S.Con.Res. 71 (111th): A concurrent 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 go

111th Congress, 2009–2010. Text as of Dec 22, 2010 (Passed the Senate (Engrossed)).

Status & Summary | PDF | Source: GPO

111th CONGRESS

2d Session

S. CON. RES. 71

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

CONCURRENT 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 the aftermath of the Holocaust, the international community vowed never again to allow systematic killings on the basis of nationality, ethnicity, race, or religion;

Whereas a number of other genocides and mass atrocities have occurred, both prior to and since that time;

Whereas the United States Government has undertaken many initiatives to ensure that victims of genocide and mass atrocities are not forgotten, and as a leader in the international community, the United States has committed to work with international partners to help to prevent genocide and mass atrocities and to help protect civilian populations at risk of such;

Whereas the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide in 1948, which declares genocide, whether committed in a time of peace or in a time of war, a crime under international law, and declares that the parties to the Convention will undertake to prevent and to punish that crime;

Whereas the United States was the first nation to sign the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, and the Senate voted to ratify the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide on February 11, 1986;

Whereas the Act entitled, An Act to establish the United States Holocaust Memorial Council, approved October 7, 1980 (Public Law 96–388), established the United States Holocaust Memorial Council to commemorate the Holocaust, establish a memorial museum to the victims, and develop a committee to stimulate worldwide action to prevent or stop future genocides;

Whereas the passage of the Genocide Convention Implementation Act of 1987 (Public Law 100–606), also known as the Proxmire Act, made genocide a crime under United States law;

Whereas in response to lessons learned from Rwanda and Bosnia, President William J. Clinton established a genocide and mass atrocities early warning system by establishing an Atrocities Prevention Interagency Working Group, chaired by an Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues from 1998 to 2000;

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;

Whereas the United States and all other members of the United Nations further pledged that they were prepared to take collective action, in a timely and decisive manner, through the Security Council, in accordance with the [UN] Charter, including Chapter VII, on a case-by-case basis and in cooperation with relevant regional organizations as appropriate, should peaceful means be inadequate and national authorities are manifestly failing to protect their populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity;

Whereas the 2006 National Security Strategy of the United States stated, The world needs to start honoring a principle that many believe has lost its force in parts of the international community in recent years: genocide must not be tolerated. It is a moral imperative that states take action to prevent and punish genocide…. We must refine United States Government efforts—economic, diplomatic, and law-enforcement—so that they target those individuals responsible for genocide and not the innocent citizens they rule.;

Whereas the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the American Academy of Diplomacy, and the United States Institute of Peace convened a Genocide Prevention Task Force, co-chaired by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former Secretary of Defense William Cohen, to explore how the United States Government could better respond to threats of genocide and mass atrocities;

Whereas the final report of the Genocide Prevention Task Force, released in December 2008, concluded that the lack of an overarching policy framework or a standing interagency process, as well as insufficient and uncoordinated institutional capacities, undermines the ability of the United States Government to help prevent genocide or mass killings and offered recommendations for creating a government wide strategy;

Whereas, in February 2010, the former Director of National Intelligence, in his annual threat assessment to Congress, highlighted countries at risk of genocide and mass atrocities and stated, Within the past 3 years, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Sudan all suffered mass killing episodes through violence starvation, or death in prison camps…. Looking ahead over the next 5 years, a number of countries in Africa and Asia are at significant risk for a new outbreak of mass killing.;

Whereas the Quadrennial Defense Review, released in February 2010, states that the Defense Department should be prepared to provide the President with options for preventing human suffering due to mass atrocities or large-scale natural disasters abroad;

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; and

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

That the Senate—

(1)

recommits to honor the memory of the victims of the Holocaust as well as the victims of all past genocides and mass atrocities;

(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;

(3)

supports the establishment of an interagency policy committee and a National Security Council position dedicated to the prevention of genocide and other 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; and

(B)

to develop and communicate a whole of government approach and policy to anticipate, prevent, and mitigate acts of genocide and other mass atrocities;

(5)

urges the Secretary of State, working closely with the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development—

(A)

to ensure that all relevant officers of the Foreign Service and particularly those deploying to areas undergoing significant conflict or considered to be at risk of significant conflict, genocide, and other mass atrocities receive appropriate advanced training in early warning and conflict prevention, mitigation, and resolution;

(B)

to determine appropriate leadership, structure, programs, and mechanisms within the Department of State and the United States Agency for International Development that can enhance efforts to help to prevent genocide and other mass atrocities; and

(C)

to ensure recommendations for enhancing civilian capacities to help prevent and mitigate genocide and mass atrocities in the upcoming Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review;

(6)

urges the Secretary of the Treasury, working in consultation with the Secretary of State, to review how sanctions and other financial tools could be used against individuals and entities found to be directly supporting or enabling genocides and mass atrocities;

(7)

recognizes the importance of flexible contingency crisis funding to enable United States civilian agencies to respond quickly to help prevent and mitigate crises that could lead to significant armed conflict, genocide, and other mass atrocities;

(8)

urges the Secretary of Defense to conduct an analysis of the doctrine, organization, training, material, leadership, personnel, and facilities required to help 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 promote the effective use of 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;

(10)

supports efforts by the United States Government to provide logistical, communications, and intelligence support, as appropriate, to assist multilateral diplomatic efforts and peace operations in preventing mass atrocities and protecting civilians;

(11)

calls on other members of the international community to increase their support for multilateral diplomatic efforts and peace operations to more effectively prevent mass atrocities and protect civilians;

(12)

encourages the Secretary of State to work closely with regional and international organizations, the United Nations Special Adviser for the Prevention of Genocide, and civil society experts to develop and expand multilateral mechanisms for early warning, information sharing, and rapid response diplomacy for the prevention of genocide and other mass atrocities; and

(13)

commits to calling attention to areas at risk of genocide and other mass atrocities and ensuring that the United States Government has the tools and resources to enable its efforts to help prevent genocide and mass atrocities.

Passed the Senate December 22, 2010.

Secretary