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Interactive Dialogue with the Secretary General’s Special Advisor on the Prevention of Genocide
March 8, 2014

Interactive Dialogue with the SASG on the Prevention of Genocide
As Delivered by Lisa Brodey

March 7, 2014

Thank you, Mr. President.

Thank you, Special Advisor Dieng, for your informative briefing on this important topic.  Preventing mass atrocities and genocide is a core national security interest, as well as a core moral responsibility, of the United States.  We recognize and commend the crucial role the Genocide Convention has played in accountability around the globe.  Our efforts to prevent mass atrocities, however, are not limited to respecting our obligations under the Genocide Convention.  While the prevention of genocide is a paramount goal of the United States, our larger aim is to prevent mass atrocities.  We also want to highlight how thinking more broadly about preventing “mass atrocities” has enabled us to strengthen our ability to prevent or respond to a wide range of potential crises, including genocide.

Using tools and indicators, such as those developed by Special Advisor Dieng, countries can better detect risks and act to prevent the escalation of violence.  The United States recognizes the key role that proper tools, used in response to early warning signs and indicators, play in both preventing and responding to mass atrocities.

We commend the UN for its forward-leaning efforts to establish its “Rights Up Front” plan.  This initiative has the potential to improve coordination and effectiveness within the UN system, and we look forward to continuing to work together with UN departments and agencies and other member states to better respond to situations of potential mass atrocities in an effective and timely fashion. The key is not to just mitigate the damage as it happens, but to look at the early warning signs and preempt atrocities outside of conflict situations and, in places where conflict has begun, respond before violence escalates into mass atrocities.

We commend the Secretary-General and other senior UN officials for being outspoken in sounding the alarm and being proactive in using their offices and deploying relevant experts to defuse crises.

We would like to end by asking Special Advisor Dieng a couple of questions:

  1. How is the United Nations as a whole working together to utilize and implement the SASG’s analysis framework?
  2. You have mentioned that you have expanded your analysis framework to include war crimes and crimes against humanity – can you tell us more about that effort and how the analysis differs from the genocide risk analysis?
  3. In what ways is your office collaborating with Geneva-based UN agencies to improve the UN’s overall capacity on atrocity prevention?

Thank you again.