The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and The Hague Institute for Global Justice are pleased to announce the appointment of Ambassador Stephen Rapp, former US Ambassador-at-Large for Global Criminal Justice, as a Sonia and Harry Blumenthal Distinguished Fellow for the Prevention of Genocide in the Museum’s Simon-Skjodt Center. During his one-year appointment at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Ambassador Rapp will create a manual that sets standards for documenting human rights violations to help ensure that perpetrators can be brought to justice.
“Too often, evidence gathered in the aftermath of mass atrocities is of little value to prosecutors,” said Cameron Hudson, Director of the Museum’s Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide. “Ambassador Rapp will play a crucial role in setting concrete standards for collecting and safeguarding evidence and taking witness statements. This manual will serve as a model for governments and human rights organizations around the world.”
As part of this fellowship, Ambassador Rapp will spend six months in The Hague, where he will join the Rule of Law Program at The Hague Institute for Global Justice. Ambassador Rapp will focus on developing principles and best practices to help ensure that investigations into serious human rights violations lead to perpetrators being held accountable in international and national judicial proceedings, and ultimately, deter the commission of future crimes. “Ambassador Rapp will build on an existing project at The Hague Institute on fact-finding, an issue which requires the attention of both scholars and practitioners,” said Dr. Abiodun Williams, President of The Hague Institute. Officially authorized inquiries and fact-finding missions are increasingly mandated by the UN Human Rights Council, UN Security Council, African Union and individual states. At the same time, human rights reporting by UN missions and NGOs has increased dramatically in recent years.
Ambassador Rapp brings to his fellowship an extraordinary record of scholarship and government service. Prior to his work at the US State Department as Ambassador-at-Large for Global Criminal Justice, a position he took up in 2009, he served as Prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, Senior Trial Attorney and Chief of Prosecutions at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.
While working from both Washington, DC and The Hague, Ambassador Rapp will have access to key institutions, including US government agencies, leading practitioners in the field of fact-finding and the courts, tribunals and international organizations in The Hague.
This collaboration between the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and The Hague Institute builds on a previous partnership. The organizations collaborated in 2014 and 2015 on two major conferences examining the failure to prevent genocide in Rwanda and Bosnia.
About the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
A living memorial to the Holocaust, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum seeks to inspire citizens and leaders worldwide to confront hatred, prevent genocide, and promote human dignity. The Museum’s Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide works to make the prevention of genocide and related crimes against humanity a national and international priority. Find out more about the Museum’s work on International Decision Making in the Age of Genocide initiative.
About The Hague Institute for Global Justice
The Hague Institute for Global Justice is an independent, nonpartisan organization established in 2011 by the city of The Hague and key Hague-based organizations and with support from the Dutch government to conduct interdisciplinary policy-relevant research, develop practitioner tools and convene experts, practitioners and policymakers to facilitate knowledge sharing to contribute to, and further strengthen, the global framework for preventing and resolving conflict and promoting international peace.