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25 April 2012
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U.S. President Obama launches Atrocity Prevention Board
 
 
1. Statement of the Special Advisers of the Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide and on RtoP on the launch of an inter-agency Atrocities Prevention Board by the US
 
1. Auschwitz Institute for Peace and Reconciliation - Auschwitz Institute Praises New Atrocities Prevention Board
2. Stanley Foundation - Foundation Welcomes Creation of Atrocities Prevention Board 
3. Global Centre for R2P - Global Centre for R2P Applauds US Government’s Leadership on Mass Atrocity Prevention
4. Citizens for Global Solutions - CGS Applauds President on Atrocity Prevention
5. Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies - Obama Administration Creates Atrocities Prevention Board to Protect United States National Security
6. Human Rights First - President Obama Announces Creation of Atrocities Prevention Board
7. Oxfam America - Oxfam Congratulates Obama Administration on Establishment of Atrocities Prevention Board
8. Amnesty International USA - Amnesty International Welcomes Obama Administration Efforts to Avert Atrocities Around the Globe
 
1. Allyson Neville-Morgan, United to End Genocide - President Launches Landmark Effort to Prevent Genocide
2. Paul B. Stares, Council on Foreign Relations – Serious Steps to Stop Atrocities
3. Trevor Thrall, The Atlantic - Never Again? Obama's Big, Risky Plan for Preventing Global Atrocities
4. Madeleine Albright and William Cohen, Foreign Policy – More Than Just Remembering
5. Jonas Claes, United States Institute of Peace - Obama Announces Formation of the Atrocities Prevention Board
6. Christian Science Monitor - Syria? Iran? Kony? Let's face down atrocities before they occur
7. Abigail Long, David Abramowitz, Humanity United – Why the Atrocities Prevention Board is Critical

 
U.S. President launches Atrocities Prevention Board
In an address at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC on 23 April 2012, U.S. President Obama announced the creation of the high-level interagency Atrocities Prevention Board (APB), a key component of U.S. foreign policy and government strategy to prevent and respond to mass atrocity crimes and genocide. First announced in August 2011 in a Presidential Study Directive on Mass Atrocities (PSD 10), President Obama stated, “Preventing mass atrocities and genocide is a core national security interest and a core moral responsibility of the United States”. The APB will aid the U.S. government in identifying and addressing mass atrocity threats, and seeks to strengthen the government’s ability to foresee, prevent and respond to these crimes.
 
The 2011 Directive stated “a world where states do not systematically slaughter civilians will not come to fruition without concerted and coordinated effort”; a conclusion which was reiterated in a White House fact sheet on the APB released on 23 April, calling for “strong organization and a whole-of government approach (…) to counter atrocities effectively”. In this regard the APB will include “representatives of the Departments of State, Defense, Treasury, Justice, and Homeland Security, the Joint Staff, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Central Intelligence Agency and the Office of the Vice President”. Samantha Power, Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights, will chair the APB. The Board’s mandate will include facilitating earlier and coordinated responses to threats, as well as developing and improving the U.S. government’s mass atrocity prevention toolkit, including targeted sanctions, reports on lessons-learned, financial levers, early warning systems and alert channels.
 
Civil society organizations and many others welcomed the creation of the APB. Madeleine Albright and William Cohen highlighted the APB as a “clear-eyed and pragmatic attempt to expand our government’s tool box to meet the challenges posed by tyrants who pose an extraordinary threat to their civilian populations.” The Global Centre for R2P noted that the creation of the APB represented a “positive and progressive affirmation of what it means for a state to uphold its Responsibility to Protect”, and called on other governments to take similar measures. In a press release, Elisa Massimino from Human Rights First called on the APB to take the opportunity of its first meeting to “ensure that the full range of tools – diplomatic, economic, humanitarian, and military (…) including the ability to interrupt the supply chain from entities that enable atrocities” are available to respond to threats of mass crimes. The Joint Office of the Special Advisers on the Prevention of Genocide and the Responsibility to Protect also issued a statement recognizing “the critical role such initiatives can play in meeting our individual and collective responsibility to protect populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity, as well as their incitement,” and calling on “Member States to share their best practices and lessons learned, so that the collective effort can be more than the sum of its parts.”
 
For analysis on the prospects and challenges confronting the APB, please see the Stanley Foundation’s December 2011 Policy Dialogue Brief entitled “Structuring the U.S. Government to Prevent Atrocities: Considerations for an Atrocities Prevention Board“.

