Paraguay Launches National Mechanism for Genocide Prevention

NEW YORK, April 24, 2013 – The Paraguayan government last week in Asunción launched a national mechanism for genocide prevention to formulate policy and coordinate government response to potential risks of genocide.

The mechanism, comprising 15 institutions, will operate under the umbrella of the Latin American Network for Genocide and Mass Atrocity Prevention , created by 18 countries of Central and South America with the Auschwitz Institute in March 2012. The first national mechanism for genocide prevention in the Latin American Network was established last year by Argentina .

Organized by Paraguay’s Office of the Ombudsman and Ministry of Foreign Relations , the launch meeting was a two-day event. The first day, April 17, featured presentations by the Auschwitz Institute, the United Nations Office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect (OSAPG), experts from the Paraguayan government, and represenatives of civil society in Asunción, including the national Amnesty International chapter.

The second day, April 18, began with a workshop on the Framework of Analysis and early warning system employed by the OSAPG, followed by a discussion of the structure of the national mechanism, as well as its goals and working methods, and immediate next steps.

Christopher Kousouros, the Auschwitz Institute’s Latin American Coordinator, presented the Latin American Network on the first day, and moderated the discussion on the second day, together with Mario Buil-Merce and Simona Cruciani of the OSAPG.

Besides the Ombudsman and the Foreign Ministry, the other institutions taking part in the national mechanism will be the ministries of Defense, Justice, Public Defense, Education, and Women, as well as the Public Ministry, the National Police, the National Congress, the Supreme Court, the Institute for Strategic Study, the Public Service Secretariat, the Center for Documentation and Archives for the Defense of Human Rights, and the Secretariat of Childhood and Adolescence.