EDU Partner Organization delivers Exemplary Anti-Genocide Programs
It is with great pride that the Intergovernmental Organization EDU reports on the outstanding efforts of its Partner Organization, 'The Budapest Centre for the International Prevention of Genocide and Mass Atrocities', in programs to raise awareness of the threat of this scourge of modern times over the last 5 years
2014, which was the 20th Anniversary of the Rwandan genocide, saw the formal Memorandum of Understanding with EDU in November of that year. Since then the Chair of the Budapest Centre Dr. Gyorgy Tatar, ably assisted by the Director of Research and Cooperation Enzo Maria Le Fevre Cervini, has instituted an impressive program of education and development to further the aims of the organization.
2015 was a particularly relevant year to redouble efforts to educate about Genocide and Mass Atrocities being the 20th Anniversary of the The Srebrenica massacre and the 70th Anniversary of the liberation of concentration camps in Auschwitz, Stutthof, Sachsenhausen, Ravensbrueck, Dora-Mittelbau, Flossenbürg, Dachau, Mauthausen, Neuengamme and Bergen-Belsen.
His Excellency Irving-Levance the Secretary-General of EDU, who was himself a childhood refugee, points out that it is important not to regard Genocide and Mass Atrocities as if they are simply historical topics. Current world events place large parts of the globe and large population masses at risk of similar events unfolding.
It would be impossible to report in detail on all of the undertakings of this remarkable partner organization, but here are some highlights over the last 5 years:
The busy schedule for 2015 included the publication of working papers, conferences, education projects and workshops such as launching:
"WORKING TOWARDS PREVENTION"
'SERIES OF WORKING PAPERS ON GENOCIDE AND MASS ATROCITY PREVENTION'
The Budapest Centre launched its hugely influential “Working Towards Prevention”: entirely dedicated to studies in genocide and mass atrocity prevention. The series became a space where researchers working in close cooperation with the Centre could share their ongoing projects.
The Centre also created a platform for the submission from external researchers, as long as their papers met a good academic standard and adhere to the topic of the series. The first paper of the series was authored by Tommaso Trillò, Junior Researcher at the Budapest Centre.
"INTERRELIGIOUS DIALOGUE AND THE PREVENTION OF MASS ATROCITIES"
A NEW PAPER BY MARK BARWICK
“Religious identity has to do with how one self-identifies in relation to a group. It is not the same as being religious, which implies adherence to particular beliefs and participation in religious activities. […] Religious identity can therefore be a source of conflict just as much as ethnic or national identity”
Mark Barwick is the Centre's Policy Adviser on Programs for Dialogue.
"PROMOTING “RESPONSIBILITY TO PROTECT”
On 21 April, 2015, Enzo Le Fevre took part in the Regional Meeting of the European RtoP Focal Points in Brdo pri Kranju, Slovenia. The meeting was meant as an effort by the UN to build further consensus on RtoP and mobilize this consensus to achieve efficient implementation soon in the future.
Following the meeting in Brdo pri Kranju, Le Fevre participated as speaker at “Responsibility to Protect in Theory and Practice”, an academic conference on RtoP at the University of Ljubljana on 23-24 April, 2015. Le Fevre concluded the first panel, titled “Challenges Ahead of R2P after Its First Decade”.
The full program of the conference is available at: www.r2pconference.com
Further, on 6-9 May, 2015, Enzo Maria Le Fevre Cervini, participated in The Fifth State of the Union conference at the European University Institute. The conference is a unique opportunity for high-level discussion about the state of the European Union, and featured remarkable speakers, including current and former ministers and heads of state from different EU countries. Le Fevre actively engaged in discussion with the speakers during a session on “Europe’s Role in Peacekeeping and Stabilization”. The session was chaired by Jennifer Welsh, UN Special Adviser on RtoP, and examined how European states, both within the United Nations and the emerging architecture of the European Union, have contributed to peacekeeping and stabilization missions.
The full program of the conference is available at https://stateoftheunion.eui.eu/
WORKSHOP ON HUMAN RIGHTS AND DEVELOPMENT IN AFRICA
THE ONGOING WORK OF THE AFRICAN TASK FORCE IS PART OF THE DISCUSSION
On 27 May, 2015, the Budapest Centre for the International Prevention of Genocide and Mass Atrocities in cooperation with the Institute for Foreign Affairs and Trade organized a workshop on International and Hungarian efforts to contribute to the promotion of human rights and development in Africa. Among other topics, Gyorgy Tatar, chair of the Budapest Centre, had the opportunity to briefly present the African Task Force initiative: an on-going effort of the Centre to map the capabilities for mass atrocity prevention of five African regional organizations. Report_workshop-HR-Development-Africa
EDUCATION SUMMIT IN BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA
Gyorgy Tatar took part in the 2015 Education Summit in Bosnia-Herzegovina organized by Educators’ Institute for Human Rights. The meeting took place in Jahorina, BiH, on July 1-3, 2015. The participants of the event discussed the challenges in education of Holocaust and mass atrocities prevention in BiH and agreed on the organization of the next Education Summit during the summer of 2016. Last November the Budapest Centre organized a similar event on the nexus between education and mass atrocity prevention in Budapest. http://www.genocideprevention.eu
Later in 2015 was the last workshop of V4 Prevention - Series of Workshop in the Visegrad Group to Prevent Mass Atrocities. Warsaw, Poland, in dates 5-7 October.