ICRtoP welcomes this landmark initiative to strengthen U.S. capacity for the prevention of genocide and mass atrocities. With these developments, the U.S. government is actualizing its committment to the Responsibility to Protect.
 
Read the transcript of Obama’s speech at the Holocaust Memorial Museum or watch the video.
 
 
1.Statement of the Special Advisers of the Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide and on the Responsibility to Protect on the launch of an inter-agency Atrocities Prevention Board by the United States
Office of the Special Advisers on the Prevention of Genocide and Responsibility to Protect
24 April 2012
 
The Special Advisers on the Prevention of Genocide, Francis Deng, and on the Responsibility to Protect, Edward Luck, welcome the launch of the inter-agency Atrocities Prevention Board by the United States. In their view, the strengthening of national capacities constitutes an essential step towards increasing regional and global capacity to prevent genocide and other mass atrocity crimes. It will be recalled that the Secretary-General welcomed this initiative when it was initially proposed in August 2011. He stated then that innovative and sustained measures at the national level are essential for the full operationalization of the Responsibility to Protect.
 
The Special Advisers recognize the critical role such initiatives can play in meeting our individual and collective responsibility to protect populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity, as well as their incitement. In this regard, they call on Member States to share their best practices and lessons learned, so that the collective effort can be more than the sum of its parts. They commend the growing series of partnerships established by Member States under a Responsibility to Protect framework. (…) 
 
The Special Advisers will continue to serve as liaisons between the United Nations and such initiatives, reflecting the Secretary-General's abiding commitment to work with Member States, regional and sub-regional organizations and civil society in a common effort to end the threat of genocide and other atrocity crimes. (…) 
 
Read the full press release.
 
 
1. Auschwitz Institute Praises New Atrocities Prevention Board
Auschwitz Institute for Peace and Reconciliation
23 April 2012
 
The Auschwitz Institute for Peace and Reconciliation commends the creation of the U.S. Atrocities Prevention Board, announced today by President Obama at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
 
Auschwitz Institute executive director Tibi Galis will attend the Board's first meeting at the White House today. (…)
 
Galis emphasized the importance of education and training for policymakers to support the Atrocities Prevention Board, pointing to a report issued last year by the Center for American Progress that highlighted the "clear need for increased professional development on crisis prevention." The report said the Auschwitz Institute's programs should be made available "for all State and USAID employees." (…)
 
 
2. Foundation Welcomes Creation of Atrocities Prevention Board 
The Stanley Foundation
23 April 2012

The Stanley Foundation welcomes the announcement by President Obama that a new interagency Atrocities Prevention Board is formed and will hold its first meeting today.
 
The standing interagency board is an important tool in developing prevention strategies and ensuring concerns are elevated for senior decision making. Its creation will help the United States work better with allies and partners in responding to early warning signs to prevent potential atrocities around the world. (…)
 
 
3. Global Centre for R2P Applauds US Government’s Leadership on Mass Atrocity Prevention
Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
23 April 2012
 
(…) The creation of the APB is a positive and progressive affirmation of what it means for a state to uphold its Responsibility to Protect. In the wake of this announcement, the Global Centre calls upon all states to take similar steps toward preventing mass atrocity crimes including:
 
1. The issuing of a high level statement indicating that mass atrocity prevention is a priority;
2. The undertaking of a national review of existing capacities and gaps, and;
3. The appointment of a senior government official as a Focal Point on the Responsibility to Protect (…)
 
Read the full press release.
 
4. Citizens for Global Solutions Applauds President on Atrocity Prevention
Citizens for Global Solutions
23 April 2012
 
(…) Citizens for Global Solutions has long championed the United States developing a strategy for genocide prevention. Don Kraus, CEO of Citizens for Global Solutions said, “President Obama’s address today was the most substantive speech I have ever heard a President give on genocide prevention. Citizens for Global Solutions applauds the administration’s creation of an Interagency Atrocities Prevention Board and the other very significant measures taken today. Together, this represents a historic milestone in developing a comprehensive policy framework to prevent future atrocities.”
 
However, more action is needed to be taken in order to ensure the Board’s effectiveness. Kraus noted, “It is crucial that the Atrocities Prevention Board engages with Congress in its development, that flexible funding is explored to match complicated crises with the need for timely response, and that civilian society is consulted in conflict assessment and policy planning.” (…)
 
 
5. Obama Administration Creates Atrocities Prevention Board to Protect United States National Security
Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies
23 April 2012
 
(…) The President’s initiative once more implements recommendations of the Will to Intervene Project of the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies at Concordia University and expert recommendations from the Cohen/Albright Commission.
 
