The following letter was released by the Save-Darfur coalition today:
Sixty years ago today, the U.N. adopted the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. The nations of the world said “Never Again” in the wake of the Holocaust, pledging to stop genocide wherever and whenever it occurs.
To mark this historic occasion, former Secretaries of State and Defense Madeleine Albright and William Cohen released the final Genocide Prevention Task Force report yesterday, outlining concrete recommendations to recognize and respond to emerging threats of genocide and mass atrocities. The report, for which Save Darfur president Jerry Fowler was interviewed, explains why genocide and mass atrocities threaten core American national security and economic security interests as well as our core moral values.
With the appointment of several high profile Darfur champions to his national security team, we have reason to hope that President-elect Obama will act on these important recommendations. We have reached this point because of the friends, activists and donors of the Save Darfur Coalition. The constituency of conscience you’ve built has saved lives. But there is still much to be done. Despite our reasons for hope, it will take hard work and continued engagement to turn these recommendations into realities.
Two things are necessary to both end the violence in Darfur and to prevent future genocide and mass atrocities. First, our government must be better equipped to respond to and prevent such horrific situations. Additionally, we must prove to our elected leaders that the constituency of conscience embodied by the Save Darfur movement isn’t going away, and cannot be ignored
President-elect Obama has declared his commitment to Darfur and his intention to act. But it will take unrelenting advocacy from all of us to ensure that he acts soon, and with enough conviction to end the crisis. We have to stand with our new president, supporting him when he takes bold action and pressing him if he wavers.
We must press for strong action to ensure that America can address Darfur today and prevent the next Darfur tomorrow. We must demand that our president and Congress live up to their promises. Ending the genocide in Darfur is a first, critical, step to stopping genocide everywhere.
Thank you again for everything you’ve done.
National Outreach Coordinator