Diplomacy Dean gathers students for research on genocide


International terror attacks, including the March 22 Brussels bombings, call for prevention of these atrocities.

Andrea Bartoli, dean of the School of Diplomacy and International Relations, is heavily involved in the organization Global Action Against Mass Atrocity Crimes (GAAMAC).

GAAMAC’s premise is to be a state-led initiative to prevent mass atrocities including war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide and ethnic cleansing, according to its website. The organization also assists states that are considering developing strategies to prevent mass atrocities.

In regard to his involvement with GAAMAC Bartoli said, “I’ve been involved with GAAMAC since the beginning. The very idea of bringing together the countries committed to genocide prevention and the responsibility to protect came into conversation with the Swiss diplomat Mo Bleeker.”

“GAAMAC is a coalition. GAAMAC is an alliance,” Bartoli added. “The focus is particularly interesting because it is at the national level. Domestic policies that countries can take to prevent mass atrocities.”

Bartoli has not taken on this challenge alone.

He has recruited a research team of Diplomacy and International Relations students including Abraam Dawoud, Nicholas Ciccarino, Craig Witmer and Cynthia Sularz to connect Seton Hall to GAAMAC last year.

“Last year I was teaching a class and I was simply mentioning the idea of launching this research collaboration between faculty and students on GAAMAC and I asked for volunteers,” Bartoli said.

Bartoli said he took all students who were interested and added that, “I think that they found afterwards the focus of their interest and commitment.”

Craig Witmer, a senior diplomacy and international relations major, said in an email interview that his experience working with Bartoli and GAAMAC is “absolutely fantastic.”

“As the world continues to see growing complexities in preventing mass atrocities, the capacity to address them must be fostered,” Witmer said. “Being able to pick the brains of policy makers, and individuals who have and continue to be thought leaders in the international community as an undergraduate has fundamentally improved my experience as a student at Seton Hall.”

Bartoli added, “GAAMAC is definitely growing and the commitment of the school of diplomacy, I imagine, will continue to grow.”

Nicole Encalada can be reached at nicole.encalada@student.shu.edu.

Author: Staff Writer

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