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Preventing Genocide and Mass Atrocities: What More Can Be Done?

February 28, 2011

Sandy Robson/FCNL

Last Thursday, the Prevention and Protection Working Group (convened by FCNL) and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum hosted a briefing on Capitol Hill called “Preventing Genocide and Mass Atrocities: What More Can Be Done?”.  The briefing featured a panel discussion comprised of U.S. government officials from the State Department, U.S. Agency for International Development, as well as the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.  Michael Gerson, a columnist for the Washington Post and contributor to the Genocide Prevention Task Force, also participated in the briefing.  The panelists described the work they are currently engaged in to prevent genocide and identified tools and capacities that would enable the U.S. to halt violence before it starts.

The briefing room was packed with House and Senate staffers (representing both sides of the aisle), officials from the Department of Defense and State Department, and many of our friends from the NGO community.

This off-the-record discussion commemorated a historic anniversary; twenty-five years ago this month, the U.S. Senate gave its consent to ratify the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide.  Despite the Convention’s aspirations, the past quarter century has born witness to horrific violence in Rwanda, the Balkans, and Sudan.  Clearly, much work remains.  Fortunately, the Prevention and Protection Working Group stands ready to work with Congress to enact practical policy solutions to prevent future genocides.

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