June 4, 2010
UNITED STATES HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL MUSEUM STATEMENT ON OBAMA ADMINISTRATION’S PROACTIVE STANCE ON THE PREVENTION OF MASS ATROCITIES AND GENOCIDE
WASHINGTON, D.C. — As part of its new National Security Strategy, the Obama administration has committed the United States to engaging “proactively” with the international community to prevent mass atrocities and genocide.
“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,” according to the president’s new National Security Strategy released in May 2010.
Sara J. Bloomfield, director of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, said the document was a clear statement of the administration’s intent to marshal its resources to try to prevent genocide. “Even after the failure of the world to respond to the Holocaust, we have not been well prepared to confront genocide. So we are very gratified that the administration is moving to create structures and policies that could prevent these terrible crimes in the future,” Bloomfield said.
The Museum, along with The American Academy of Diplomacy and the United States Institute of Peace, convened the Genocide Prevention Task Force, which released recommendations in late 2008 aimed at strengthening the capacity of the U.S. government to prevent mass atrocities.
In line with the recommendations of the Task Force, co-chaired by former Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright and former Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen, the administration also recently established an interagency committee aimed at anticipating and preventing mass atrocities. The White House has created a new dedicated position on the National Security Council to coordinate and support the administration’s policies on genocide and mass atrocities and named David Pressman to the position.
National Security Advisor James L. Jones recently thanked the Task Force for its leadership and commitment to this issue.
“The bipartisan Genocide Prevention Task Force concluded that preventing genocide is an ‘achievable goal’ and one that is central to advancing the interests of the United States,” Jones said in a recent letter to Task Force members. “It is now time to take the Task Force's blueprint and begin to build the type of infrastructure necessary to effectuate the promise of ‘never again.’”
The Genocide Prevention Task Force was jointly convened by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the United States Institute of Peace, and The American Academy of Diplomacy to generate concrete recommendations to enhance the U.S. government’s capacity to prevent and respond to emerging threats of genocide and mass atrocities. The Task Force, co-chaired by former Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright and former Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen, issued its final report in December 2008. The report makes the case for why genocide and mass atrocities threaten core American values and national interests.