Mar 26 2018

Making Atrocity Prevention Effective

8:30am - 1:00pm
Columbia University, Faculty House, New York, NY
Past Event


Making Atrocity Prevention Effective

Co-hosted by the Columbia Global Policy Initiative and the Stanley Foundation
26 March 2018 | 8:30am-1pm
Columbia University, Faculty House, Garden Room 2, New York, NY

The Stanley Foundation, the United Nations Office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect, and the Columbia Global Policy Initiative held a conference on “Making Atrocity Prevention Effective” on 26 March 2018, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Columbia University in New York, New York. The conference was co-chaired by Dr. Ivan Šimonović, special adviser of the United Nations Secretary-General on the Responsibility to Protect; Michael Doyle, director of the Columbia Global Policy Initiative; and Keith Porter, president and CEO of the Stanley Foundation.

This interactive, half-day conference convened experts from the atrocity prevention, development, and peace-building fields to share and reflect on the initial findings from the first phase of the Atrocity Prevention Research Project, launched by the Columbia Global Policy Initiative and the United Nations Office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect. Participants and speakers were invited from civil society, government, and multilateral organizations, and included the lead authors on the country case studies involved in the research.

Making Atrocity Prevention Effective

The Atrocity Prevention Research Project seeks to close the gap in knowledge regarding the specific actions to be taken for effective atrocity prevention and to build an evidence base of which measures—taken when, by whom, and in what combination—are most likely to reduce the risk of atrocity crimes.

After the first phase of the project is completed in 2018, United Nations departments will test a set of hypotheses based on the key research findings from a range of situations around the world where there is, or has been, a risk of atrocity crimes. This second phase of the project will culminate in the development of the United Nations Atrocity Prevention Policy Guidance for Practitioners, a resource for all stakeholders working to prevent mass violence and atrocities.



8:30-9:00           Registration & Check-in

9:00-9:05           Welcome and Introduction to Advancing Atrocity Crime Prevention

Focus: Introducing the project, its scope, direction and purpose.

  • Welcome remarks by Michael Doyle, University Professor, Columbia University; Director, Columbia Global Policy Initiative
  • Opening remarks by Keith Porter, President, The Stanley Foundation

9:05-9:20           Message from the Group of Friends of the Responsibility to Protect
  • H.E. Ambassador Sebastiano Cardi, Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of Italy to the UN

9:20-9:25           Keynote: “Improving Evidence-based Atrocity Crimes Prevention”
  • Ivan Šimonović, UN Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on the Responsibility to Protect

9:25-10:40         Session 1: Case Studies for Atrocity Prevention

Focus: Introducing three case studies to demonstrate the nature of the casework and stimulate discussion on the practicalities of prevention.

  • Alex Bellamy (moderator), Director, Asia Pacific Centre for R2P; Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Queensland
  • Naomi Kikoler, on Case 1 – Burundi
  • Noel Morada, on Case 2 – Myanmar
  • Frank Okyere, on Case 3 – Central African Republic

10:40-11:10        Coffee Break

11:10-12:30        Session 2: Lessons Learned from Practice

Focus: Reflections from speakers on their own experiences of atrocity prevention and the lessons learned.

  • Keith Porter (moderator), President, The Stanley Foundation
  • Edward Luck, Arnold A. Saltzman Professor of Professional Practice in International and Public Affairs, SIPA, Columbia University
  • Sabrina Büchler, Programme Manager, Task Force for Dealing with the Past and Prevention of Atrocities, Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA)
  • Savita Pawnday, Deputy Executive Director, Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect

12:30-12:55        Session 3: Toward Effective Atrocity Prevention

Focus: Identify and collate some of the key lessons that can be learned.

  • Alex Bellamy, Director, Asia Pacific Centre for R2P; Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Queensland

12:55-13:00        Closing Remarks
  • Ivan Šimonović, UN Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on the Responsibility to Protect



Michael Doyle

Michael Doyle is the Director of the Columbia Global Policy Initiative and a University Professor affiliated with the schools of International and Public Affairs, Law and department of Political Science at Columbia University. His current research focuses on international law and international relations. As one of the co-directors of the Columbia Global Policy Initiative International Migration project, Doyle helped develop the Model International Mobility Convention. His major publications include Ways of War and Peace (W.W. Norton); Empires (Cornell University Press); Making War and Building Peace (Princeton Press); Striking First: Preemption and Prevention in International Conflict (Princeton Press); and The Question of Intervention: J.S. Mill and the Responsibility to Protect (Yale University Press).  He served as Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Planning and Special Adviser to United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan where his responsibilities included strategic planning (the "Millennium Development Goals"), outreach to the international corporate sector (the "Global Compact') and relations with Washington. He also served as an individual member and the chair of the UN Democracy Fund from 2006 through 2013.

