A little over twenty years ago, one million Rwandans were murdered in less than 100 days. What makes the genocide in Rwanda so unspeakable is not only the horror of the genocide itself, but that this genocide might have been preventable. What if we could have helped save many of those lives?
There are far too many examples historically, many still currently in the news now, others with potential to occur, but there is something that we can do to help mitigate this kind of horror. This new bill, introduced into Congress by Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), can make a real difference.
The Act will coordinate an interagency approach to preventing mass atrocities, integrate early warning systems, oversee development and implementation of atrocities prevention strategies, and conduct atrocities specific planning.
While the president created the Atrocities Prevention Board in 2010, which has been active since, it doesn’t have any permanence. This will make it so and ensure it will continue to do its work.
The Act will make it national policy:
- to prevent mass atrocities and genocide as both a core national security interest and a core moral responsibility;
- to mitigate the threats to United States security by preventing the root causes of insecurity, including masses of civilians being slaughtered, refugees flowing across borders, and violence wreaking havoc on regional stability and livelihood;
- to enhance its capacity to prevent and address mass atrocities and violent conflict as part of its humanitarian and strategic interests;
- to work to create a government-wide strategy to prevent and respond to genocide and mass atrocities
This is really important. Please take just a moment to make a difference.