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Office of The Special Adviser on The Prevention of Genocide

Work of the Office

Key Missions

2013: Mission to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

On 22-24 April 2013, the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide conducted a high-level mission to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, that included meetings government officials and representatives of civil society organizations. Mr. Dieng met with the Chief Commissioner of the Ethiopia Human Rights Commission and discussed ongoing efforts to advance human rights agenda in the country. He also met with the Special Adviser to the Prime Minister to discuss the importance of memory and reconciliation in atrocity prevention. The visit included consultations with civil society on advancing the responsibility to protect and the role of early warning in atrocity prevention. During the visit, the Special Adviser also met with senior officials from the African Union and the United Nations.

2013: Visit to Berlin, Germany

On 18-19 April 2013, the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide undertook a high-level visit to Berlin, Germany, during which he participated in a session of the German Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid. At this meeting, the Special Adviser discussed the establishment of linkages with parliamentary institutions to increase the compliance of governments with human rights, democratic and good governance principles and the role of democratic institutions in building resilience to atrocity crimes. He also discussed efforts to advance the responsibility to protect concept, including through strengthening partnerships with Member States. Mr. Dieng also held consultations with senior officials from the Federal Foreign Office on avenues for further collaboration. During his visit, Mr. Dieng participated in a debate organised by the United Nations Association of Germany and delivered a lecture to the Faculty of Law at Humboldt University. In both discussions, Mr. Dieng highlighted the causes and dynamics of genocide and related atrocity crimes and how societies could build national resilience to these crimes, including through further operationalising the responsibility to protect.

2013: Visit to London, United Kingdom

On 15-17 April 2013, the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide undertook a high-level visit to London, United Kingdom. Mr. Dieng met with senior officials from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, including the Head of the Conflict Department, the Director for Multilateral Policy and the United Kingdom’s focal point for the Responsibility to Protect. He discussed the work of the Office and avenues for further collaboration. Mr. Dieng participated in a round table discussion organised by the United Nations Association – United Kingdom for the All-Party Parliamentary Groups on the Prevention of Genocide, on the Great Lakes Region of Africa and on Conflict Related Issues as well as in a round table briefing with academics and civil society organisations. In these meetings, he discussed the causes and dynamics of atrocity crimes and of the measures that could be taken for prevention, including by advancing the responsibility to protect concept. Mr. Dieng participated in a day-long high-level round table discussion on the future of the responsibility to protect with senior policy-makers and practitioners on strengthening atrocity prevention mechanisms and galvanising the will to intervene.

2013: Visit to Ljubljana, Slovenia

Special Adviser Adama Dieng presenting at the International Expert Meeting on Genocide, War Crimes, and Crimes against Humanity, organized by INTERPOL on 20-22 November

Special Adviser Adama Dieng delivering lectures
at the University of Ljubljana

On 9-12 April 2013, the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide conducted a high-level visit to Slovenia, during which he met with government officials, academics and civil society. Mr. Dieng met with the President, the Minister of National Defence and the State Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a number of directors from relevant departments of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Mr. Dieng discussed opportunities to strengthen collaboration between his office and Slovenia and advancing the responsibility to protect. Mr. Dieng also participated in a consultative meeting of European focal points on the responsibility in the context of preparations for the 2013 Secretary-General report on the responsibility to protect. He delivered lectures to the Faculty of Social Science at the University of Ljubljana on the link between hate speech and incitement and atrocity crimes in an event organised by the United Nations Association of Slovenia. He also delivered the key note speech to an international conference on “The Responsibility to Protect in Theory and Practice,” organized by the Faculty of Law at the University of Ljubljana. The lecture focused on the causes and dynamics of atrocity crimes and of the measures that could be taken to prevent them. The Special Adviser met with numerous journalists and members of various media outlets.

2013: Visit to Washington, D.C.

On 26 March 2013, Special Adviser Dieng visited Washington, D.C. to meet with senior officials from the Atrocity Prevention Board as well as from the Departments of State, Defense, National Security and Justice. During these meetings, he discussed greater collaboration on early warning and prevention of atrocity crimes as well as country situations of mutual concern. Mr. Dieng discussed the importance of accountability in prevention and other relevant policy options for addressing situations at risk of atrocity crimes.

