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US Senate Resolution on Preventing Genocide and Mass Atrocities
111th Congress of the United States, 2nd Session
5 August 2010

On 5 August 2010, United States Senators Feingold and Collins introduced a non-binding resolution on the prevention of genocide and mass atrocities. Echoing the May 2010 National Security Strategy, the resolution recognizes that the prevention and mitigation of genocide and mass atrocity is a national interest of the United States of America and mentions the importance of RtoP in this pursuit. The resolution also mentions the importance of early warning and assessment in preventing genocide and mass atrocity, and encourages the United States government to review its current mechanisms. Below are excepts from the Resolution.

Recognizing the United States national interest in helping to prevent and mitigate acts of genocide and other mass atrocities against civilians, and supporting and encouraging efforts to develop a whole of government approach to prevent and mitigate such acts. (...)

Whereas, in 2005, the United States and all other members of the United Nations agreed that the international community has ‘‘a responsibility to use appropriate diplomatic, humanitarian and other peaceful means, in accordance with Chapter VI and VIII of the United Nations Charter, to help protect populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity,’’ and to take direct action if national authorities are unwilling or unable to protect their populations; (...) 

Whereas the 2010 National Security Strategy notes, ‘‘The United States is committed to working with our allies, and to strengthening our own internal capabilities, in order to ensure that the United States and the international community are proactively engaged in a strategic effort to prevent mass atrocities and genocide. In the event that prevention fails, the United States will work both multilaterally and bilaterally to mobilize diplomatic, humanitarian, financial, and – in certain instances – military means to prevent and respond to genocide and mass atrocities.’’; (...)

Whereas genocide and mass atrocities often result from and contribute to instability and conflict, which can cross borders and exacerbate threats to international security and the national security of the United States;

Whereas the failure to prevent genocide and mass atrocities can lead to significant costs resulting from regional instability, refugee flows, peacekeeping, economic loss, and the challenges of post-conflict reconstruction and reconciliation;

Whereas United States leadership and actions toward preventing and mitigating future genocides and mass atrocities can save human lives and help foster beneficial global partnerships: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), That the Senate— (...)

(2) affirms that it is in the national interest and aligned with the values of the United States to work vigorously with international partners to prevent and mitigate future genocides and mass atrocities; (...)

(4) urges the President—
A) to direct relevant departments and agencies of the United States Government to  review and evaluate existing capacities for    anticipating, preventing, and responding to genocide and other mass atrocities, and to determine specific steps to coordinate and enhance those capacities; (...)

(8) urges the Secretary of Defense to conduct an analysis of the doctrine, organization, training, material, leadership, personnel, and facilities required to prevent and respond to genocide and mass atrocities;

(9) encourages the Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense to work with the relevant congressional committees to ensure that a priority goal of all United States security assistance and training is to support legitimate, accountable security forces committed to upholding the sovereign responsibility to protect civilian populations from violence, especially genocide and other mass atrocities;

To download the full Senate Resolution (DAV10643 of 5 August 2010): click here


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