Throughout much of the 20th century, Latin American and Caribbean states witnessed broad political transitions, economic instability and fierce repression. Massive human rights violations occurred throughout the continent. The issues that evolved in light of the Dirty War in Argentina, the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile, the series of military governments in Guatemala, the Peruvian insurrection launched by the Sendero Luminoso group, and many other instances of human rights violations, placed the Latin American continent in the spotlight. In recent decades, however, there has been a clear decrease in internal conflicts and threats to human rights. This is, in part, due to efforts by civil society to remember and condemn rights violations and crimes. There has also been a strong show of support in Latin American and Caribbean countries for the principles of non-intervention, self-determination, and state sovereignty (see the regional body, Community of Latin American and Caribbean States - CELAC’s January 2014 Havana Declaration, demonstrating commitment not to intervene in other countries’ internal affairs).
Initial proponents of RtoP included several Latin American nations and a growing group of countries have since actively advanced the norm, including Argentina, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Uruguay. Despite an increase in support for RtoP in the region, there remain no provisions in regional mechanisms that address responses to cases of genocide, ethnic cleansing, war crimes and crimes against humanity. The 2012 joint initiative of the United Nations University and Griffith University report, “Enhancing Protection Capacity: Policy Guide to the Responsibility to Protect and the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflicts,” concluded that existing regional organizations in Latin America (listed below) have preventative policies in line with RtoP, yet they lack implementation mechanisms to facilitate them, as well as reaction to atrocity and subsequent rebuilding.
Canada strongly supported and advocated for RtoP in its early phases and was involved in the development of the norm at the national and international level. The International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (ICISS) was launched on 14 September 2000, formed under the sponsorship of the government of Canada, and led by the efforts of then-Minister of Foreign Affairs Lloyd Axworthy. The Commission was mandated to promote a comprehensive debate on the relationship between intervention and sovereignty, aiming to foster global political consensus on how to move from polemics to action within the international system. On 18 December 2001 – after more than twelve months of research, worldwide consultation, and deliberation – the Commission released its report, entitled, “The Responsibility to Protect.” The Canadian government, particularly the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) supported and funded research initiatives in an effort to further develop the norm and aid in its implementation, however, in part due to political changes in government, support for RtoP has diminished in recent years. Nonetheless, parliamentarians from Canada have formed a parliamentary group, composed of members from all parties who share a common interest in genocide prevention, RtoP, and the aims and ideals of the United Nations (to be discussed in more detail below). NGOs have also been advocating for the government to take a stronger, more visible role in RtoP’s advancement.
The United States of America, from 2001 to the end of the Presidency of George W. Bush in 2008, drifted away from involvement with the United Nations. With the 2009 inauguration of President Barack Obama, hopes for an American foreign policy that supported the RtoP agenda rose. Developments since 2009 have proven that, in terms of RtoP, the Obama administration is much different than its predecessor. In Kenya’s2010 referendum on a proposed new constitution, for instance, the U.S. State Department, recognizing the potential for civil unrest, worked with the Kenyan government, diplomats, and the UN to insure the stability of the political setting. Effective and timely efforts at diplomacy, in alignment with R2P’s second pillar, contained the situation. Most importantly, in April 2012, U.S. President Obama created the Atrocities Prevention Board (APB) (to be addressed further in a later section), which aims to make the prevention of mass atrocities a “core national security interest and core moral responsibility.” However, as the ongoing crisis in Syria and the CAR starkly reveal, for all of RtoP’s advancements in U.S. policy rhetoric, the U.S. has yet to achieve an atrocity prevention strategy that effectively accounts for the varying degrees and circumstances of all such incidents.
Below, ICRtoP highlights the achievements and gaps in protection that involve the different RtoP actors – regional bodies, individual states and civil society – in order to gain an understanding of where and how cooperation surrounding the norm’s implementation, in its broad range of forms, can be better coordinated and advanced in the Americas.
The following bodies have existing mandates to promote peace processes and the defense of human rights, an avenue where RtoP-related work, especially preventive, can be advanced:
The human rights protection system of the OAS includes the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. Both organs were established through the 1969 American Convention on Human Rights, which declares the economic, social, political and civil rights guaranteed to all persons within OAS Member States. The IACHR was founded to promote the observance and protection of human rights in the region and to act as a consultative body for the OAS on related matters. The Court acts as an autonomous judicial body whose purpose is to apply and interpret the American Convention on Human Rights. Other relevant bodies in the OAS include the Committee on Juridical and Political Affairs which promotes human rights and international humanitarian law, the Inter-American Commission on Women which promotes women’s rights, the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights which is a center for teaching, research and promotion of human rights, and the Central American Integration System which promotes peace and human rights in Central America.
