More than six decades after the Holocaust, ongoing violence in Syria is a vivid reminder that the systematic targeting of civilians remains a consistent reality of global politics. In 2005, the full array of global leaders at the United Nations World Summit committed to the principle known as the “Responsibility to Protect,” which outlines a series of shared commitments to prevent and halt atrocity violence, specifically genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and ethnic cleansing. This discussion will consider the many challenges the international community faces as it seeks to implement these commitments, as well as the potential to better protect populations under threat and give new resolve to the promise of never again.
Rachel heads the Stanley Foundation’s atrocity prevention program, which seeks to draw policy focus to the mutually reinforcing obligations reflected in the responsibility to protect framework and supports the development of deliberate, strategic, and balanced approaches to mass atrocity prevention and response. Prior to joining the foundation, she worked for the United Nations Office at Geneva and UNHCR on issues related to refugee resettlement, interagency collaboration, and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). From 2004 to 2006, she worked in sustainable development with the United States Peace Corps in Mlyniv, Ukraine, where her work centered on secondary-level education, curriculum development, and local capacity building. Gerber holds a B.A. in Government and International Relations from Cornell University and an M.A. in International Affairs from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva (IHEID), where she specialized in conflict analysis, human rights, and humanitarian law.