Keith Porter

Keith Porter is president and chief executive officer of the Stanley Foundation. Previously, he was the director of policy and outreach for the foundation. In that post, he played a leadership role in the Foundation's transition toward a dynamic, advocacy organization focused on specific multilateral policy-change goals. Porter was co-producer and co-host of the Foundation's nationally syndicated public radio program on world affairs, Common Ground, from 1988 to 2004. He also served as co-producer and reporter for a number of radio documentaries on vital international issues. During his tenure at the foundation, several organizations have recognized him for excellence in broadcast journalism, including the National Press Club, the Society of Professional Journalists, the National Headliner Awards, the New York Festivals, and the United Nations Correspondents Association. He was a finalist for the 1995, 1996, and 1997 Livingston Award for Young Journalists.

Ivan Šimonović

Ivan Šimonović assumed his functions as Assistant-Secretary-General and Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on the Responsibility to Protect on 1 October 2016. From July 2010 to September 2016, Šimonović headed, as Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, the New York office of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Before joining the United Nations, from 2008 Šimonović held the position of Minister of Justice of Croatia. Previously, Šimonović was Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York, where he served as Senior Vice-President and President of the Economic and Social Council from 2001 to 2003. A Croatian national, Šimonović worked as a professor at the Faculty of Law at the University of Zagreb, where he served as Head of the Legal Theory Department, Vice-Dean and Vice-Rector for international cooperation. In an expert capacity, he has been a member of the Council of Europe's Commission for Democracy through Law (i.e. the Venice Commission) and the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI), as well as the Agent of the Republic of Croatia before the United Nations International Court of Justice (ICJ). Currently, he is a Commissioner of the International Commission Against the Death Penalty (ICDP), a visiting scholar and Huo Fellow at the Columbia University Global Policy Initiative, Bok visiting international professor at Penn Law School and honorary professor at the University of Queensland.

H.E. Ambassador Sebastiano Cardi

Ambassador Sebastiano Cardi was named the Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations in New York on 19 July 2013. He currently serves as co-chair of the Group of Friends of R2P with Ambassador Al-Thani. Prior to appointment as the Permanent Representative of Italy in September 2013, Cardi served as Deputy Secretary-General in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Rome since 2010. Before that he was Deputy Chief of Mission at the Italian Embassy in Washington, D.C., from 2007 to 2010. In August 2006 he was appointed Special Envoy of the Foreign Minister for reform of the United Nations Security Council. Cardi held various positions in the Foreign Ministry, serving in 2004 as Minister Plenipotentiary at the General Directorate for Multilateral Political Affairs and Human Rights. In November 2001 he became the Diplomatic Adviser to the President of the Senate. After his promotion to the rank of First Counsellor in 2000, he was appointed Deputy Head of the Foreign Ministry’s Press and Information Department. Between 1994 and 1998, Cardi served as a counsellor at Italy’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York. His 30-year diplomatic career, which started in 1981, also included service as Deputy Consul at Italy’s Consulate General in Paris (1987), and First Secretary in Beijing (1984). Cardi holds a degree in political science from the University of Rome.

Alex Bellamy

Alex Bellamy is Director of the Asia Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect and Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies at The University of Queensland, Australia. He is also Non-Resident Senior Adviser at the International Peace Institute, New York and Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia. In 2008-09 he served as co-chair of the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific Study Group on the Responsibility to Protect and he currently serves as Secretary of the High Level Advisory Panel on the Responsibility to Protect in Southeast Asia, chaired by Dr. Surin Pitsuwan. Bellamy is co-editor of the Global Responsibility to Protect journal. His recent books include Responsibility to Protect: A Defence (Oxford, 2014), Providing Peacekeepers (with Paul D. Williams) (Oxford, 2013) and Massacres and Morality (Oxford, 2012).

Naomi Kikoler 

Naomi Kikoler is the Deputy Director of the Center for the Prevention of Genocide at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum. For six years, she developed and implemented the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect's work on populations at risk and efforts to advance the Responsibility to Protect globally, including the Centre's UN Security Council advocacy. She has worked as an adviser to the UN Special Adviser to the Responsibility to Protect and as an Adjunct Professor at the New School University. Kikoler has authored numerous publications, including the 2013 Nexus Fund series on the emerging powers and mass atrocity prevention and the 2011 report "Risk Factors and Legal Norms Associated With Genocide Prevention" for the United Nations Office on the Prevention of Genocide and the Jacob Blaustein Institute. Prior to joining the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect in 2008, she worked on national security and refugee law and policy for Amnesty International Canada. She has also clerked in the Office of the Prosecutor at the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, served as a legal consultant to the Brookings-Bern Project on Internal Displacement at the Brookings Institution and worked as an election monitor in Kenya with the Carter Center. Kikoler holds common law and civil law degrees from McGill University, a MSc in Forced Migration from Oxford University where her thesis was on the Rwandan genocide, and a BA from the University of Toronto in International Relations and Peace and Conflict Studies. Kikoler is a Board Member of the Canadian Centre for the Responsibility to Protect and was called to the Bar of Upper Canada.

