Saturday, August 7, 2010

Toward success in our shared advocacy with Genocide Intervention Network!

Huge news! After mountains of "behind the scenes" work, Senators Feingold and Collins have just introduced a Genocide Prevention resolution on the Senate floor.

While our conflict-specific advocacy work has continued around Sudan and other areas of concern, our team has been working for months to secure bi-partisan co-sponsorship for this resolution. It's a crucial first step in our efforts to create long-term structural change in the United States's ability to prevent and stop genocide - next month, expect to see a bill in the house.

Take a moment to celebrate this moment - thank you for everything you have done to move the ball forward on this issue.

Stay tuned for more.

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IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

Mr. FEINGOLD (for himself and Ms. COLLINS) submitted the following concur-
rent resolution;

CONCURRENT RESOLUTION

Recognizing the United States national interest in helping
to prevent and mitigate acts of genocide and other mass
atrocities against civilians, and supporting and encour-
aging efforts to develop a whole of government approach
to prevent and mitigate such acts.

Whereas, in the aftermath of the Holocaust, the international
community vowed ‘‘never again’’ to allow systematic
killings on the basis of nationality, ethnicity, race, or reli-
gion;

Whereas a number of other genocides and mass atrocities
have occurred, both prior to and since that time;
Whereas the United States Government has undertaken
many initiatives to ensure that victims of genocide and
mass atrocities are not forgotten, and as a leader in the
international community, the United States has committed
to work with international partners to prevent
genocide and mass atrocities and to help protect civilian
populations at risk of such;

Whereas the United Nations General Assembly adopted the
Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the
Crime of Genocide in 1948, which declares genocide,
whether committed in a time of peace or in a time of
war, a crime under international law, and declares that
the parties to the Convention will undertake to prevent
and to punish that crime;

Whereas the United States was the first nation to sign the
Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the
Crime of Genocide, and the Senate voted to ratify the
Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the
Crime of Genocide on February 11, 1986;

Whereas the Act entitled, ‘‘An Act to establish the United
States Holocaust Memorial Council’’, approved October
7, 1980 (Public Law 96–388) established the United
States Holocaust Memorial Council to commemorate the
Holocaust, establish a memorial museum to the victims,
and develop a committee to stimulate worldwide action to
prevent or stop future genocides;

Whereas the passage of the Genocide Convention Implementation
Act of 1987 (Public Law 100–606), also known as
the Proxmire Act, made genocide a crime under United
States law;

Whereas, in response to lessons learned from Rwanda and
Bosnia, President William J. Clinton established a genocide
and mass atrocities early warning system by establishing an
Atrocities Prevention Interagency Working Group, chaired by
an Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues from 1998 to 2000;

Whereas, in 2005, the United States and all other members
of the United Nations agreed that the international community has
‘‘a responsibility to use appropriate diplomatic, humanitarian and
other peaceful means, in accordance with Chapter VI and VIII of
the United Nations Charter, to help protect populations from genocide,
war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity,’’
and to take direct action if national authorities are un- willing or
unable to protect their populations;

Whereas the 2006 National Security Strategy of the United
States stated, ‘‘The world needs to start honoring a principle
that many believe has lost its force in parts of the international
community in recent years: genocide must not be tolerated.
It is a moral imperative that states take action to prevent and
punish genocide.. . . We must refine United States Government
efforts—economic, diplomatic, and law-enforcement—so that
they target those individuals responsible for genocide and not the
innocent citizens they rule.’’;

Whereas the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the
American Academy of Diplomacy, and the United States
Institute of Peace convened a Genocide Prevention Task
Force, co-chaired by former Secretary of State Madeleine
Albright and former Secretary of Defense William Cohen,
to explore how the United States Government could better
respond to threats of genocide and mass atrocities;

Whereas the final report of the Genocide Prevention Task
Force, released in December 2008, concluded that the
lack of an overarching policy framework or a standing
interagency process, as well as insufficient and uncoordinated
institutional capacities, undermines the ability of
the United States Government to help prevent genocide
or mass killings and offered recommendations for creating
a government wide strategy;

Whereas the former Director of National Intelligence, in his
annual threat assessment to Congress in February 2010,
highlighted countries at risk of genocide and mass atrocities
and stated, ‘‘Within the past 3 years, the Democratic Republic
of Congo and Sudan all suffered mass killing episodes through
violence starvation, or death in prison camps. . .Looking ahead
over the next 5 years, a number of countries in Africa and Asia
are at significant risk for a new outbreak of mass killing.’’;

