On June 1 - 4, 2014, leading decision-makers from the United Nations, Africa, the United States, and Europe will gather in The Hague to consider the failure of the international community to prevent or effectively respond to the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, and to explore whether and how the tragedy might have been averted.

This rare convening of former officials and eyewitnesses coincides with the 20th anniversary of the genocide that took the lives of as many as one million Rwandans, predominantly Tutsis, between April and July 1994. As part of a broader initiative to shed new light on the failed response to the genocide, the conveners have made available online thousands of pages of newly declassified documents.

The conference is co-sponsored by the Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and The Hague Institute for Global Justice, in partnership with the National Security Archive at George Washington University.

A few words about the methodology

Since the late 1980's the National Security Archive has co-sponsored over 60conferences using the "critical oral history" methodology developed by Jim Blight and janet Lang ranging from topics such as the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Iran-Iraq War, and the US war in Vietnam, among others. The critical oral history methodology is one which "involves the simultaneous interaction, in a conferencesetting, of oral testimony, declassified documents, and scholarly analysis."[1] The methodology can produce startlingly new insights and revelations.

[1] Blight, James G. et al. Becoming Enemies: U.S.-Iran Relations and the Iran-Iraq War, 1979-1988. New York: Rowman & Little Field Publishers, Inc.