Noel M. Morada

Dr. Noel M. Morada is Director, Regional Diplomacy and Capacity Building and former Executive Director of the Asia Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect. He is also a former Professor of Political Science at the University of the Philippines Diliman and was a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at the Johns Hopkins University in Washington DC. He has written a number of articles and book chapters on Responsibility to Protect in the Asia Pacific, focusing on promoting the norm in Southeast Asia and the potential role of ASEAN in advancing the principle in region.  Apart from R2P, his research interest includes ASEAN regional security, human rights and humanitarian values, and non-traditional security issues in Southeast Asia. He has also done research and publication on ASEAN external relations, the ASEAN Regional Forum and cooperative security in the Asia Pacific, as well as human security and human development in the region. His recent books include Cooperative Security in the Asia Pacific: The ASEAN Regional Forum (with Jurgen Haacke) (London: Routledge, 2010), Philippine Politics and Governance: An Introduction (with Teresa Encarnacion-Tadem) (Quezon City: University of the Philippines, 2006) and Philippine Politics and Governance: Challenges to Democratization and Governance  (with Teresa Encarnacion-Tadem) (Quezon City: University of the Philippines, 2006).

Frank Okyere

Frank Okyere Osei is a research associate at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Center, Ghana, and has over six years' experience in peace and security research and in providing critical policy-relevant analysis on fragility and resilience in Africa. His expertise includes state-building, local governance, and social protection, emphasizing the African Union and ECOWAS region. He volunteers part-time in his local community, mentoring high-school students towards higher education and academic excellence. Okyere holds a master’s degree in International Studies and Diplomacy from SOAS, University of London. 

Edward Luck

Edward Luck is the Arnold A. Saltzman Professor of Professional Practice in International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, following his service as United Nations assistant secretary-general and special advisor to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon from 2008 to 2012. Luck also directs the SIPA’s specialization in international conflict resolution. While serving as special advisor to the UN Secretary-General, Luck was instrumental in developing and implementing the doctrine of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P), which underscores the responsibility of the international community, as well as the state, to prevent and halt genocide and other mass atrocities. He is currently developing the parallel principle of the "Individual Responsibility to Protect" (IR2P). A leading expert on the UN Security Council, UN reform, and U.S. relations with the world body, Luck previously served as senior vice president of the International Peace Institute, and as president and CEO of the United Nations Association of the USA. Luck is the author or editor of five books and hundreds of chapters, reports, and scholarly articles. A second edition of his most recent book, The UN Security Council: Practice and Promise, is scheduled for publication in spring 2016. Luck received an AB from Dartmouth College, his MIA at SIPA, a Certificate from Columbia University's Russian Institute, and a PhD in Political Science from Columbia University.

Sabrina Büchler

Sabrina Büchler is the programme manager for the Task Force for Dealing with the Past and Prevention of Atrocities for the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA). Büchler coordinates and contributes to the facilitation of this year’s Dealing with the Past Course. For the past 13 years, Büchler has been working in human rights, humanitarian affairs - with a focus on protection - and conflict transformation. She joined the Human Security Division of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs in 2012. At first with the Human Rights Policy Section and since 2014 with the Task Force Dealing with the Past and Prevention of Atrocities. Previously, she has been an Adviser to the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights in Georgia and at headquarters in Strasbourg (France). She also worked for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Central Asia and Malta, as well as for the Swiss Section of Amnesty International. Büchler graduated in International Relations in Geneva.

Savita Pawnday

Savita Pawnday is the Deputy Executive Director of the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect. Pawnday oversees Global Centre's programming in New York and Geneva, and leads on developing innovative institutional mechanisms and capacities needed to prevent mass atrocities both at national and international level. She also manages Global Centre's development and fundraising activities. She has worked with multiple governments and regional organizations in developing programs that enhance prevention through concrete implementation of R2P. In 2010, Pawnday was instrumental in launching the Global Network of R2P Focal Points. With 59 countries as of early 2018, the Global Network of R2P Focal Points is the largest network of senior government officials of its kind. Currently, Pawnday is involved in leading Global Centre engagement with UN Peacekeeping and in identifying strategies, including training, on how to enhance protection capacities of peacekeepers on the ground. Prior to joining the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, Pawnday worked in various capacities as a researcher and a project manager. She has worked in Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi with Catholic Relief Services, in New York with Trickle Up and in India with a few grassroots NGOs. She holds a MA from Fordham University in political economy and development, with a specialization in political economy of civil wars and a BA in Economics from St. Xavier's College, University of Mumbai.