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US Government Statements on Genocide

A report exploring how, when, and why determinations of genocide are made

The adoption by the United Nations General Assembly of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide marked a turning point in world history. Today, 150 nations including the United States are parties to the Genocide Convention.

In 2018, in recognition of the convention’s 70th anniversary as well as the 30th anniversary of its ratification by the United States, the Museum’s Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide and Ferencz International Justice Initiative invited former Ambassador Todd Buchwald, the Tom A. Bernstein Genocide Prevention Fellow, and Adam Keith to explore how, when, and why the US government has decided to say genocide has been committed. 

About This Report

By Any Other Name: US Government Statements about "Genocide" compiles, for the first time in one place, the many instances in which senior US government officials have publicly invoked the term, describes the behind-the-scenes decision-making process leading to these decisions, and the lessons learned from this process. 

The appendix provides a chronological, detailed discussion of each situation using publicly available documents concerning US policy statements and deliberations, as well as interviews with individuals who were personally involved in the relevant situations.