice in the prevention of violent conflict and sought to identify ways to advance both research and practice.
- Prevention Certificate Course
In partnership with the Education and Training Center, the Center for Conflict Analysis and Prevention convened the first Certificate Course in Preventing Deadly Conflict on October 1-3. Lawrence Woocher provided substantive guidance in developing the curriculum and led training sessions on the Institute’s strategic framework for conflict prevention.
- Early Warning: New Approaches and Applications
On September 17, 2007, the Center for Conflict Analysis and Prevention organized a public event entitled, "Behind the Numbers: Assessing Indices of Peace, Conflict and Instability." The panel included presentations by Pauline Baker of the Fund for Peace, Joseph Hewitt of the University of Maryland, and Chic Dambach of the Alliance for Peacebuilding. Lawrence Woocher served as the discussant, offering comments on areas of potential improvement across indices. In addition, On October 24, 2007, Lawrence Woocher led a session on early warning for a group of government officials from a dozen countries for a program at Columbia University entitled "Engaging Governments in Genocide Prevention."
On December 18, 2007 Lawrence Woocher and Mike Dziedzic participated in a meeting of the Interagency Conflict Assessment Framework (ICAF) Working Group, which has been charged to develop a government-wide approach to conflict assessment to support planning for conflict prevention, reconstruction and stabilization activities. Woocher and Dziedzic are the only non-governmental participants in the Working Group.