NEW YORK, NEW YORK – On Monday, May 4, 2015, the Auschwitz Institute for Peace and Reconciliation launched the 2014 Annual Report of the Latin American Network for Genocide and Mass Atrocity Prevention [ English | Spanish ] at the law offices of White & Case LLP. Founded in March 2012, the Latin American Network is the region’s leading initiative fostering capacity building and policy development in this field. The report outlines the activities undertaken in 2014 by Network Member States—including all seminars, Focal Points meetings, and national initiatives devoted to prevention.
Representatives from UN Permanent Missions—including many from Latin American Network Member States—attended the launch. Speakers included Tibi Galis, AIPR Executive Director; AIPR’s Eugenia Carbone, Technical Secretary of the Latin American Network (in photo, right); AIPR Latin American Programs Coordinator Stephanie Alvarez; Mario Buil-Merce, Political Officer, United Nations Office of the Special Advisor on the Prevention of Genocide (OSAPG); Owen Pell, Partner, White & Case; and, Jennifer Smyser, Director of Policy Programming at the Stanley Foundation.
For Ms. Smyser, the report “reflects how in 2014, through trainings and network meetings, member nations of the Network collectively and individually made tremendous strides.” In particular, she said, Network Members “effectively enabled peer engagement and dialogue, encouraged education and sharing of best practices in a regional context, and expanded their capacity to support each other in policy development and implementation.”
In his remarks, Mr. Buil-Merce described how the strength of the Network derives from how each State has the flexibility to prioritize what they consider most important and relevant to national contexts. He also praised the increased level of peer-to-peer support Members have given one another. For example, on October 24, 2014, the first videoconference between the governments of Honduras and Argentina specifically on the topic of prevention was held. Buil-Merce said he hopes to see more of this collaboration in the years to come.
The Latin American Network relies on the support of AIPR, OSAPG, and the Stanley Foundation. Among its goals, the Network aims to institutionalize a culture of genocide prevention throughout Latin America’s governments, which can serve as an example to be followed in other regions worldwide. As Secretariat, the Auschwitz Institute supports all participating institutions of Member States of the Network by co-organizing Focal Points meetings and trainings, including the Latin American edition of the Raphael Lemkin Seminar, and by assisting in the development of a unified national policy on genocide prevention.
For more information about the Latin American Network, including its upcoming activities, please contact Stephanie Alvarez.