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STATEMENT: CAP’s Sarah Margon on the President’s Atrocities Prevention Board

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Contact: Christina DiPasquale
Phone: 202.481.8181

Washington, D.C. — Earlier today President Barack Obama announced a new initiative charged with responding to genocide and preventing atrocities. Sarah Margon, Associate Director for Sustainable Security at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement:

The president’s speech illustrated the unprecedented attention his administration has paid to addressing atrocities around the globe and protecting civilian populations. The important initiatives that the president outlined today, including formal establishment of the Atrocities Prevention Board and an executive order that authorizes sanctions and visa bans against those who commit or facilitate grave human rights abuses through information technology, are welcomed tools that will help improve the government-wide strategy to combat atrocities.

To ensure these policies have teeth and are around long after Obama leaves office, the administration needs to do a few key things like explicitly integrating genocide prevention with long-term conflict prevention, offering robust support for wider governance and rule-of-law programs, and expanding training for diplomats and development experts deployed to conflict or conflict-prone environments.

Years of underinvestment in civilian tools have hindered the U.S. government’s ability to help prevent atrocities around the globe. By harnessing the power of multiple agencies and working closely with Congress to employ a full range of tools, the president can now accelerate his commitment to a more coherent and comprehensive response.

To speak with Sarah Margon, please contact Christina DiPasquale at 202.481.8181 or

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