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Genocide Prevention Task Force

Preventing Crimes Against Humanity: Strengthening America’s Ability to Respond

Preventing Genocide: a Blueprint for US Policymakers

In an effort to enhance the US government’s capacity to recognize and respond to emerging threats of mass atrocities around the world, the Academy partnered with the US Institute of Peace and the Holocaust Museum to launch a Genocide Prevention Task Force on November 13, 2007.

The Task Force, co-chaired by former Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright and former Secretary of Defense William Cohen, published its report one year later, in December 2008, that put forward concrete recommendations for policymakers on how to prevent future crimes against humanity. Drawing on expert working groups, Task Force members focused on making policy recommendations that would enable America to take more preventative action, and to respond in an effective manner to future atrocities.

Genocide Prevention Task Force Releases Report

(Dec 8, 2008) The Genocide Prevention Task Force today released its final report on the eve of the 60th anniversary of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.  The report makes the case for why genocide and mass atrocities threaten core American values and national interests, and how the U.S. government can prevent these crimes in the future.

Jointly convened by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, The American Academy of Diplomacy, and the United States Institute of Peace, the Task Force began its work last November with the goal of generating concrete recommendations to enhance the U.S. government’s capacity to recognize and respond to emerging threats of genocide and mass atrocities.

“The world agrees that genocide is unacceptable and yet genocide and mass killings continue,” said Madeleine K. Albright, former Secretary of State and Co-Chair of the Genocide Prevention Task Force.  “We believe that preventing genocide is possible, and that striving to do so is imperative both for our national interests and our leadership position in the world.”

Preventing Genocide: A Blue-Print for US Policymakers

The report, entitled “Preventing Genocide: A Blueprint for U.S. Policymakers”, asserts that genocide is preventable, and that making progress toward doing so begins with leadership and political will. The report provides 34 recommendations, starting with the need for high-level attention, standing institutional mechanisms, and strong international partnerships to respond to potential genocidal situations when they arise; it lays out a comprehensive approach, recommending improved early warning mechanisms, early action to prevent crises, timely diplomatic responses to emerging crises, greater preparedness to employ military options, and action to strengthen global norms and institutions.

About the Task Force

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. It was co-chaired by Madeleine K. Albright and William S. Cohen. Other Task Force Members were: John Danforth, Thomas Daschle, Stuart Eizenstat, Michael Gerson, Dan Glickman, Jack Kemp (1935-2009), Gabrielle Kirk McDonald, Thomas R. Pickering, Julia Taft (1942-1968), Vin Weber and Anthony Zinni.

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