Whereas the Quadrennial Defense Review, released in February 2010,
states that the Defense Department should be prepared to provide the
President with options for ‘‘preventing human suffering due to mass
atrocities or large-scale natural disasters abroad’’;

Whereas the 2010 National Security Strategy notes, ‘‘The
United States is committed to working with our allies,
and to strengthening our own internal capabilities, in
order to ensure that the United States and the international
community are proactively engaged in a strategic
effort to prevent mass atrocities and genocide. In the
event that prevention fails, the United States will work
both multilaterally and bilaterally to mobilize diplomatic,
humanitarian, financial, and – in certain instances – military
means to prevent and respond to genocide and mass
atrocities.’’;

Whereas genocide and mass atrocities often result from and
contribute to instability and conflict, which can cross borders
and exacerbate threats to international security and
the national security of the United States;

Whereas the failure to prevent genocide and mass atrocities
can lead to significant costs resulting from regional instability,
refugee flows, peacekeeping, economic loss, and the
challenges of post-conflict reconstruction and reconciliation; and

Whereas United States leadership and actions toward preventing and
mitigating future genocides and mass atrocities can save human lives
and help foster beneficial global partnerships:

Now, therefore, be it Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives
(concurring), That the Senate—

(1) recommits to honor the memory of the victims of the Holocaust
as well as the victims of all past genocides and mass atrocities;

(2) affirms that it is in the national interest
and aligned with the values of the United States to
work vigorously with international partners to prevent
and mitigate future genocides and mass atrocities;

(3) supports efforts made thus far by the President,
the Secretary of State, the Administrator of the
United States Agency for International Development,
the Secretary of Defense, and the Director of
National Intelligence to improve the capacity of the
United States Government to anticipate, prevent,
and address genocide and mass atrocities, including the
establishment of an interagency policy committee
and a National Security Council position dedicated
to the prevention of genocide and other mass atrocities;

(4) urges the President—

(A) to direct relevant departments and agencies of
the United States Government to review and evaluate
existing capacities for anticipating, preventing, and
responding to genocide and other mass atrocities,
and to determine specific steps to coordinate and
enhance those capacities; and

(B) to develop and communicate a whole of
government approach and policy to anticipate,
prevent, and mitigate acts of genocide and
other mass atrocities;

(5) urges the Secretary of State, working closely with the
Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development—

(A) to ensure that all relevant officers of the
Foreign Service and particularly those deploying to
areas undergoing significant conflict or considered
to be at risk of significant conflict, genocide, and other
mass atrocities receive appropriate advanced training
in early warning and conflict prevention, mitigation, and resolution;

(B) to determine appropriate leadership, structure, programs,
and mechanisms within the Department of State and the United States
Agency for International Development that can enhance efforts
to prevent genocide and other mass atrocities; and

(C) to include relevant recommendations for enhancing
civilian capacities to help prevent and mitigate genocide
and mass atrocities in the upcoming Quadrennial Diplomacy and
Development Review;

(6) urges the Secretary of the Treasury, working in consultation with
the Secretary of State, to review how sanctions and other financial tools
could be used against state and commercial actors found
to be directly supporting or enabling genocides and mass atrocities;

(7) recognizes the importance of flexible contingency crisis funding
to enable United States civilian agencies to respond quickly to help
prevent and mitigate crises that could lead to significant armed
conflict, genocide, and other mass atrocities;

8) urges the Secretary of Defense to conduct an analysis of the
doctrine, organization, training, material, leadership, personnel,
and facilities required to prevent and respond to genocide and mass
atrocities;

(9) encourages the Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense
to work with the relevant congressional committees to ensure
that a priority goal of all United States security assistance and
training is to support legitimate, accountable security forces
committed to upholding the sovereign responsibility to protect
civilian populations from violence, especially genocide and
other mass atrocities;

(10) supports efforts by the United States Government to provide
logistical, communications, and intelligence support, as appropriate,
to assist multilateral diplomatic efforts and peace operations in
preventing mass atrocities and protecting civilians;

(11) calls on other members of the international
community to increase their support for multilateral
diplomatic efforts and peace operations to more effectively
prevent mass atrocities and protect civilians;

(12) encourages the Secretary of State to work closely
with regional and international organizations, the
United Nations Special Adviser for the Prevention of Genocide,
and civil society experts to develop and expand multilateral
mechanisms for early warning, information sharing, and
rapid response diplomacy for the prevention of genocide
and other mass atrocities; and

(13) commits to calling attention to areas at risk of genocide
and other mass atrocities and ensuring that the United States
Government has the tools and resources to enable its efforts
to prevent genocide and mass atrocities.

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