While the President recognizes that preventing mass atrocities is a core national security interest as well as a core moral responsibility of the United States, Canadian Prime Minister Harper has yet to officially recognize the connection between Canada’s national security and mass atrocity prevention. (…)
 
 
6. President Obama Announces Creation of Atrocities Prevention Board
Human Rights First
23 April 2012
 
(…) Human Rights First has long advocated for an all-of-government approach to better detect and respond appropriately to emerging threats, before they result in mass atrocities. The organization has championed the use of financial levers, a mechanism that will be used by the Board to allow the Treasury Department to more quickly use financial tools to block the flow of money to repressive regimes. The presidential study identified a broad scope of tools and resources that the U.S. government can deploy for this important mission. By the creation of the APB, the administration will continue to develop a comprehensive strategy that identifies and pressures not only the direct perpetrators of mass atrocities, but also third-party enablers – individuals, companies, and countries that provide the material and technical means on which perpetrators rely to carry out attacks on civilians.
 
 “The promises of ‘never again’ have rung hollow again and again.  Today’s announcement is a critical step in turning those promises into preventive action,” said Human Rights First’s Elisa Massimino. “Mass crimes against humanity are organized and complex and they require a response that mobilizes all the resources of our government.  As the APB conducts its first meeting this afternoon, it should ensure that the full range of tools – diplomatic, economic, humanitarian, and military – can be brought to bear on this difficult set of issues, including the ability to interrupt the supply chain from entities that enable atrocities.  This new Board recognizes the reality that atrocities prevention is in the national interest of the United States.  Human Rights First will work closely with this Board, Congress, and our colleagues in the NGO community to support decisive and early action to prevent mass atrocities before they escalate.”
 
 
7. Oxfam Congratulates Obama Administration on Establishment of Atrocities Prevention Board
Oxfam America
23 April 2012
 
President Obama’s announcement on Monday of the new interagency Atrocities Prevention Board (APB) represents a significant step forward in enhancing the US government’s capacity to prevent and respond to the world’s worst crimes, Oxfam America said today.
 
To date, a failure of coordination between agencies, poor foresight and an emphasis on large-footprint military options have handicapped the US government’s ability to appropriately deal with the threat of mass atrocities.
 
“The new APB is evidence that the Obama administration is fulfilling its promise to make genocide prevention a national priority for the United States,” said Scott Paul, Senior Humanitarian Policy Advisor at Oxfam America. “The Atrocities Prevention Board won’t be a silver bullet. But it has the potential to substantially increase America’s capacity to prevent, together with our international partners, the most flagrant, large-scale abuses of human rights.” (…)
 
"Policymakers have historically underinvested in civilian foreign policy tools. As a result, they have created the perception that US options for preventing large-scale deliberate violence against civilians are limited to sending in the military or standing by in silence,” Paul said. “That has long been a false choice: the reality is that the US government has a wide range of civilian and military tools other than full-scale military intervention at its disposal.” (…)
 
 
8. Amnesty International Welcomes Obama Administration Efforts to Avert Atrocities Around the Globe
Amnesty International USA
23 April 2012
 
Amnesty International today hailed President Barack Obama's announcement of new efforts designed to prevent genocide, mass atrocities and other crimes against humanity. (…)
 
(…) "International emergencies, as we are witnessing now in Syria and Sudan, remind us of the urgent need to marshal the human and technical resources to identify complex humanitarian situations before they become crises,” said Suzanne Nossel, Amnesty International USA executive director. “History teaches that early warnings of emerging threats against civilians save lives and treasure, allowing the international community to fulfill its responsibility to protect the world's most vulnerable populations.”
 
Amnesty International noted that there is strong bipartisan Congressional support for the President's initiative. The U.S. Senate in December 2010, unanimously urged the Obama administration to intensify its efforts to prevent genocide and other mass atrocities by passing Senate Congressional Resolution 71 that was sponsored by U.S. Senators Russ Feingold of Wisconsin and Susan Collins of Maine.
 
