A New Multilateralism for Atrocities Prevention

A Global Fund and Development Agenda Advancing the Rule of Law

The Stanley Foundation Policy Analysis Brief March 2015

Key Points

  • International human rights and humanitarian institutions that combat and prevent atrocities are under unprecedented strain with the weight of a handful of concurrent, severe global crises.
  • The second pillar of the responsibility to protect, which focuses on prevention, is too often occluded by focus on the third pillar, which calls for humanitarian intervention through military force when atrocities have already taken place; this acts to complicate debates about prevention and effective response to atrocities.
  • The prevention of atrocities should prioritize rule of law capacity building and include a doubly reinforcing cross-sector institutional and normative approach.
  • Establishing a new grantmaking mechanism to support rule of law capacity-building efforts globally, a “Global Trust,” would act as a preventive mechanism against atrocities and a preemptive one for areasat risk for atrocities.

Authors:
Mark P. Lagon, president of Freedom House and co-editor of the book Human Dignity and the Future of Global Institutions (2014) with Anthony Clark Arend.
Ryan Kaminski is program manager for human rights and special initiatives at the United Nations Association of the United States of America (UNA-USA).