Auschwitz Institute Creates World Bank Community of Practice on Development and Mass Atrocity Prevention

NEW YORK, April 29, 2013 – Continuing its push to mainstream genocide prevention across the policymaking spectrum, the Auschwitz Institute this month created the Development and Mass Atrocity Prevention Community of Practice under the aegis of the Global Forum on Law, Justice and Developmentat the World Bank.

The Community of Practice was formed on the basis of an April 18, 2013, event in Washington, DC, titled ” Preventing Mass Atrocities Through Development Policies: A Roundtable on Economic, Social and Legal Aspects ,” held as part of the IMF-WB Civil Society Forum. The session was co-sponsored by the Auschwitz Institute, the Bellagio Forum for Sustainable Development, the Budapest Centre for the International Prevention of Genocide and Mass Atrocities, and the Office of the World Bank Executive Director for Germany.

Speaking on the panel moderated by Dr. James Waller, the Auschwitz Institute’s Academic Programs Director, were (pictured above, left to right) Enzo Maria Le Fevre, Budapest Centre for the International Prevention of Genocide & Mass Atrocities; Juan E. Méndez, Professor of Law, American University – Washington College of Law & UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment and former UN Special Adviser on Genocide Prevention; Troy Alexander, Project Finance Partner; White & Case, LLP; and Dr. Emilio Viano, of the Bellagio Forum for Sustainable Development.

The Auschwitz Institute supports the idea of applying an “atrocity prevention lens” to development policies in societies at risk, especially in post-conflict and fragile states, in order to address the structural causes of genocide and mass atrocity. Development processes need to address these issues (in both the public and private sectors), including but not limited to poverty and exclusion. Atrocity prevention goes beyond enforcement of non-discrimination laws, entailing broader processes that include issues such as freedom of speech and political expression.

To listen to a recording of the April 18 roundtable, click here.