"This new 'all of government approach' reflects hard-learned lessons from tardy responses to past humanitarian crises,” said Frank Jannuzi, Amnesty International USA new deputy executive director for advocacy, policy and research. "Amnesty International hopes the new prevention board will not only coordinate efforts by the U.S. government, but also draw on the expertise of nongovernmental organizations and civil society groups here and abroad, in pursuit of its mission of 'never again.'" (…)
 
1. President Launches Landmark Effort to Prevent Genocide
Allyson Neville-Morgan
United to End Genocide
24 April 2012
 
(…) The creation of (…) the Atrocity Prevention Board (…) will begin to have impact immediately. In the short term, additional tools will provide options as the U.S. government responds to ongoing atrocities in places like Syria and Sudan. In the long term, the government will be better able to recognize warning signs and prevent the outbreak of atrocities before they start. (…)
 
Critically, this action by President Obama will begin a process that will impact how every administrative agency works from the Department of State to the intelligence community and from Department of Defense to the Department of Justice. It will ensure that atrocity prevention is a priority at the highest levels of the U.S. government. It will eliminate bureaucratic delays and ensure better inter-agency coordination.
 
However, the effectiveness of these efforts depends on us. Obama’s announcement represents a first step in the right direction, but ongoing pressure from Americans will be critical to ensure successful implementation and application of these new tools and structures.
 
Read the full blog post.
 
2. Serious Steps to Stop Atrocities
Paul B. Stares
Council on Foreign Relations
24 April 2012
 
The establishment of the Atrocities Prevention Board (APB)--a new interagency body unveiled yesterday by President Obama--represents a major advance in the U.S. commitment to counter genocide and mass atrocities. If the APB functions as intended, it will make a real difference to the effectiveness of the U.S. government in meeting the challenge of these horrific crimes.
 
To those familiar with the many failures to act quickly to the threat of mass atrocities in the past, this is a big "if." Generating the political will to react to warning of mass atrocities has proven to be immensely difficult, and often the response has been too little, too late. (…)
 
The creators of the APB appear to have learned the lessons of these earlier efforts in several ways. First, and most importantly, they have emphasized from the beginning that this effort has the clear backing of the president, who has categorically declared the prevention of mass atrocities and genocide to be "a core national security interest and core moral responsibility of the United States." This sends a strong signal to the rest of the government of the priority of this mission.
 
Second, the APB will not be just another interagency coordinating mechanism. It is to be made up of senior officials from a dozen agencies--at assistant-secretary level and above--and, moreover, be driven out of the White House by a senior adviser to the president. It will meet monthly and in emergency session if necessary. The Deputies Committee will also convene twice a year, and principals once a year, to review its work. In short, the APB will not lack for means to bring concerns to the highest levels of the U.S. government.
 
Third, after six months of fine tuning, a presidential executive order will be issued that spells out the structure, functions, priorities, and objectives of the Board. While not guaranteeing its existence beyond the Obama administration, an executive order will certainly improve its chances.
 
Expectations for the APB have to be kept within reason. Its primary mission is to avert atrocities before they happen, at least on a widespread scale. Success will be hard to demonstrate publicly. It is also coming late to the unfolding crises in Syria and Sudan, among others, and thus its performance should not be judged by how well it does in the days and weeks ahead. (…)
 
Read the full article.
 
3. Never Again? Obama's Big, Risky Plan for Preventing Global Atrocities
Trevor Thrall
The Atlantic
24 April 2012
 
(…) It is very difficult to criticize any presidential efforts to put pressure on human-rights abusers, especially at this point in history when so many publics are challenging autocratic governments over their futures. It is also difficult to contest the general logic of Obama's finding that the United States and its allies have been ill-prepared to prevent mass atrocities.
What is less difficult, however, is to worry about where we might wind up if the United States finally puts its money where its mouth is and creates an infrastructure for intervention.
 
Obama's policy review identified several themes behind the failure to respond to mass atrocities, all of which can be traced back to the fact that there has been no single agency or group in the U.S. government responsible for monitoring and engaging situations that might lead to such acts. And without such a system, by the time the government realizes there is a problem it could be too late to coordinate an effective U.S. response, much less help coordinate an international response. The proposed cure, therefore, makes perfect sense--if the goal is to intervene much more frequently around the world.
 
There are at least three reasons to worry about the Atrocities Prevention Board. First, if it works as its creators hope, it will lead to many more interventions in the future. It will create a stronger lobby for interventions within the government, it creates tools that make intervention easier to manage and potentially by raises expectations of aid from endangered people around the world. (…)
 
Now, instead of needing good reasons to intervene, the president will need good reasons not to intervene. This, in turn, leads to a debate that the current executive order does not answer: Which mass killings are we responsible for? All of them? (…) Without a clearer articulation of the conditions under which the United States will act to prevent mass killings, this effort starts to look more like political theater and less like sound policy.
 
