New York, Dec. 15, 2011 – The Auschwitz Institute for Peace and Reconciliation (AIPR) is now the U.S. government’s chief nonprofit partner in making genocide prevention a reality.
Officials from the State Department and FBI, and officers from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, are regular participants in the Raphael Lemkin Seminar for Genocide Prevention series, and a recent report identifies AIPR as a valuable source of training for U.S. foreign policy officials.
According to the report, ” It All Starts with Training: Crisis Prevention and U.S. Foreign Affairs Agencies ,” there is a “clear need for increased professional development on crisis prevention” and AIPR’s Lemkin Seminars, held on the Holocaust site of Auschwitz in Poland, should be made available “for all State and USAID employees.”
Meanwhile the Auschwitz Institute’s U.S. military program , launched in 2010 to implement recommendations of the 2008 Albright-Cohen report , marks the first time the U.S. military has contracted for education with an outside agency.
The authors of the report, published by the Center for American Progress with support from Humanity United , note that U.S. foreign service officers receive far less training in the course of their careers than leaders of the U.S. military do. “The average Foreign Service officer is lucky to spend six months of a 30-year career in training,” they write.
Furthermore, training “to identify, prevent, and manage crises is undeniably in the national interest . . . and it would make it so our military personnel are less likely over time to be deployed in direct conflict.”
We agree. All the Auschwitz Institute’s programs emphasize that genocide is a process which involves many stages before any killing takes place. This means there are always opportunities for decision makers—in government and military alike—to intervene and forestall the outcome.
The Auschwitz Institute is honored to assist the U.S. government in preventing genocide—a “core national security interest and a core moral responsibility of the United States,” as President Obama declared in August 2011—and we are gratified to be recognized for our role in this regard.
The Auschwitz Institute for Peace and Reconciliation: building a worldwide network of leaders with the personal and professional commitment to prevent genocide.