The Will to Intervene Project (W2I)

The Simons Foundation was the major funder of the Will to Intervene Project (W2I) and continues to support further research on the subject. Dr. Jennifer Allen Simons is a member of the project’s Research Steering Committee. The Vancouver Launch of the W2I Report was convened by The Simons Foundation in partnership with the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies - MIGS (now the Montreal Institute for Global Stability) at Concordia University and the Simon Fraser University Centre for Dialogue.

W2I is a crucial initiative pursuing the prevention of genocide and other crimes against humanity. After Bosnia, Rwanda and Darfur, genocide experts understand that pressuring political leaders to stop crimes against humanity before they become genocides has been ineffective. We know what is happening and early warnings are sounded, but governments are slow to react and intervene effectively.

The goal of W2I is to understand how to mobilize key politicians to act, and to design practical tools for NGO directors, media leaders, business executives and others so they can effectively pressure governments to prevent future genocides and other crimes against humanity.

The W2I project was developed jointly by General Roméo Dallaire and Professor Frank Chalk of MIGS. Gen. Dallaire, Canada’s leading advocate of peacemaking, peacekeeping and peace-building in the world’s war-torn regions, brings to the project his experience in Rwanda and his work on child soldiers. He is the Senior Fellow at MIGS, whose research supports his work with the UN Advisory Committee on Genocide Prevention.

In pursuit of MIGS’ mission, W2I was designed to operationalize the principles of the Canadian-sponsored report by the International Commision on Intervention and State Sovereignty (ICISS) report, The Responsibility to Protect (of which The Simons Foundation was the Canadian private funder), which aims to prevent future Rwandas and Cambodias.