Good morning! Lauren Clyne Medley, Enough Project's Online Engagement Manager, is live-blogging President Obama's announcement of the launch of the first-ever Atrocities Prevention Board.
The announcement is today ay 9:45 a.m., from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC.
President Obama's speech has concluded.
This morning, President Barack Obama will be speaking at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, marking the annual U.S. commemoration of the Holocaust. As part of this year’s tribute, the president will also be announcing his administration’s plans for the formation of an interagency Atrocities Prevention Board. In an effort to fulfill the pledge of “never again,” the APB will be charged with setting up better early warning systems for detecting mass atrocities around the globe and creating cooperative, comprehensive strategies for responding to these signals in order to intervene and stop the atrocities before they occur.
In a complementary event to President Obama’s address, Samantha Power, special assistant to the president and senior director of multilateral affairs for the National Security Council, will also be speaking at the White House on Monday afternoon.
Last August, Obama announced a Presidential Studies Directive for the establishment of the Atrocities Prevention Board. Since then, the National Security Council has been conducting an interagency review process to determine operational protocols for developing the APB, the results of which will be revealed as the president discusses the future of the board on Monday.
The mandate for the APB is to utilize civilian tools such as diplomacy and development to improve the government’s ability to detect and respond to early signs of mass atrocities. After the Holocaust, the U.S. pledged to never again stand by and watch acts of genocide being carried out, but we have struggled to develop an effective strategy for fulfilling this promise. The Rwandan genocide in 1994, Bosnia in 1995, Darfur in the early 2000s, and now the unfolding apparent ethnic cleansing in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan are all evidence of the international community’s failure to properly detect and respond to mass atrocities. By consulting with civil society organizations, the APB will support multilateral conflict prevention, peacekeeping, and peacebuilding capacities; improve rule of law and civilian security; and integrate genocide prevention and longer-term conflict prevention.
The launch of the Atrocities Prevention Board is highly anticipated by many humanitarian NGOs and civil society organizations. If implemented well, it could prove an effective approach for U.S. foreign policy strategy that focuses on long term solutions to unstable situations, rather than hastily thrown-together band-aid responses once they combust and result in a huge loss of life and livelihood.
Enough Project staff members will be live-tweeting and blogging from both of today’s events. Stay tuned to this page for real-time updates on the Obama administration’s plan for fulfilling its pledge of “never again.”
Photo: President Obama (AP)