Within the framework of the commitment of the Ministry of Foreign Relations of Uruguay (Focal Point of the Latin American Network for Genocide and Mass Atrocity Prevention) and the Auschwitz Institute for Peace and Reconciliation carried out a Seminar-Workshop on “Tools for the Prevention of Genocide and Mass Atrocities as Grave Violations of Human Rights” on November 5-6, 2017 in Montevideo. The activity was made possible through collaboration with the United Nations Office of the Special Adviser for the Prevention of Genocide (OSAPG) and was attended by more than 30 participants including personnel from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of National Defense, and Ministry of the Interior, as well as members of the armed forces and cadets and official of the Uruguayan National Police.
The Seminar-Workshop allowed for the development of the concepts of genocide and mass atrocities, the legal frameworks, and the existing tools at the national and regional levels for their prevention. Alejandra Costa, Director of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, presented the challenges in the prevention of genocide and other atrocities encountered by Uruguay and introduced the Latin American Network as a concrete tool of intra and intergovernmental articulation. In that sense, the segment led by Ariela Peralta, Director of the National Institution of the Ombudsman for the Protection of Human Rights who, together with a representative of the Honorary Commission against Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Racism, reflected on the existing challenges to the progressive incorporation of the preventative focus in national-level policies fighting against discrimination.
The attending representative of OSAPG presented the framework for analysis developed by the Office, as well as the concrete tools for early warning in the context of the United Nations. The activity culminated with an analysis and discussion of cases and a discussion that strengthened the identification of the role of each participant and their institutions in the planning of strategies for prevention.
Eugenia Carbone, Director of AIPR’s Latin America Program remarked:
This Seminar-Workshop counted on the participation of key officials and institutions in the development of an agenda articulated in matters of prevention. This, added to what is the second activity developed in Uruguay taking advantage of the existing institutional interest for progressive development and a group of policies with the focus of prevention at the national-level.
Additionally, on November 4-6 in Bogota, Colombia, AIPR participated in the most recent edition of the Augusto Ramirez Annual Course on International Humanitarian Law, organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Colombia and the International Committee of the Red Cross. AIPR was represented by Clara Ramírez Barat, the Institute’s Educational Support Policy Advisor, who, through her presentation on Education, Construction of Peace, and Prevention, reflected on the impact of conflicts on the education and social systems. She also emphasized the importance of incorporating a look at transitional justice and a focus on prevention at the time of the reconstruction of these systems in a post-conflict situation.
The event served as an opportunity to raise awareness of AIPR’s commitment to the prevention of atrocities and the recorded development in Latin America through the progressive strengthening of the Latin American Network for Genocide and Mass Atrocity Prevention.