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The Failure to Prevent: International Decision Making in the Age of Genocide initiative follows the “critical oral history” methodology developed by the National Security Archive at George Washington University and used previously to study the Rwandan genocide, the Cuban missile crisis, the Vietnam War, and other events. As described by Professor James Blight of the University of Waterloo, Canada, critical oral history involves “the simultaneous interaction, in a conference setting, of declassified documents on the events under scrutiny, key officials who participated in the events, and top scholars familiar with the documents and event.” 

Below are documents and materials relating to the 2015 conference exploring the genocide in Srebrenica.

Conference Transcripts

Conference working sessions were held behind closed doors on June 29 and 30, 2015, followed by a public session on July 1. Organizers produced a transcript, annotated with links to relevant documents and edited for clarity and accuracy, which they then submitted to participants for their approval. 

Session One (PDF)

Session Two (PDF)

Session Three (PDF)

Session Four (PDF)

Public Session (PDF)

Rapporteur Report and Annexes

To accompany the edited transcript, conference organizers prepared a rapporteur report summarizing the discussion and principal insights, along with guides to people and documents cited as well as a chronology of events leading up to the fall of Srebrenica in July 1995.

Rapporteur Report (PDF)

Annex A: Persons Cited and Acronyms (PDF)

Annex B: Documents Cited (PDF)

Annex C: Chronology of Events (PDF)

Conference Briefing Book 

Conference organizers provided participants with a briefing book with extracts from declassified primary source documents to guide the discussion on the establishment of UN “safe areas” in 1993 and the fall of Srebrenica in July 1995. (Annex C above includes the declassified documents in full.)

Introductory Materials (PDF)

Session One: Creating the “Safe Areas” (PDF)

Session Two: Testing the “Safe Areas” (PDF)

Session Three: The Fall of Srebrenica (PDF)

Session Four: Endgame—Lessons from Srebrenica (PDF)

Annex of Maps (PDF)