Second, a bigger intervention tool kit raises the chances of the United States engaging in conflicts more deeply than planned. Obama argues that without an infrastructure like the one he's building, U.S. options are limited to full-scale intervention or no intervention at all. At one level, he is correct. But at another level, the notion of partial intervention is a myth. Preventing mass atrocities is difficult, dangerous and time consuming. (…) Yes, there are cases where a relatively small investment of attention and action would have paid huge dividends--Rwanda comes to mind. But for every Rwanda, there are many that look more like Bosnia, Syria, Somalia or Sudan, where problems cannot be fixed without getting deeply involved in resolving multilateral civil conflicts and nation building. (…)
 
Finally, the Atrocities Prevention Board, as noble as its goals are, illustrates just how militarized our foreign policy has become. (…) More intervention--or even the threat of intervention--is not a great plan in this context. Moreover, the reliance on military means reveals a lack of imagination and moral sensibility. Waiting until the time people are organizing to kill each other in mass quantities to step in makes no sense, especially when your plan to make them stop is to kill some of them. The time to help people is before things get that bad. This is not always possible either, of course, but it does not require killing people, and it at least holds the possibility of creating the conditions for peace and stability that will make military intervention unnecessary.
 
Read the full article.
 
4. More Than Just Remembering
Madeleine Albright and William Cohen
Foreign Policy
23 April 2012
 
(…) A critical issue has emerged during this 2012 campaign that should command bipartisan appeal. U.S. President Barack Obama's planned announcement Monday morning at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum of a new interagency Atrocities Prevention Board (APB) addresses a structural deficit our government has faced for decades across different presidential administrations: What options do we have beyond doing nothing and short of intervening militarily to prevent, deter, and end bloodshed against innocent civilians?
 
The initiative calls for a group of senior administration officials to meet monthly to develop and implement prevention and response policies that will draw upon the specialized tools and reach of all U.S. government agencies. The options available for strengthening U.S. policy include tightening American immigration regulations to deny human rights abusers' access to the United States and allied nations, expanding domestic judicial mandates to prosecute perpetrators of humanitarian crimes and the first-ever National Intelligence Estimate on the global risk of mass atrocities. (…)
 
This initiative should not be viewed as a new doctrine for humanitarian intervention or global adventurism, as some might suggest. Rather, it is a clear-eyed and pragmatic attempt to expand our government's tool box to meet the challenges posed by tyrants who pose an extraordinary threat to their civilian populations. This tool box is about more than sending in the Marines -- it is about better intelligence, more focused preventive diplomacy, and the smarter use of coercive pressures that might deter would-be perpetrators from employing mass violence to achieve their political goals.
 
We are proud to note that the creation of the APB, along with other initiatives aimed at improving the training of American diplomats in detecting the warning signs of mass atrocities, the U.S. intelligence community's collection of this information, and the military's operational preparedness during these crises, borrow heavily from the 2008 findings and recommendations of a bipartisan Genocide Prevention Task Force, which we co-chaired with former colleagues from around the government and across Democratic and Republican administrations. (…)
 
Every American president since World War II, irrespective of political stripe, has been charged on his watch with responding to a mass-atrocity situation somewhere in the world. Such problems are almost certain to recur. It is vital that we learn the lessons of the past, so that we may be prepared to act sooner and more effectively in the future. That's why President Obama's initiative is so timely, and why it deserves broad support.
 
While an important step forward, the creation of this Atrocities Prevention Board is not in itself a guarantee of an adequate response. The real test will be whether the U.S. government will use this body and the tools it develops to heed the warning signs and to engage early enough at the highest levels of government to prevent atrocities. No longer will bureaucratic inadequacy and lack of prioritization be an excuse for inaction -- indeed, this initiative raises the standards of accountability for this and future administrations.
 
Read the full article.
 
5. Obama Announces Formation of the Atrocities Prevention Board
Jonas Claes
United States Institute of Peace
23 April 2012
 
On April 23, 2012, President Obama announced the formation of the Atrocities Prevention Board and other steps to help the United States prevent and respond to mass atrocities. USIP’s Jonas Claes discusses the impact these initiatives will have on U.S. atrocity prevention efforts.
 
