Elie Wiesel said, “Action is the only remedy to indifference, the most insidious danger of all.” The President committed the United States to action by signing the Elie Wiesel Genocide and Atrocities Prevention Act of 2018 into law in January 2019. It is a testament to the impact of Elie Wiesel’s life, and the universal recognition of the importance of protecting populations from mass atrocities, that this bill garnered strong bipartisan, bicameral support.
Today, the President submitted the first congressional report mandated under the Elie Wiesel Act. It provides an overview of the United States Government’s current and planned efforts to prevent, mitigate, and respond to mass atrocities globally. Specifically, the report highlights how the Department of State uses foreign assistance, diplomatic advocacy, and multilateral engagement, as well as training for our diplomats.
The release of the report announces the launch a new White House-led interagency mechanism to coordinate efforts – the Atrocity Early Warning Task Force. The State Department’s Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations serves as the Secretariat of this Task Force and the Department’s Policy Lead, working across the Department to address the unique threats posed by mass atrocities. The Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor and the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs also conduct vital atrocity prevention programming and training. The Office of Global Criminal Justice promotes transitional justice including through accountability for atrocity crimes. This underscores the critical role that diplomacy plays in preventing atrocities and ensuring that those responsible are held accountable.
Preventing human rights violations and abuses, including atrocities, is fundamental to American values and the diplomatic efforts undertaken by the Department of State around the world. We are pleased to continue the United States’ global leadership on this issue.