Obstacles to the Effective Prevention of Mass Atrocities
A new policy paper written by Alex Bellamy, Director of the Asia Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect and Adam Lupel, Director of Research and Publications at the International Peace Institute (IPI).
In a new policy paper for the International Peace Institute entitled ‘Why We Fail: Obstacles to the Effective Prevention of Mass Atrocities’, Alex Bellamy and Adam Lupel explore how the United Nations (UN) tries to prevent mass atrocities. The authors highlight the inherent deficiencies in the current approach, the principal obstacles to effective prevention efforts and the strategies needed to improve the UN’s ability to respond.
Notwithstanding the United Nations has developed an extensive body of policies, principles, and institutions dedicated to preventing mass atrocity crimes, in recent years the killing of unarmed civilians has become all too prevalent again, from Syria to Iraq and South Sudan to the Central African Republic. The reason why atrocity prevention fail is the central question addressed in this report.
The authors identify significant gaps between what the UN is expected to do in terms of preventing atrocities and what it is configured to do. In particular, they show that the response to the problem of atrocity crimes remains largely ad hoc.
According to the authors, a comprehensive strategy is needed in order to impede this type of crime in formalized and methodical ways.
This is the first of two reports on this subject by Alex Bellamy and Adam Lupel. Having identified obstacles to prevention in the first, the authors will elaborate a system-wide strategy for the UN in the second.