2013: Mission to Brussels, Belgium

On 5-6 March 2013, Special Adviser Dieng visited Belgium where he met with senior officials from the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation. During these meetings, Mr. Dieng discussed the mandate and work of the Office and his priorities for the coming year. During the visit, Mr. Dieng met with officials from the European Union’s External Action Service and participated in a meeting to present a report of the Task Force on the European Union Prevention of Mass Atrocities. On 6 March, Mr. Dieng briefed civil society on his mandate and priorities for the coming year and discussed the role of these organisations and networks in promoting further implementation of the responsibility to protect.

2013: Mission to Nairobi, Kenya

Prior to elections, on 13-14 February 2013 the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide undertook a high-level mission to Kenya where he held meetings with senior government officials, including the Permanent Secretaries of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Justice and Constitutional Affairs. During these meetings, the Special Adviser discussed his mandate, the promotion of the responsibility to protect in Kenya and on measures that could be taken to prevent inter-communal violence in the electoral period. Mr. Dieng also briefed the Kenya National Human Rights Commission, the National Cohesion and Integration Commission, the Law Society of Kenya and the Federation of Women Lawyers. In Mombasa, the Special Adviser met with members of the Provincial Security Committee for the Costal Region and representatives from various counties. He also met with civil society in the region, including faith-based organisations. To conclude his visit, the Special Adviser gave a press conference to highlight the findings of his mission. He urged restraint and conveyed messages of non-violence.

2012: Mission to Abuja, Nigeria

In the context of the Office’s aim to strengthen collaboration with regional and sub-regional organisations, Special Adviser Adama Dieng met with the Vice President of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on 14 December 2012 in Abuja.  Mr. Dieng discussed the work and mandate of the Office and the sensitivities and challenges around implementation of his mandate. The Special Adviser discussed his approach to his mandate and discussed the possibility of collaboration between the Office and ECOWAS to support national and regional efforts to prevent atrocity crimes.  Expressing concern about country situations in the region, Mr. Dieng discussed policy options to strengthen regional efforts in West Africa on the prevention of genocide and related crimes.

The Special Adviser also met with the Nigerian Permanent Secretary of the Interior to discuss how the Office could support national prevention mechanisms. He also addressed service chiefs from different government departments on the mandate and activities of the Office.

2012: Mission to Dakar

As part of an outreach mission to West Africa, Special Adviser Adama Dieng met with the President of Senegal on 11 December 2012 to discuss the work and mandate of his office, stressing the importance he places on collaboration with Member States and regional and sub-regional organizations in discharging the mandate. Reiterating the importance of the constructive management of diversity for genocide prevention, Mr. Dieng discussed possible policy options to further strengthen regional and national efforts to prevent genocide and other atrocity crimes, including the establishment of a regional committee for this purpose. During the meeting, Mr. Dieng expressed concern about country situations in the region and called for strengthened efforts to resolve them.  

During the visit, Special Adviser Dieng also spoke with the Minister of Justice and held a public lecture for the academic community at the African Institute of Management and engaged with the local media to raise awareness about the work of the Office and his approach to his mandate.  

2012: Visit to Paris

On 22-23 November, Special Adviser Dieng met with senior officials from the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, including from the offices responsible for human rights and democratic governance as well as Asia, East Africa, West Africa and North Africa and the Middle East.  The discussion focused on country situations of concern to both the Office and the French Foreign Ministry.  Mr. Dieng briefed the officials on his approach to his mandate, including his focus on the constructive management of diversity, the rule of law and the inclusion of all identity groups in legislative processes. Government officials briefed Mr. Dieng on the measures France is taking to address the risk of atrocity crimes around the world.

He also met with the Director-General of the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to discuss collaboration on a project to promote education on genocide prevention in schools world wide.

Following a meeting with the Director of the Shoah Memorial Museum, Mr. Dieng toured the permanent exhibition of the Museum which houses an archive of 40 million original documents and photographs from the Holocaust period, the most important archive of Holocaust information in the world, and an impressive photographic exhibition that illustrates different phases and aspects of the Holocaust. During the meeting with the Director of the Museum, Mr. Dieng discussed potential avenues of collaboration.

Mr. Dieng also met with the Chair of the International Organisation of la Francophonie and leaders of the Jewish community in Paris.

