Driven by the perceived failures of the old democracies (in particular the USA and Canada) to obviate the commission of genocide, crimes against humanity and other gross violations of human rights in different parts of the world during the twentieth and twenty first centuries, leading academics at the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies at the University of Concordia commissioned the Will to Intervene (W2I) Project whose main thrust was “to understand how to operationalize the principles of the Report of the International Commission on Intervention and States Sovereignty on the Responsibility to Protect”. The Institute has published a report (Mobilising the Will to Intervene: Leadership and Action to Prevent Mass Atrocities). The report is a culmination of wide consultations and interviews with eminent persons in the US and Canada and its purpose is encapsulated in the preface as “to identify strategic and practical steps to raise the capacity of government officials, legislators, civil servants, NGOs, advocacy groups, journalists, and medial owners and managers to build the political will to prevent mass atrocities”. The report is of practical relevance to all human rights advocates and also to the proponents of the R2P and it is hoped that the recommendations contained therein will go a long way in informing and devising strategies aimed at engaging governments across the world to reduce, eliminate and prevent the recurrence of all forms of gross violations of human rights including genocide.
the W2I’s stated goal sounds well meaning, but also somewhat ambiguous. How helpful can they be?