Text: S.2551 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)All Information (Except Text)

There is one version of the bill.

Text available as:

Shown Here:
Introduced in Senate (02/11/2016)

[Congressional Bills 114th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[S. 2551 Introduced in Senate (IS)]


  2d Session
                                S. 2551

 To help prevent acts of genocide and mass atrocities, which threaten 
    national and international security, by enhancing United States 
        civilian capacities to prevent and mitigate such crises.



                           February 11, 2016

  Mr. Cardin (for himself, Mr. Tillis, Mr. Murphy, Mr. Menendez, Mrs. 
  Shaheen, Mr. Brown, Mrs. Gillibrand, Mr. Blumenthal, Mr. Coons, Ms. 
   Mikulski, Mr. Markey, Mr. Merkley, Mrs. Boxer, Mr. Casey, and Ms. 
    Warren) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and 
             referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations


                                 A BILL

 To help prevent acts of genocide and mass atrocities, which threaten 
    national and international security, by enhancing United States 
        civilian capacities to prevent and mitigate such crises.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,


    (a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``Genocide and 
Atrocities Prevention Act of 2016''.
    (b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents for this Act is as 

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.
Sec. 2. Findings.
Sec. 3. Definitions.
Sec. 4. Statement of policy regarding genocide and mass atrocity 
Sec. 5. Atrocities Prevention Board.
Sec. 6. Training of Foreign Service officers in conflict and atrocity 
Sec. 7. Report of the Director of National Intelligence.
Sec. 8. Complex Crises Fund.


    Congress makes the following findings:
            (1) The nature of genocide and mass atrocities, including 
        crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansing, and war crimes, 
        committed globally includes shocking acts of violence 
        perpetrated by governments and non-state actors, which have 
        killed millions of civilians and other innocent individuals.
            (2) The commitment to prevent acts of genocide and mass 
        atrocities has been a centerpiece of policy by consecutive 
        administrations of the United States Government.
            (3) The United States was the first country in the world to 
        sign the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the 
        Crime of Genocide, signed at Paris December 9, 1948, and 
        President Ronald Reagan signed implementing legislation 
        allowing the United States to become a party to the Convention 
        on November 25, 1988.
            (4) In the 2006 National Security Strategy, President 
        George W. Bush highlighted the ``moral imperative that states 
        take action to prevent and punish genocide''.
            (5) In 2008, the bipartisan Genocide Prevention Task Force, 
        which was co-chaired by former Secretary of Defense William 
        Cohen and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright--
                    (A) stated ``genocide and mass atrocities also 
                threaten core U.S. national interests''; and
                    (B) recommended the creation of ``a new standing 
                interagency mechanism for analysis of threats [of 
                genocide and mass atrocities] and coordination of 
                appropriate preventive action''.
            (6) In December 2010, the Senate unanimously passed Senate 
        Concurrent Resolution 71, which recognized the United States 
        ``national interest in helping to prevent and mitigate acts of 
        genocide and other mass atrocities against civilians, and 
        supporting and encouraging efforts to develop a whole of 
        government approach to prevent and mitigate such acts''.
            (7) In 2012, President Obama, in Presidential Study 
        Directive 10, which ordered the creation of the Atrocities 
        Prevention Board, stated that he would ensure that the United 
        States Government has the required structures, tools, and 
        mechanisms to better prevent and respond to mass atrocities.
            (8) In February 2014, James Clapper, the Director of 
        National Intelligence, stated in his annual national security 
        threat assessment to Congress--
                    (A) ``The overall risk of mass atrocities worldwide 
                will probably increase in 2014 and beyond.'';
                    (B) ``Many countries at risk of mass atrocities 
                will likely be open to influence to prevent or mitigate 
                them.''; and
                    (C) ``Much of the world will almost certainly turn 
                to the United States for leadership to prevent and 
                respond to mass atrocities.''.
            (9) The United States can strengthen its atrocity 
        prevention and peacebuilding efforts by--
                    (A) supporting civil society which serves a central 
                role in promoting nonviolent conflict resolution and 
                supporting early warning;
                    (B) enhancing cooperation and understanding among 
                ethnic and religious groups, communities, and factions;
                    (C) working with the international community to 
                ensure shared responsibility by enhancing multilateral 
                and regional mechanisms that seek to prevent genocide 
                and mass atrocities;
                    (D) promoting effective accountability mechanisms 
                to deter individuals and entities that may incite or 
                commit genocide or mass atrocities; and
                    (E) implementing policies that hold accountable 
                individuals and entities that incite or commit genocide 
                or mass atrocities.


