President Obama Announces Measures to Prevent International Atrocities

On April 23, 2012, speaking at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. to observe a Day of Remembrance for the victims of the Holocaust, U.S. President Barack Obama announced three initiatives to prevent the occurrence of international atrocities.

He announced the issuance of an executive order that authorizes new sanctions against the Syrian and Iranian government and those that help them for using technologies to monitor and track and target citizens for violence. 

A second initiative is the creation of a new Atrocities Prevention Board to bring together senior officials from across the U.S. government.  It convened for the first time the day of his talk.  One of its first acts will be to meet with civil society organizations that have been active in atrocities prevention.

A third initiative will be that the intelligence community will prepare the first-ever National Intelligence Estimate on the risk of mass atrocities and genocide.  The Obama Administration will institutionalize the focus.  “Alert channels” across the U.S. government will ensure that information about unfolding crises and dissenting opinions quickly reach decision-makers.

President Obama said the U.S. treasury Department will work to more quickly use its financial tools to block the flow of money to abusive regimes.  The U.S. military will take additional steps to incorporate the prevention of atrocities into its doctrine and its planning.  The State Department will increase its ability to surge U.S. diplomats and experts in a crisis.  USAID will invite people and high-tech companies to help create new technologies to quickly expose violations of human rights.

For the executive order that authorizes new sanctions against the Syrian and Iranian governments and those that help them for using technologies to monitor and track and target citizens for violence, see http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/Programs/Documents/201....