Dear Chairman Corker,
On May 17, 2018, the House Foreign Affairs Committee passed an amended version of S.1158's companion bill (H.R.3030). The House bill’s bipartisan co-sponsors include Chairman Ed Royce and Ranking Member Eliot Engel, along with 26 other HFAC Members. We as Tennessee residents write to ask you to support the Elie Wiesel Genocide and Atrocities Prevention Act as passed by HFAC without further amendment.
As shown by tragic mass atrocities in the past, such as the Rwandan Genocide and humanitarian crises in Sudan, prompt action is necessary to alleviate the suffering of millions whom are tormented and marginalized beyond any reasonable standards. If not preemptively managed, growing mass atrocities around the world can progress into tragedy.
Mass atrocities lead to ungoverned spaces that enable violent extremism to flourish and generate massive refugee crises. Illicit enterprises such as human, drug, and weapons trafficking can thrive in these tumultuous situations. Furthermore, mass atrocity crimes can cost the United States billions of dollars in response efforts when proactive action could prevent this seemingly endless chain of violence, dehumanization, and suffering. Saving innocent lives in volatile regions is the morally proper action, and preventing these catastrophes is also clearly in the U.S. national security interests and can help save our taxpayer dollars. Data analysis from the Institute for Economics and Peace indicates that for every $1 that is invested in peacebuilding activities, the cost of conflict response will be reduced by $16. Additionally, it would greatly reduce the need for costly military intervention, saving the lives of our honorable soldiers as well.
The Elie Wiesel Act takes a multifaceted approach towards advancing the United States’ leadership in ensuring equity for all populations while protecting the U.S. interests. This piece of legislation is critical towards ensuring effective prioritization of prevention of tragedies through coordination among the Director of National Intelligence, Pentagon, State Department, Homeland Security, USAID and other actors. As past efforts demonstrate, effective staff mobilization and interagency collaboration has helped to mitigate further violence in places like Central African Republic and Burundi. The Elie Wiesel Act would ensure that the proper protocols be taken in all instances of atrocities and that humans worldwide are able to be liberated from the chains that hold them restrained in oppression.
This bipartisan legislative effort serves to further support the ongoing work of the Atrocities Prevention Board at the National Security Council, as well as the increased emphasis on violence prevention at the U.S. Agency for International Development. Furthermore, 60 powerful non-governmental organizations, including the American Psychological Association and the Anti-Defamation League have urged for the passage of this act.
The Elie Wiesel Act offes a tangible step toward advancing American leadership on these critical issues. We the citizens of the great state of Tennessee urge you to promote this bipartisan legislative effort in order to promote a safer world; we implore that this legislation be passed without further amendments to alleviate the suffering of many worldwide.