What is the significance of President Obama’s announcement for the U.S. Government’s atrocity prevention policy?
 
Since the Rwandan genocide, consecutive U.S. administrations have expressed their frustration about our collective ill-preparedness to prevent genocide and mass atrocity crimes. In today's speech at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, President Obama confirmed that atrocity prevention is "a core national security interest and core moral responsibility." The President's speech outlined an unprecedented effort to institutionalize normative commitments to atrocity prevention by creating a high-level interagency Atrocities Prevention Board. (…) Apart from identifying threats, the Board will oversee the development and implementation of atrocity prevention and response policy. The President's announcement also represents an important step in the implementation of the Responsibility to Protect at the national level.
 
How can this new interagency board contribute to the prevention of atrocities on the ground? Will the new board be able to prevent future Syria-type situations?
 
The creation of the Atrocities Prevention Board will not result in the immediate cessation of ongoing atrocities. (…) Over the long-term, the APB may enable the U.S. Government to move away from its traditional ad hoc approach to imminent or ongoing atrocities. When confronted with a specific atrocity context, the Board will assess the utility of available tools at the national and international level to present senior decision-makers with a range of integrated and timely response options. In addition, new tools will be introduced, including targeted sanctions against those using information technology to commit grave human rights abuses. (…)
 
Read the full article.
 
6. Syria? Iran? Kony? Let's face down atrocities before they occur
Christian Science Monitor
23 April 2012
 
Twice since taking office, President Obama has sent troops overseas to prevent mass atrocities. In Libya, it worked. In central Africa, catching warlord Joseph Kony and his Lord’s Resistance Army is still a work in progress.
 
Now Mr. Obama has decided the United States needs a better way to be alert to potential atrocities – in hopes of preventing them and, most of all, to avoid those types of forceful humanitarian interventions.
 
On Monday, the White House convened the first meeting of a new Atrocities Prevention Board. The purpose of this interagency body is to make the US more nimble in foreseeing events that might lead to genocide, war crimes, and other such atrocities. (…)
 
Setting up an alert system for mass atrocities has been a long time coming. In 2005, the United Nations first endorsed the concept that nations have a “responsibility to protect” their own people or else their sovereignty can be violated by a foreign force. This doctrine, however, is meant to be preventive. It came out of the UN’s collective guilt over the failure to prevent the 1994 Rwandan genocide and the 1995 massacre in the Bosnian town of Srebrenica.
 
But the UN has so far done little to set up an alert system, although its quick diplomacy in Kenya in 2008 may have prevented mass slaughter during a tribal and political dispute. (…)
 
(…) The US could be setting a model for the UN and for other countries by institutionalizing its own focus on this issue.
 
US agencies will share real-time intelligence about world trouble spots and issue reports on the “global risk of mass atrocities and genocide.” The State Department will prepare to “surge” its diplomats and experts in a crisis. Treasury will equip itself to more quickly block the flow of money to abusive regimes. And the new board will work with private activist groups to coordinate anti-atrocity efforts.
 
Acting fast in a crisis can deter atrocities and prevent the often-messy response of military intervention. Each crisis is different, however, a fact that calls for a ready but flexible response by all parts of government to identify any situation that might demand a “responsibility to protect.” (…)
 
(…) “Preventing genocide is an achievable goal,” Obama said. Now he must match practice to promise.
 
 
7. Why the Atrocities Prevention Board is Critical
Abigail Long, David Abramowitz
Humanity United
23 April 2012
 
(…) The APB will serve as a central point to develop policies that prevent and effectively counter mass civilian killings, bringing together key leaders from the State Department (diplomacy) to the Department of Treasury (sanctions) to the Department of Defense (military). The board’s broad mandate can also fill an operational gap, between everyday diplomacy and outright crisis. The APB will provide a space for these policymakers, assistant secretary-level and higher, to discuss potential and emerging crises throughout the world, as well provide recommendations on ongoing crises.
 
Such efforts are critical: Once a crisis erupts, not only is there a heartbreaking loss of life, but the total financial costs to resolve the conflict, if that is even possible, are astronomical. For instance, since the beginning of the conflict in Somalia in 1991, the international community has spent more than $55 billion dollars and counting trying to resolve it. (…)
 
(…) In addition to the APB, the White House announced several other new prevention tools today—including a partnership between Humanity United and USAID, which will seek to find innovative ways to stop these crimes in the future. (…)
 
 
 
 
 

 

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