Press Release

Auschwitz Institute Praises Obama Directive on Atrocity Prevention

New York: The Auschwitz Institute for Peace and Reconciliation is delighted by President Barack Obama’sannouncement of a new Atrocities Prevention Board that will prioritize the prevention of genocide and other atrocity crimes and improve the U.S. government’s mechanism for responding to such crimes.

“We have always supported the creation of an interagency framework to prevent genocide, and we are happy it happened here in the United States,” said Tibi Galis, executive director of AIPR.

Galis noted that AIPR’s program for U.S. Army officers from the Fort Leavenworth Command and General Staff College — “Mass Atrocity Prevention in Military Practice,” launched in 2010 — is the first-ever initiative to educate rising U.S. military leaders on this critical issue. (Watch video here .)

Like today’s Presidential Study Directive , the Auschwitz Institute’s program for the U.S. military is based on recommendations of the 2008 Genocide Prevention Task Force , chaired by Madeleine Albright and William Cohen.

Galis praised the administration’s recognition of the need for a “whole-of-government” approach to engaging “early, proactively, and decisively.” For this reason he emphasized the importance of building atrocity-prevention education for the U.S. military, to supplement ongoing efforts to develop tactical, operational, and strategic responses.

Galis pointed out that AIPR is also a member of the Prevention and Protection Working Group coordinated by the Friends Committee on National Legislation, which supports the strengthening of U.S. civilian capacity to protect civilians and prevent deadly conflict.