WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Quaker lobby, the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) applauded the approval today of the Elie Wiesel Genocide and Atrocities Prevention Act of 2017 (H.R. 3030) by the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.
The bill will now move to the full House of Representatives for a vote. A similar bill, S. 1115, awaits committee action in the Senate.
“This is an exciting step in a long journey for this important bill to become law,” said Diane Randall, FCNL Executive Secretary. “We must work to prevent genocide and mass atrocities from happening again.”
The bill, in recognition of Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel, ensures coordination among U.S. government departments to prevent global atrocities from occurring and requires training for Foreign Service Officers to identify early warning signs of genocide. It also requires the president to update Congress on measures to mitigate violence in specific countries, funding related to conflict prevention initiatives, and a global assessment of instability, conflict, and atrocities.
House Members Ann Wagner (R-MO), Joe Crowley (D-NY), and Eliot Engel (D-NY) introduced this humanitarian legislation in June 2017. There is strong bipartisan support for the bill with 115 co-sponsors. As the full House prepares to vote on H.R. 3030, a companion bill (S. 1158) is also beginning to move in the Senate.
The Elie Wiesel Genocide and Atrocities Prevention Act is the product of nearly a decade of work by FCNL and a broad coalition of government, humanitarian, human rights, and development organizations that are seeking to move the U.S. from fighting wars to preventing them.
“We thank all the 115 co-sponsors of this bipartisan bill and encourage all members of the House to swiftly support this critical legislation,” said Theo Sitther, FCNL’s Legislative Secretary for Peacebuilding Policy. “Amid the multiple incidents of global violence occurring every day, the question is not whether risks of future atrocities exist, but what Congress can do to mitigate these risks.”