    In this Act:
            (1) Genocide.--The term ``genocide'' has the meaning given 
        the term in Article II of the United Nations Convention on the 
        Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, opened for 
        signature in Paris December 9, 1948.
            (2) Mass atrocity.--The term ``mass atrocity'' means large 
        scale and deliberate acts of violence against civilians and 
        includes crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansing, and war 
            (3) Peacebuilding.--The term ``peacebuilding'' means 
        nonviolent activities designed to prevent conflict through--
                    (A) addressing root causes of violence;
                    (B) promoting sustainable peace;
                    (C) delegitimizing violence as a dispute resolution 
                    (D) building capacity within society to peacefully 
                manage disputes, including the capacity of governments 
                to address citizen grievances; and
                    (E) reducing vulnerability to triggers that may 
                spark violence.


    It is the policy of the United States--
            (1) to regard the prevention of mass atrocities and 
        genocide as a core national security interest and a core moral 
            (2) to mitigate threats to United States security by 
        addressing the root causes of insecurity and violent conflict 
        to prevent--
                    (A) the mass slaughter of civilians;
                    (B) conditions that prompt internal displacement 
                and the flow of refugees across borders; and
                    (C) other violence that wreaks havoc on regional 
                stability and livelihoods;
            (3) to enhance our Nation's capacity to prevent and address 
        the drivers of mass atrocities and violent conflict as part of 
        its humanitarian, development and strategic interests;
            (4) to create a Government-wide strategy to prevent and 
        respond to the risk of genocide and mass atrocities by--
                    (A) strengthening the diplomatic, risk analysis and 
                monitoring, strategic planning, early warning, and 
                response capacities of the United States Government;
                    (B) improving the use of foreign assistance to 
                respond early, effectively, and urgently in order to 
                address the root causes and drivers of violence, 
                systemic patterns of human rights abuses, and mass 
                    (C) supporting international atrocities prevention, 
                conflict prevention, peacekeeping, and peacebuilding 
                    (D) supporting and strengthening local civil 
                society, including human rights defenders and others 
                working to help prevent and respond to atrocities, and 
                protecting their ability to receive support from and 
                partner with civil society at large; and
                    (E) promoting financial transparency and enhancing 
                anti-corruption initiatives as part of addressing a 
                root cause of insecurity; and
            (5) to employ a variety of unilateral, bilateral, and 
        multilateral means to prevent and respond to conflicts and mass 
        atrocities by--
                    (A) placing a high priority on timely, preventive 
                diplomatic efforts; and
                    (B) exercising a leadership role in promoting 
                international efforts to end crises peacefully.