The various bodies discussed above include, in theory, mechanisms that should enable regional contribution to RtoP; however, as Bertrand Ramcharan states in his paper, “Enhancing the Responsibility to Protect in Latin America and the Caribbean,” published through the Stanley Foundation in 2011, “there are few existing instrumentalities that are specifically mandated to act preventively in response” to mass atrocity crimes. The primary focus of both the Inter-American Commission and Court is to dispense justice after human rights violations have been committed as opposed to applying preventive or reactive measures. The 3 September 2012 IACHR judgment, UZCÁTEGUI ET AL. v. VENEZUELA, in which the Court found assertions made publicly by one of the plaintiffs to implicate the state in grave human rights violations, demonstrates the need for greater protection capabilities prior to this stage.
The IACHR recently conducted an on-site visit to the Dominican Republic, at the request of the State, in December 2013. As a result, it recognized a problem in existence with respect to the exercise of the right to nationality by persons of Haitian descent, and listed measures that it will work with the State to achieve in solving this issue.
b. Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Central American Integration System (SICA); and Union of South American Nations (UNASUR)
The Charter of Civil Society for the Caribbean Community includes provisions on human rights, such as political, women’s and children’s rights, however, the document does not establish a monitoring or investigative mechanism for implementation. That said, as of 2012, there is potential for improvement in the implementation of the Charter’s provisions. The CARICOM Secretariat is undergoing a reform process, which is set to take place over a span of three years. Meanwhile, SICA includes three separate organs: the Central American Court of Justice (CCJ), the Central American Parliament (PARLACEN) and the Secretariat General of the Central American Integration system. Finally, UNASUR is an economic and political intergovernmental union integrating all twelve South American countries, as part of a continuing process of South American integration. It aims at eliminating socio-economic inequalities in the region, promoting social inclusion and strengthening democracy through means such as political dialogue and social policies. For example, UNASUR played a large diplomatic role in reducing tensions in Bolivia in 2008. While all three of these bodies have potential for encouraging the implementation of human rights and early warning mechanisms, it remains to be seen whether they can provide an effective platform for atrocities prevention.
Latin American Network for Genocide and Mass Atrocity Prevention
In 2012, 18 Latin American countries (all except Cuba) came together to create the Latin American Network for Genocide and Mass Atrocity Prevention. The Network was organized under the leadership of Argentina, Brazil, and the Auschwitz Institute for Peace and Reconciliation (AIPR), with the support and participation of the UN Office for the Prevention of Genocide and the Responsibility to Protect. The goals of the network are to install a genocide prevention training program within each government and to identify areas in which programs on genocide prevention can be implemented. Each country has appointed a Focal Point responsible for coordinating their government’s participation in the Network. Some states’ focal points have evolved into national mechanisms for the prevention of genocide, including Argentina in 2012 and Paraguay in April 2013. Other States with proposed initiatives include: Bolivia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Uruguay.
Each Latin American country has implemented different initiatives to achieve the network’s aim of establishing a “localized approach to genocide and mass atrocity prevention that is spearheaded by the individual member countries themselves.” Over the course of the next few years, however, the Auschwitz Institute hopes that national action plans will be developed by all governments on genocide prevention; that training curriculum for all civil servants on prevention will be incorporated into national structures; and that a region-wide early system to prevent mass atrocities will be organized.
Argentina, Costa Rica, Guatemala, United States, Uruguay - R2P Focal Points Initiative:
In 2010, the governments of Denmark and Ghana established the national R2P focal points initiative in collaboration with Coalition member, The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect. In the three years since, Australia and Costa Rica have joined as co-facilitators of the initiative. A focal point is meant to be a government official, appointed by the state, who takes on the responsibility for mainstreaming the Responsibility to Protect and mass atrocities prevention within their national government. The ministerial placement and specific responsibilities of each focal point are determined by the national context and capacities, but together these individuals – and there are now 35 - have formed a network that meets semi-annually to discuss good practices for focal points and strategize on how to raise awareness and capacities of governments to implement the norm.
Canada’s All-Party Parliamentary Group
Parliamentarians from Canada have formed a parliamentary group, composed of members from all parties who share a common interest in genocide prevention, RtoP, and the aims and ideals of the United Nations. The Genocide Prevention Group, administered by ICRtoP member The Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies, aims to ensure that the Canadian government is undertaking every effort to prevent and protect civilian populations from genocide and crimes against humanity. The group also seeks to increase the flow of information and analysis to Parliamentarians about these crimes and their incitement, and to facilitate an understanding surrounding the importance of long-term genocide prevention approaches.
Brazil’s Responsibility while Protecting (RwP)
Responsibility while Protecting (RwP) was first introduced by the Brazilian President Dilma Raousseff as “responsibility in protecting,” during her address to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in September 2011. It was then expanded upon in a concept note presented to the UN Security Council (UNSC) on 9 November 2011 by Brazilian Permanent Representative, Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti. RwP seeks to address concerns regarding the implementation of military measures to prevent and halt mass atrocities, emphasizing that prevention is the “best policy” and that the use of force in particular must be regularly monitored and periodically assessed so as to minimize the impact on civilians.
