Past eventMembers

How to Prevent Mass Atrocities

20 February 2018 - 6:00pm to 7:00pm

Chatham House, London


Adama Dieng, Special Adviser for the Prevention of Genocide, UN Secretary-General
Matthew Rycroft CBE, Permanent Secretary, Department for International Development; UK Permanent Representative, United Nations (2014-18)
Dr Kate Ferguson, Director of Research and Policy, Protection Approaches
Chair: Champa Patel, Head, Asia Programme, Chatham House



The desire to protect people from acts of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing is a global issue. But once the point of acute violence has been reached, options to respond to these crises becomes limited.

This event looks at what can be done before such atrocities are carried out so that governments can focus on prevention rather than response. The panellists examine why a global strategy for upstream prevention is paramount to securing a safer world and how this can be achieved, taking as a starting point the recommendations made by the UK Foreign Affairs and International Development Committees on the need for the British government to develop a national strategy for atrocity prevention.

With the Trump administration seemingly retreating from the international stage, should other countries now assume a larger role in driving forward an atrocity prevention agenda at the supranational level? If so, what can such countries learn from past US and United Nations Security Council policies?

Looking at the UK in particular, the panel will consider, in the face of significant budget cuts to the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, as well as Brexit and a changing UN, how the UK Department for International Development can take the lead in developing meaningful, cross-departmental policies to prevent mass atrocities, and also actively promote human rights globally.

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