2012: Mission to Kampala

On 22 October, Special Adviser Dieng held consultations in Kampala, Uganda, with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs and the Minister of Internal Affairs as well as the Chairperson of the Uganda Human Rights Commission. He also briefed these officials on the mandate and work of the Office as well as his priorities as he takes up his new assignment.

While in Kampala, Mr. Dieng also met with the United Nations Resident Coordinator, the Country Representative from the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights in Uganda, the Regional Programme Officer of the International Criminal Court and local civil society organisations.

2012: Mission to Ottawa

On 25-26 April, Special Adviser Francis Deng spoke at the second annual National Day of Remembrance and Action on Mass Atrocities, hosted by the Canadian All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Prevention of Genocide and Other Crimes Against Humanity in partnership with the Canadian Centre for International Justice in Ottawa, Canada. 

While in Ottawa, Mr. Deng met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and provided a briefing for government officials in the Stabilization and Reconstruction Task Force (START) of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade as well as for government officials from the Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes unit of the Department of Justice. Mr. Deng discussed the work of the Office, his approach to the mandate and lessons learned during his time as Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide.

2012: Mission to Kigali

On 5-6 April, Special Adviser Francis Deng participated in “The International Conference 18 Years after the Genocide: Testimonies and Reflections”, organized by the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide as well as the 18th Commemoration of the Rwanda Genocide at Amahoro Stadium in Kigali, Rwanda. The theme of this year’s memorial was “Learning from history to shape a bright future.” Events examined how good governance, justice, economic development and social welfare can prevent genocide and related crimes.

While in Kigali, Mr. Deng also held bilateral meetings with senior officials, including with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Chief Justice and the Executive Secretary of National Commission for the Fight against Genocide.

2012: Mission to Addis Ababa

On 2-3 April, Special Adviser Francis Deng took part in the meetings of the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel on the Sudan and South Sudan. The Panel is facilitating negotiations between the two countries on a range of outstanding issues, including security and the situation of Abyei. Mr. Deng also met with senior officials of the African Union, the Ethiopian Government, the United Nations Office to the African Union (UNOAU) and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, among others, on matters relevant to his mandate.

2012: Mission to The Hague

From 14-15 March, Special Adviser Francis Deng participated in an Advanced Workshop of the Genocide Prevention Advisory Network (GPANet) in the Hague, Netherlands. The workshop, entitled “Guiding Principles of the Emerging Architecture Aiming at the Prevention of Genocide, War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity”, was co-hosted by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.  The workshop provided a forum for multilateral conversations among GPANet experts, government officials, United Nations officials and other experts from international, regional and non-governmental organisations. Discussions addressed preventive and mitigating policies to be considered by local, regional and international actors.

Special Adviser Francis Deng also briefed senior officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, namely from the Departments of Human Rights, Gender, Good Governance and Humanitarian Aid and of the United Nations and Financial Institutions. Mr. Deng spoke about the work of the Office, his approach to the mandate and current country situations of concern.  He also held consultations with officials from the International Criminal Court, including the Offices of the President, the Prosecutor, the Deputy Prosecutor and the Registrar.

While in The Hague, Mr. Deng provided a lunch-time briefing for government officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, representatives from civil society organisations and academics.

2012: Mission to Washington

On 9 March, Special Adviser Edward Luck briefed the Genocide Prevention Task Force in Washington, D.C., which is co-chaired by Madeleine Albright and William Cohen, and jointly convened by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the American Academy of Diplomacy, and the United States Institute of Peace. The Task Force is mandated to generate practical recommendations to enhance the US government’s capacity to respond to emerging threats of genocide and related crimes.

2011: Mission to Washington

On 15 December, the Special Advisers held consultations and briefings with the senior officials from the Organization of American States (OAS). They met with the Directors of the Departments of International Law, Democratic Sustainability and Special Missions, and Political Affairs, as well as with the Executive Secretary of the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights. The Special Advisers also briefed the Committee on Juridical and Political Affairs of the OAS Permanent Council.

