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July 18, 2018 12:10 pm

Honoring Elie Wiesel’s Legacy, House of Representatives Passes Genocide Prevention Act

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The late Elie Wiesel. Photo: Sarah Rogers / Algemeiner.

The US House of Representatives passed on Tuesday the Elie Wiesel Genocide and Atrocities Prevention Act of 2018.

The legislation, according to the House Foreign Affairs Committee, is meant to honor the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Holocaust survivor’s legacy by “strengthening the US government’s coordination on efforts to prevent, mitigate and respond to genocide and other mass atrocities — thereby furthering US commitments to his call for ‘Never Again.’”

Ahead of Tuesday’s vote, Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce said:

Over sixty years have passed since free people around the world pledged to never again stand by in silence as an oppressed people are annihilated. Unfortunately, since then, we have witnessed mass atrocities and genocide in places such as Bosnia, Rwanda, Cambodia, Burma and in ISIS strongholds in Syria and Iraq.

The United States has often been a leader in responding to these and other humanitarian crises. However, there is more that can be done. US efforts have been largely reactive and disjointed, with little transparency or oversight.

H.R. 3030, the Elie Wiesel Genocide and Atrocity Prevention Act, would correct these deficiencies. This act would require an annual report of administration actions to prevent and respond to potential genocides and mass atrocities, and would mandate the identification of countries that are at risk of such crimes against humanity.

This act also requires that all foreign service officers — who often are at the forefront of US efforts to address atrocities — be trained to deal with early warning signs, conflict assessment, mediation and other responses.

All of this will better enable our government to develop a coordinated response as a crisis is developing, and ultimately save lives.

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