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Preventing the unthinkable
'Stopping mass atrocities' is focus of human-rights conference

07 March 2007

How can state governments be encouraged to stop genocide and other mass atrocities? An international assembly of policymakers, legislators, philanthropists, religious leaders, scholars, and activists will discuss these issues at "Stopping Mass Atrocities: An International Conference on the Responsibility to Protect," set for Tuesday and Wednesday, March 13 and 14. The conference is free and open to the public.


Roméo Dallaire (Jean-Marc Carisse photo)
 

The conference begins Tuesday evening with a talk by Lt. General Roméo Dallaire, the Canadian whose role as leader of the United Nations peacekeeping mission to Rwanda during the 1994 genocide was featured in the film Hotel Rwanda. In "The Failure of Humanity in Preventing Genocides," Dallaire will discuss the Rwandan tragedy and, for Dallaire, its personal and professional aftermath. His sold-out talk at International House will be webcast in the near future (check the Human Rights Center website, hrcberkeley.org, a week or two following the event).

Wednesday's lineup of talks and panel discussions, in Barrows Hall's 8th-floor Lipman Room, runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Guest speakers and panelists hail from a who's who of human-rights organizations and think tanks - among them the International Crisis Group, the R2P Coalition, Human Rights Watch, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Landmine Survivors Network. The conference ends with an evening screening of Beyond the Gates, a new feature film based on true events at a Catholic school where 2,500 Tutsis and moderate Hutus took refuge during the Rwandan genocide of 1994. Starring John Hurt and Hugh Dancy, it screens at 7:30 p.m. at downtown Berkeley's Shattuck Cinemas (visit beyondthegates-movie.com for a film description).

The Stopping Mass Atrocities conference is hosted by the campus Human Rights Center in cooperation with Genocide Intervention Network and Human Rights Watch, with a large number of campus co-sponsors and community partners. For information, visit stoppingmassatrocities.com, e-mail r2pconference@berkeley.edu, or call 642-0965.