2011: Mission to the United Kingdom

On 10-13 December, the Special Adviser on the Responsibility to Protect held consultations and briefings in London with senior officials from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on the work of the Office and priorities for 2012. Facilitated by the United Nations Association-UK, Mr. Luck briefed five All-Party Parliamentary Groups on his work on furthering the conceptual, political and institutional/operational development of the Responsibility to Protect as well as the Secretary-General’s strategy for implementing the concept.

2011: Mission to Italy

From 21-24 November, the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide held meetings with the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs and other senior government officials in Rome. The objectives of the meetings were to raise awareness about the mandates of the Office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect and to discuss how to strengthen cooperation for implementation purposes.

2011: Mission to Vietnam

From 21-22 November, the Special Adviser on the Responsibility to Protect participated as a presenter in the 8th General Conference of the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific (CSCAP), which was hosted by Vietnam in Hanoi. The theme of the conference was “Dangers and Dilemmas: Will the new Regional Security Architecture help?”, stemming from the recommendations of the February 2010 report of the CSCAP study group on the Responsibility to Protect. Some 250 senior officials and security experts from the Asia Pacific region participated.

2011: Mission to Germany

On 9 November 2011, the Special Adviser on the Responsibility to Protect addressed the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the Bundestag in Berlin, which is responsible for monitoring and guiding the foreign policy of the Federal Republic of Germany. Mr. Luck spoke about his work on furthering the conceptual, political and institutional/operational development of the Responsibility to Protect as well as the work of the Office and its priorities for 2012.

2011: Mission to Southeast Asia

The Office organized a follow-up mission to Southeast Asia in October 2011, in line with its regional approach to raise awareness on conflicts that could lead to genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing or crimes against humanity, and to discuss early prevention and the principles of Responsibility to Protect with Member States in the region. Special Adviser Francis Deng held consultations with government officials and representatives of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR).

2011: Mission to Brussels

In June 2011, Special Adviser Francis Deng conducted consultations with European Union on developments regarding the establishment of the Joint Office and potential areas for operational cooperation. The Special Adviser participated in a discussion at the European Parliament’s Sub-committee on Human Rights, briefed the United Nations Working Group of the Council of the European Union’s Political and Security Committee, and discussed future plans with the Secretary-General of the European Union External Action Service.

A follow-up visit by Special Adviser Edward Luck in September 2011 included meetings with officials at the Department of Global and Multilateral Issues and the Crisis Management Planning Department of the External Action Service,

2011: Mission to Washington

In March 2011, Special Advisers Francis Deng and Edward Luck held consultations in Congress and at the Department of State, the National Security Council, and the Department of Defence. The mission included a visit to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Engagement with US authorities was mainly aimed a presenting developments regarding the establishment of the Joint Office and discussing progress on implementation by the US Administration of the December 2008 Genocide Prevention Task Force Recommendations. The Office also discussed concrete steps to further develop an operational partnership at the working level.

2010: Mission to South-East Asia

Cambodia Genocide Museum, 2010
(UN Photo / Mark Garten)

In November 2010, Special Adviser Deng undertook a mission to South East Asia, with visits to Cambodia, Singapore and Indonesia, where he met with government officials, ASEAN representatives and civil society organizations. All expressed support for the mandate and were keen to work closely with the Office on preventive strategies in the region. In Phnom Penh, the Office, in cooperation with a network of international NGOs, organized a training seminar for thirty-five representatives of civil society organizations on “A Framework for Genocide Prevention.”  The Office also participated in a regional conference on early warning for the prevention of mass atrocity crimes, at which Special Adviser Luck was also a guest speaker.

2010: Mission to West Africa

The Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide undertook a mission to West Africa from 18 to 26 March 2010, which brought him and his Office to Guinea and Ghana. At the invitation of the Government of Guinea, the Office investigated the extent to which inter-ethnic tensions could be a threat to peace and stability in Guinea in light of recent developments and the potential for genocidal violence, especially in the election and post-election periods. Consultations were held with key actors in Conakry and the Guinée Forestière region, including religious leaders, councils of elders (from the four regions), civil society experts, women’s groups, ECOWAS and the UN Country team. The Special Adviser concluded that the risk of genocidal violence existed and was moderate. A report of his findings was shared with the Secretary-General and made public in June 2010. Francis Deng discussed the situation with the Transitional Government, including Prime Minister Jean Marie Doré and several of his ministers.