    (a) Establishment.--The President is authorized to establish an 
interagency Atrocities Prevention Board (referred to in this section as 
the ``Board'').
    (b) Leadership.--The President shall appoint a Chair of the Board, 
who shall--
            (1) serve on the National Security Council staff with a 
        rank no lower than Senior Director (Chair); and
            (2) report, through the National Security Advisor, to the 
    (c) Responsibilities.--Under the direction of the Chair, the Board, 
either on its own or through such executive departments and agencies as 
may be appropriate, shall--
            (1) meet regularly to ensure that atrocities and the risk 
        of atrocities throughout the world are adequately considered 
        and addressed;
            (2) oversee the development and execution of policies and 
        tools to enhance the capacity of the United States to prevent 
        and respond to atrocities worldwide;
            (3) monitor developments throughout the world that heighten 
        the risk of atrocities;
            (4) analyze and closely review specific atrocity threats or 
        situations of heightened concern;
            (5) identify any gaps in United States policies concerning 
        regions or particular countries;
            (6) provide the President with recommendations and 
        potential improvements to policies, programs, resources, and 
        tools related to atrocity prevention and response;
            (7) conduct outreach, including regular consultations with 
        representatives of nongovernmental organizations dedicated to 
        atrocity prevention and response and other appropriate 
                    (A) to receive assistance for the Board's efforts 
                to address emerging atrocity threats or situations and 
                develop new or improved policies and tools; and
                    (B) to provide an appropriate public understanding 
                of the work of the Board; and
            (8) in carrying out paragraphs (1) through (7), focus on 
        particular ways for the United States Government to develop, 
        strengthen, and enhance its capabilities to--
                    (A) monitor, receive early warning of, and 
                coordinate responses to potential atrocities;
                    (B) deter and isolate perpetrators of atrocities 
                through all available authorities;
                    (C) promote accountability and deny impunity for 
                perpetrators of atrocities, within the United States 
                and throughout the world;
                    (D) engage allies and partners, including the 
                United Nations Office on Genocide Prevention and the 
                Responsibility to Protect and other multilateral and 
                regional institutions, to build capacities and mobilize 
                action for preventing and responding to atrocities;
                    (E) encourage the deployment of civilian advisors 
                to prevent and respond to atrocities;
                    (F) increase capacity and develop doctrine for the 
                United States foreign service, civil service, armed 
                services, development professionals, and other actors 
                to engage in the full spectrum of atrocity prevention 
                and response activities;
                    (G) develop and implement tailored foreign 
                assistance programs that address and mitigate the risks 
                of atrocities;
                    (H) ensure intelligence collection, analysis, and 
                sharing of appropriate information; and
                    (I) address any other issues that the Board 
                determines to be appropriate.
    (d) Composition.--The Board shall be constituted as an interagency 
body composed of designated representatives, at the Assistant Secretary 
level or higher, of--
            (1) the Department of State;
            (2) the United States Agency for International Development;
            (3) the Department of Defense;
            (4) the Department of Justice;
            (5) the Department of the Treasury;
            (6) the Department of Homeland Security;
            (7) the Central Intelligence Agency;
            (8) the Office of the Director of National Intelligence;
            (9) the United States Mission to the United Nations;
            (10) the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and
            (11) such other executive departments, agencies, or offices 
        as the Chair may designate.
    (e) Report.--Not later than 180 days after the date of the 
enactment of this Act, the Secretary of State, in consultation with the 
United States Agency for International Development, shall submit an 
unclassified report, with a classified annex if necessary, to the 
Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate, the Committee on 
Appropriations of the Senate, the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the 
House of Representatives, and the Committee on Appropriations of the 
House of Representatives that includes--
            (1) an interagency review consisting of--
                    (A) an evaluation of the efficacy of current 
                efforts based on United States and locally identified 
                indicators, including capacities and constraints for 
                Government-wide detection, early warning and response, 
                information-sharing, contingency planning, and 
                coordination of efforts to prevent and respond to 
                situations of genocide, mass atrocities, and other mass 
                violence, such as gender-based violence;
                    (B) an assessment of the funding expended by 
                relevant Federal agencies on atrocity prevention 
                activities, including the legal, procedural, and 
                resource constraints faced by the Department of State 
                and the United States Agency for International 
                Development throughout respective budgeting, strategic 
                planning, and management cycles to support conflict and 
                atrocity prevention activities in countries identified 
                to be at risk of atrocities;
                    (C) current annual global assessments of sources of 
                instability, conflict, and mass atrocities;
                    (D) recommendations to further strengthen United 
                States capabilities described in subparagraph (A); and
                    (E) consideration of analysis, reporting, and 
                policy recommendations to prevent and respond to 
                atrocities produced by civil society, academic, and 
                other nongovernmental organizations and institutions;
            (2) recommendations to ensure shared responsibility by--
                    (A) enhancing multilateral mechanisms for 
                preventing genocide and atrocities, including 
                strengthening the role of international organizations 
                and international financial institutions in conflict 
                prevention, mitigation, and response; and
                    (B) strengthening regional organizations; and
            (3) the implementation status of the recommendations 
        contained in the interagency review described in paragraph (1).
    (f) Materials and Briefings.--The Chair and members of the Board 
            (1) provide annual briefings to the Committee on Foreign 
        Relations of the Senate and the Committee on Foreign Affairs of 
        the House of Representatives; and
            (2) provide briefings and materials, as appropriate, to the 
        relevant congressional committees.
    (g) Authorization of Appropriations.--There are authorized to be 
appropriated such sums as may be necessary for fiscal years 2017, 2018, 
and 2019 to carry out this section.


