Bipartisan Group of 29 Senators Write Letter to Obama in Support of Atrocity Prevention
On Monday, Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) announced that he and Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) led a group bipartisan of senators in sending a letter to President Barack Obama. In the letter they expressed their “support for developing the necessary tools to successfully avert mass atrocities and prevent conditions that can lead to violence against innocent civilians.”
Senators Coons and Collins were joined by 27 of their colleagues, including Ron Wyden (D-OR), Bob Casey (D-PA), Mark Kirk (R-IL), Patty Murray (D-WA), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Tom Udall (D-NM), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Joe Lieberman (I-CT), Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Carl Levin (D-MI), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Al Franken (D-MN), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Mark Begich (D-AK), and Scott Brown (R-MA).
The text of the letter can be found here.
State Department Establishes Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations
On November 22, 2011 the State Department announced the launch of the new Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations (CSO). According to the State Department, CSO “was established as a result of the first Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR), which called for the new bureau to serve as the institutional locus for policy and operational solutions for crisis, conflict, and instability.”
CSO subsumes and expands upon the preexisting Office for the Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization that has deployed to places like Sudan, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. This new bureau will continue to be an important tool supporting efforts to prevent and respond to genocide and other atrocities.
Presidential Study Directive Update
On August 4, 2011 the White House announced its Presidential Study Directive on Mass Atrocities. As part of the Directive, an Atrocities Prevention Board was created “to coordinate and institutionalize the Federal Government’s efforts to prevent and respond to potential atrocities and genocide.” United to End Genocide (known as Save Darfur/Genocide Intervention Network at the time) welcomed the announcement.
The directive was set to be completed within 100 days of the announcement, which would have been November 12. December 2 marks the date by which the Atrocities Prevention Board was scheduled to commence its work.