A series of four regional fora on the prevention of genocide took place in Argentina (2008), Tanzania (2010), Switzerland (2011) and Cambodia (2013). Following these fora, a High-Level Working Meeting on the Prevention of Atrocities was conducted in Dar es Salaam in March 2013. Participants included representatives of six states, three from the Prevention of Genocide Network (Argentina, Switzerland and Tanzania) and three serving as co-facilitators of the National Focal Point Initiative for the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) (Australia, Costa Rica and Denmark). Representatives also included the UN Office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect, regional organizations, civil society and experts in the field of genocide prevention and R2P.

The Working Meeting sought to identify commonalities between the two communities of Genocide Prevention and R2P, gaps at the national and regional levels for the successful prevention of atrocities, and key elements for the development of national architectures and policies to make the prevention of atrocities a reality. Participants noted the growing interdependence between the national, regional and international levels and stressed the need for greater legitimacy and credibility in strategies and policies for atrocity prevention. Participants agreed that in order to strengthen prevention at the national level it was necessary to:

  • ensure effective national architectures and policies
  • appoint National Focal Points for R2P
  • strengthen synergies between the two communities of Genocide Prevention and R2P
  • engage with other States as well as civil society and academia at the national, regional and international level

Participants further identified a number of tasks that could be undertaken by this group of concerned states and civil society to jointly strengthen atrocity prevention. They agreed that there was a need to:

  • develop a common working language
  • advance education efforts and awareness-raising
  • convene a larger and more diverse constituency
  • multiply outreach efforts through public events
  • ensure tangible results at the national level
  • engage in joint training and policy development
  • ensure sustainability for these efforts (knowledge, resources, structure)

To this end, participants agreed to create Global Action Against Mass Atrocity Crimes (GAAMAC), a “Community of Commitment” that would enable States, civil society organizations and academic institutions to exchange information, experience and challenges, and share practical solutions for the prevention of atrocities at the national level.