    Section 708(a) of the Foreign Service Act of 1980 (22 U.S.C. 
4028(a)) is amended--
            (1) in paragraph (2), by striking ``and'' at the end;
            (2) in paragraph (3), by striking the period at the end and 
        inserting ``; and''; and
            (3) by adding at the end the following:
            ``(4) instruction on recognizing patterns of escalation and 
        early warning signs of potential atrocities or violence, 
        including gender-based violence, and methods of conflict 
        assessment, peacebuilding, mediation for prevention, and early 
        action and response.''.


    The Director of National Intelligence should include, in his or her 
annual testimony to Congress on threats to United States national 
            (1) a review of countries and regions at risk of genocide 
        and mass atrocities; and
            (2) whenever possible, specific mention of countries and 
        regions at immediate risk of genocide and mass atrocities.


    (a) Establishment.--
            (1) In general.--There is established in the Treasury of 
        the United States a fund, which shall be known as the ``Complex 
        Crises Fund'' (referred to in this section as the ``Fund''), to 
        enable the Administrator of the United States Agency for 
        International Development to support programs and activities to 
        prevent or respond to emerging or unforeseen foreign challenges 
        and complex crisis overseas, including potential mass 
            (2) Transfers.--Notwithstanding any other provision of law, 
        except section 620M of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 
        U.S.C. 2378d), the Secretary of the Treasury shall transfer to 
        the Fund such sums as may be appropriated or otherwise made 
        available for the purposes described in paragraph (1) and to 
        carry out the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2151 et 
        seq.). Amounts transferred to the Fund shall remain available 
        until expended.
    (b) Purposes of Assistance.--Amounts in the Fund may be expended--
            (1) to mitigate or respond to emerging or unforeseen 
        complex crises, including urgent humanitarian, political, 
        social, or economic challenges that threaten stability in any 
        country or region;
            (2) to counter the rise of violent conflict and 
        instability; or
            (3) to advance the consolidation of peace and democracy.
    (c) Limitations.--
            (1) In general.--Amounts in the Fund may not be expended 
        for lethal assistance or to respond to natural disasters.
            (2) Administrative expenses.--Not more than 5 percent of 
        the amounts in the Fund may be used for administrative 
    (d) Congressional Notification.--Not later than 5 days before 
amounts from the Fund are obligated, the Administrator of the United 
States Agency for International Development shall submit notification 
of such obligation to--
            (1) the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate;
            (2) the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate;
            (3) the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of 
        Representatives; and
            (4) the Committee on Appropriations of the House of 
    (e) Waiver.--The notification requirement under subsection (d) may 
be waived if--
            (1) failure to do so would pose a substantial risk to human 
        health or welfare; and
            (2) the congressional committees set forth in subsection 
                    (A) are notified not later than 3 days after an 
                obligation of funds; and
                    (B) are provided with an explanation of the 
                emergency circumstances that necessitated the waiver.

Share This