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GAAMAC Conference


IHRA Chair Sir Andrew Burns and Honorary Chairman Yehuda Bauer led a workshop discussion on 4 March entitled “Preventing Atrocities: Education and Remembrance, from Holocaust Remembrance to Global Prevention” at the first international meeting of the Global Action Against Mass Atrocity Crimes (GAAMAC) taking place in San José, Costa Rica.

The IHRA Chair’s speech can be read here.  

GAAMAC is a support platform created in March 2013 by states engaged both in the fields of the prevention of genocide (GP) and the responsibility to protect (R2P), and with the participation of the UN Office of the Special Advisor on the Prevention of Genocide. The purpose of this joint endeavor is to strengthen and support all governmental efforts in the field of prevention of atrocities.

GAAMAC is a state-led process designed to build a broad international consensus on atrocity prevention and national prevention architectures (including national focus points) which will give societies the resilience to prevent future mass atrocity crimes, in particular: war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide and ethnic cleansing.

The objective of the meeting in San José is to convene all interested governments, their representatives, or their national focal points to share lessons learned and good practices and to identify the current needs and the challenges they are facing when developing national strategies. During this first international meeting, the participants will engage in defining the main priorities of GAAMAC.  Some 60 countries and a wide range of international and civil society organizations are attending under Swiss and Costa Rican chairmanship.

Photo: IHRA Chair Sir Andrew Burns, Special Envoy Mo Bleeker, Conference Co-Chair and Head of Task Force for dealing with the past and prevention of atrocities in the Directorate of Political Affairs at the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, and IHRA Honorary Chairman Yehuda Bauer.  Photo courtesy of Frederico Villegas Beltran.