On 27 March the Permanent Mission of Canada to the UN and the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect co-hosted an event entitled, “Strengthening atrocity prevention through technical assistance and capacity building.”
Building a government’s institutional capacity to protect and preserve human rights is a crucial element in preventing the commission of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing. The provision of technical assistance and capacity building is one tool available to the international community in this regard, as it can assist in addressing conditions that may create an environment conducive to the commission of atrocities. While some understanding exists on how technical assistance and capacity building contribute to the prevention of human rights violations, this understanding does not necessarily extend to building resilience to atrocities.
Speakers highlighted how to systematically incorporate an atrocity prevention lens in technical assistance activities undertaken by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and member states. The discussion also focused on how existing UN Human Rights Council-mandated special procedures and investigative mechanisms can inform technical cooperation and institutional reform within a concerned state.