This bill — the Elie Wiesel Genocide and Atrocities Prevention Act of 2018 — would state that it’s U.S. policy to regard the prevention of genocide and other atrocity crimes as a core national security interest and a core moral responsibility. The State Dept. would be instructed to establish a Mass Atrocities Task Force to strengthen the agency’s efforts and assist other agencies’ atrocity prevention prevention and response activities. Foreign Service Officers would receive training in conflict and atrocity crimes prevention.
The Director of National Intelligence would be encouraged to include in their annual testimony to Congress regarding threats to U.S. national security: 1) a review of countries and regions at risk of atrocity crimes; and 2) specific countries at immediate risk of atrocity crimes, including most likely pathways to violence, specific risk factors, potential perpetrators, and at-risk target groups.
Additionally, a Complex Crises Fund (CCF) would be established to help the State Dept. and the U.S. Agency for International Development to support programs and activities to prevent or respond to emerging or unforeseen complex crises overseas, including atrocity crimes. Funding couldn’t be dispensed from the CCF for lethal assistance or to respond to natural disasters.
The bill is named after Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel, who went on to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986 for his work campaigning for the victims of oppression around the world.