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(2) better understand things they might do to pre- vent the mass atrocity or genocide process from progressing in their nation or region. In addition, AIPR recently designed a pilot training program for the U.S. military personnel, focusing on how deployed troops can better manage local relation- ships, while building their capacity to document, gather and preserve evidence relating to mass atrocities or genocide should they occur.

Working with over 200 alumni, AIPR’s mission has expanded into providing a support network for the participants’ work in their home countries. AIPR now emphasizes sustaining relationships with and among Lemkin Seminar alumni and their governments. For example, AIPR has instituted follow-up meetings every two years to strengthen the alumni network. It also showcases its alum- ni’s achievements in a series of “Profiles in Pre- vention” on the AIPR website.2

In addition, AIPR

promotes the idea of genocide prevention using the tools of social media. You can follow AIPR on Facebook3

and Twitter4 to stay up-to-date on the

latest news and information about genocide and mass atrocity prevention.

Beyond training individual officials, AIPR has fo- cused on local “ownership” of genocide preven- tion as a key to long-term success. Each society approaches the issue of genocide differently de- pending on its history and depth of experience with mass atrocity crimes. For example, in soci- eties where transitional justice was serious and fairly successful, AIPR has found greater sensitiv- ity and willingness to speak-out against develop- ments that may threaten the social structure of a particular group. In contrast, states where pre- vention is primarily perceived as a foreign policy issue present different challenges with respect to governments engaging with their populations on genocide-related issues. AIPR’s work with na- tional governments also suggests that regional groups are better poised than global organizations to manage lower risk situations (i.e., those which may exhibit red flags for potential genocides, but

have not yet reached a crisis stage) where it can be difficult to build international political will and consensus. Unfortunately, recent history teaches that the international community’s capacity to act is clearest in cases where killings and the trag- edy of genocide have already started. Regional groups composed of similarly situated states not only may be able to intervene earlier—while pre- vention is still a possibility, but also are more likely to be attuned to the specific needs of local or re- gional communities.

The need for state-by-state engagement has led to a new development with impetus from the United Nations: the formation of national coor- dinating entities or “mechanisms” to become “focal points” for genocide prevention within governments. For example, President Obama re- cently issued Presidential Study Directive No. 10 on Mass Atrocities (Aug. 4, 2011), which ordered the creation of an Interagency Atrocities Preven- tion Board to coordinate U.S. policies on mass atrocity and genocide prevention. This effort will include recognizing and responding to early indi- cators of potential atrocities, and devising a broad range of “smart preventive activities.” In addition, the President’s National Security Advisor was ordered to lead an interagency study on how to ensure that the Interagency Board best functions and carries out its mission.

Over the last two years, AIPR has helped the United Nations press forward on this initiative. AIPR is currently facilitating the development of regional genocide prevention mechanisms in Latin America and Africa. AIPR acts as the Sec- retariat for the Latin American Network for Geno- cide and Mass Atrocity Prevention. Eighteen Latin American governments are working to implement a joint curriculum on genocide prevention for civil servants. AIPR assisted by drafting the curriculum and integrating the governments’ comments and revisions. The curriculum now is being tested in seminars taught in Poland and Latin America. The Latin American Network aims to integrate the cur-

ILSA Quarterly » volume 22 » issue 4 » May 2014


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