The Will to Intervene (W2I) Project, a groundbreaking Canadian research initiative which focuses on new arguments for preventing genocide, crimes against humanity, serious war crimes, and ethnic cleansing, and, in the worst case, intervening in situations where these mass atrocities are on-going. The Will to Intervene Project report charts a new understanding of the threats mass atrocities pose to the security and economic prosperity of Canada and argues that the prevention of mass atrocities should be prioritized as a vital national interest by the Government of Canada.
The W2I Project is co-directed by Dr. Frank Chalk, Director and co-founder of the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies (MIGS) and Roméo Dallaire, Senator and former Force Commander of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda.
The fundamental goal the W2I report, entitled Mobilizing the Will to Intervene: Leadership and Action to Prevent Mass Atrocities, is to identify strategic and practical steps to raise the capacity of government officials, legislators, civil servants, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), advocacy groups, journalists, and media owners and managers to build the political will to prevent mass atrocities. The report provides practical policy recommendations to make this goal a reality.
The report draws on interviews with more than 80 foreign policy practitioners and opinion shapers in Canada and the United States. Many of the interviewees participated directly in Canadian and American government decision making during the 1994 Rwandan Genocide and the 1999 Kosovo crisis, which exemplify a failure to act and a strong will to act. The W2I Project’s researchers also wanted to understand what civil society groups and the news media could have done to ramp up the pressure on Prime Minister Chrétien and President Clinton to save lives in Rwanda. They wanted to learn if civil society played a role in the decisions of Canada and the United States to preserve lives in Kosovo and what considerations propelled the decision to intervene. They designed their questions with an eye to the future, hunting for “lessons learned,” informed not only by their interviews, but also by scholarly studies of Canadian and U.S. Government policies.
The report was made public in Canada on 22 September, 2009. The Canadian parliamentary launch occured on 1 October and featured distinguished panel of experts who discussed W2I’s policy recommendations for the benefit of parliamentarians.
Please visit MIGS webpage for more information: http://migs.concordia.ca/W2I/W2I_Project.html
MIGS gratefully acknowledges vital lead support for W2I granted by The Simons Foundation (Vancouver, BC) and Concordia University, and the generous support of James Stanford (Calgary) and The Aaron and Wally Fish Family Foundation.
W2I Description by Will to Intervene Project is licensed under a
All W2I photography is credited to Wayne Rogers, “Photographer for the Masses”