V4 Prevention is an initiative of the Budapest Centre for the International Prevention of Genocide and Mass Atrocities, organized in collaboration with partners from the Visegrad Group and the UN Office of the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, and supported by the International Visegrad Fund. The Workshop in Poland is the last event of a four-semester programme consisting of three-day workshops in all Visegrad Group countries. The workshop is open to members of the legislations, representatives of governmental institutions, academia and civil society. This series offers a good opportunity to build a common preventive framework in the region. http://www.genocideprevention.eu/v-4-prevention/
ABU DHABI: RtoP AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AT EYE ON EARTH SUMMIT
From the 6th to the 8th of October 2015, Enzo Le Fevre Cervini, Director of Research and Cooperation of the Budapest Centre, attended the Eye on Earth Summit organized by the Eye on Earth Alliance in Abu Dhabi. Le Fevre took part in a fraction entitled “Informed Decision-Making for Sustainable Development”, where he delivered a presentation focusing on both the need to empower policies that are more prone to sustainability and the nexus between mass atrocities and sustainable development.
More specifically, he emphasized the role that development actors play in the effective implementation of the second pillar of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P), which states that the international community has a responsibility to assist States in their primary duty of protecting their population from atrocity crimes. Furthermore, Le Fevre stressed that the effective prevention of fragilities is of paramound importance for both developing national capabilities to prevent mass atrocity crimes and laying foundations to empower societies and build resilience.
2016 saw a well rounded 10-month Initiative under the title “V4 Task Force on Prevention of Mass Atrocities” in collaboration with institutions and experts from Visegrad Countries and the International Visegrad Fund and the "African Task Force on Mass Atrocities Prevention", an event organized by the Budapest Centre for Mass Atrocities Prevention in cooperation with the Institute of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
2016 finished with the Workshop "Climate Change & Food Insecurity – Role of Environmental Risk Factors in Preventing Atrocities" in Washington DC.
This session, jointly organized by the Budapest Centre for Mass Atrocities Prevention and the Stanley Foundation in the framework of the Law, Justice and Development and emphasized the need to examine climate change and food security as underestimated stabilizing factors in an uncertain world.
Acute environmental threats across the globe have decreased stability of the international order and in turn increased the risk factors for mass atrocities. The repercussions are particularly hazardous to the most vulnerable population groups such as women, children, elderly persons, indigenous peoples, migrants, rural workers, persons with disabilities, and the poor. Well-structured, integrated interventions supporting food security and environmental stability may concretely contribute to peace and conflict mitigation, both of which are factors necessary for sustainable development.
In 2017, as a pre-event of the 10th Budapest Human Rights Forum, the Budapest Centre organized the event "Gender Based Mass Atrocity Prevention" in cooperation with its partners within The European Centre for the Responsibility to Protect (ECR2P) and the Károli Gáspár University of the Reformed Church in Hungary.
The 2018 flagship event was the release of the very topical "Prevention of radicalization in the prison-system Project"
This initiative focused on a yet relatively unknown field, i.e. on improving the preventive skills of the staff working in Hungarian penal institutions. Exploring challenges related to radicalisation and identifying needs and demands arising in prevention and treatment were among the aims of the project.
The project was implemented by the Foundation for the International Prevention of Genocide and Mass Atrocities. Within the framework of the project that was supported by the European Union’s Internal Security Fund, the team firstly assessed the skills that could be observed regarding the detection, prevention, and treatment of radicalization among the professional staff in five penal institutions. In the second stage, we provided training customized to local needs for the sake of developing these skills further. In the third stage, we conducted interviews known as “life story interviews” among the convicts on the assumption that coming to know the personal life stories can pave the way to a better understanding of the reasons behind radicalization. At the end of each of the three sections, observations were presented in the form of analyses.
All in all, the project not only aimed at collecting information about radicalisation and extremism by research activities. Additionally, efforts were taken to improve skills required to recognise and prevent radicalisation through training activities also supporting and accelerating the reaction of staff. This experimental training and collection of information is extremely significant not only for the existing staff with meaningful professional know-how and experiences but also in terms of the planned increase and training of personnel by thousands of staff in the Hungarian Prison Service.
Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide
2018 was brought to a close by the Roundtable Event “Implementation of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide”.
The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide was adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations and signed on the 9th of December, 1948 just one day before the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It represented a milestone document aimed at fundamentally changing the attitude of the International Community with the aim of building total intolerance towards genocide and making nations morally obliged and capable to prevent the perpetration of the “crime of crimes”.
Despite the remarkable efforts and unquestionable progress in the implementation of the Convention including the adoption of the Responsibility to Protect in 2005, now 70 years later, genocide is not a thing of the past yet.
Thus, the Budapest Centre for Mass Atrocities Prevention dedicated its annual event to the 70th anniversary of the adoption of the Convention and use the opportunity to further promote its implementation. The event intends to take a look back to the past and overview both the achievements and failures.
The aim was to raise awareness of some contemporary challenges and their backgrounds in the hope to increase the international capabilities and support for action. In doing so, the Budapest Centre for Mass Atrocities Prevention intends to dedicate a specific session to countering hatred and paranoia as an important phase in the process leading to genocide and other mass atrocities with a focus on the young generation and education.
Accreditation by EDU
WHAT'S NEXT FOR 2019?
His Excellency Irving Le-Vance is delighted to bring further attention to the important work of the Budapest Centre for the International Prevention of Genocide and Mass Atrocities and the Intergovernmental Organization EDU is committed to support and endorse the activities of this partner organization and looks forward to 2019 being another successful year for both parties.
Budapest Centre attains EDU Accreditation and Partner Status | EDU Secretary-General receives Acclaimed Genocide Scholar | EDU signs MOU with IFIMES to promote Peace and Education | Institute of Peace and Diplomatic Studies receives EDU Accreditation | International Peace and Development Training Center (IPDTC) PATRIR achieves EDU Accreditation
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