The Responsibility to Prevent: Developing Targeted and Systemic Strategies
June 16, 2011
Conflict prevention has benefited from concerted focus among policymakers, academics, and civil society. Much less analysis, however, has been applied to preventing the perpetration of mass atrocity crimes, specifically genocide, crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansing, and war crimes. Major policy frameworks—ranging from the ICISS Commission and the UN secretary-general’s 2009 report on the responsibility to protect (R2P) to the Genocide Prevention Task Force blueprint, US National Security Strategy, and the 2010 Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review—emphasize prevention as core to international efforts to address mass atrocity crimes and implement the responsibility to protect.
While these frameworks reinforce the strategic priority placed on prevention, systematic research on how mass atrocities should or can be prevented remains scant.
With the support of the Australian Responsibility to Protect Fund, the Oxford Institute for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict (ELAC) has sought to help address this lingering gap through a research project entitled “The Responsibility to Prevent: Developing Targeted and Systemic Strategies.”
Dinner discussion will feature the leaders of ELAC’s project, Professor Jennifer Welsh and Dr. Serena Sharma, as they present the strategic framework for prevention developing from the findings of their research. Their presentation will be followed by an off-the-record exchange among participants.
In the newest issue of Courier, we share an amazing (and secret) diplomatic effort to secure dangerous nuclear material in Kazakhstan. Two ambassadors discuss how to make our world safer from nuclear terrorism. You can also discover more than you ever wanted to know about climate change negotiations and about the tension within the United Nations that makes it difficult to be efficient. Our final piece looks at the potential for mass atrocities in the Dominican Republic.
Ahead of the third Nuclear Security Summit, the Stanley Foundation produced a 13-minute video looking at what needs to be done to stop terrorist groups from acquiring enough fissile material to make a bomb. The foundation talked with over a dozen diverse and distinguished experts from the Nuclear Security Governance Experts Group and the Fissile Materials Working Group to see how today's patchwork of voluntary arrangements can be forged into a long-lasting system. Watch the video.
Our bimonthly newsletter highlights new resources for knowing more about preventing nuclear terrorism as well as stopping mass atrocities before they start. We also take a look at how the shifting clout between emerging and established powers poses one of the most complex challenges of our time.
In the latest, you’ll also find many extras—from upcoming events to multimedia resources. Sign up now
This Now Showing event-in-a-box toolkit Before the Killing Begins: The Politics of Mass Violence considers how early preventive strategies by governments and the international community should build much-needed capacities within countries, and make it harder for leaders to resort to violence. It aims to encourage discussion of how future efforts might better protect populations under threat, giving new resolve to the promise of never again. Sign Up.
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