Initially, there were normative issues raised with RwP, in regards to its relationship to RtoP. Immediately following the 2011 Libya intervention, the first intervention to use RtoP language in its mandate, and the controversy over whether NATO took actions beyond stated limits, advocates of RtoP voiced their concerns. These concerns entailed whether RwP would reopen the quickly evolving RtoP norm to renegotiation, following its major achievements in UN Member State consensus and high-level analysis over its implementation. However, RwP instead served to initiate a progressive conversation on Pillar 3 of RtoP and the implementation of UN mandates, which culminated in the 21 February 2012 informal discussion. Instead of being seen to counteract RtoP and its advances, RwP served to emphasize the need to prioritize prevention, as was then widely agreed upon during the 2012 UNGA dialogue, “RtoP- timely and decisive response.” For more information on how RwP fostered a productive discussion on RtoP, see ICRtoP’s blog post on the topic.
2012 formation of the Atrocities Prevention Board of the United States
In April 2012, U.S. President Obama created the Atrocities Prevention Board (APB), which would ensure that the prevention of mass atrocities would be considered a “core national security interest and core moral responsibility” of the U.S. The White House-led APB, a standing inter-agency committee, includes senior representatives of the Departments of State, Defense, Treasury, Justice, Homeland Security, the Joint Staff, USAID, CIA, National Security Council, the US Mission to the UN, and the Office of the Vice President. Within its mandate, the APB has the directive to “lead a comprehensive review to assess the U.S. government’s anti-atrocity capabilities and recommend reforms that would fill identified gaps in these capabilities.” Examples of such measures in the APB’s first year have been (i) the finalization by the intelligence community of the first-ever National Intelligence Estimate on the Global Risks of Mass Atrocities; (ii) the dedication of staff by the Department of the Treasury to concentrate on designating sanctions based on human rights abuses and atrocities; and (iii) the State Department and USAID providing training to staff so that they could better identify early warning indicators of mass atrocities.
2010 Establishment of Security Council Director for War Crimes and Atrocities Position
The White House National Security Council established this position in 2010 to coordinate and support the administration’s policies on genocide and mass atrocities.
2009 Appointment of Ambassador at Large on War Crimes Issues
In September 2009 the US Department of State established the Office of War Crimes Issues, led by Ambassador-at-large Stephen Rapp. The Office advises the Secretary of State directly and develops US policy responses to atrocities committed in areas of conflict.
2013 Appointment of Samantha Power as UN Ambassador
Samantha Power, author of the bestselling “A Problem From Hell: America and the Age of Genocide” and former Chair of the Atrocities Prevention Board, was appointed as UN Ambassador for the U.S. in July 2013. Many hope that her background in covering mass atrocities will lead her to elevate RtoP issues at the UN.
June 2009 Passage of H.R. 2410
On 10 June 2009 the House of Representatives passed H.R.2410, which, in Sec. 1002, directed the Secretary to report to the appropriate congressional committees regarding plans for the development of a government-wide strategy to strengthen U.S. civilian capacities for preventing genocide and mass atrocities.
There is a need to articulate a strategy to further awareness and endorsement of RtoP by governments and institutions. Groups with RtoP-related mandates still need to consolidate their efforts to target national endorsement in countries already supportive of the norm (i.e. those most supportive of RtoP at the World Summit: Argentina, Chile, Guatemala and Mexico). Increasing civil society involvement in conflict prevention and in building a culture of dialogue, negotiation and trust with regional mechanisms also remains a priority for many groups.
Below please find reports and statements by civil society, and information on forums, roundtables, and conferences held on RtoP, prevention, and operationalizing civilian components in regional bodies.
• The Declaration of the Latin American Network for Genocide and Mass Atrocity Prevention was adopted within the framework of the IV Focal Points Meeting of the Latin American Network for Genocide and Mass Atrocity Prevention that took place on 29 May 2015 in Santiago, Chile. The Declaration represents a further step towards the consolidation and formalisation of the objectives and areas of work agreed upon at the launch of the Network in March 2012.
Click here to read the full declaration.• Dr. Mónica Serrano, Professor of International Relations at El Colegio de México, Senior Research Associate at the Centre for International Studies at the University of Oxford, a Senior Fellow at the Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies, and founding Executive Director of the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect (2008-11), is releasing a book in September 2014, titled, “The Responsibility to Protect in Latin America: A New Map (Global Politics and the Responsibility to Protect).”
• Fundación para la Paz y la Democracia (FUNPADEM) is in the process of executing a project, titled, “Apoyando la Implementación de la Estrategia de Seguridad Centroamericana,” partnering with the Comisión Nacional de Prevención de Violencia Armada (National Commission of the Prevention of Armed Violence) and sponsored by the European Union. The project’s targeted conclusion is 2015, and it aims to generate a regional action program for the implementation and strengthening of la Estrategia de Seguridad de Centroamérica (Central American Security Strategy). The countries of the Central American Integration System (SICA) and Grupo de Países Amigos y Organismos Internacionales Cooperantes (Group of Friends and International Cooperation Agencies) support this Strategy. Its main areas of action include: strengthening regional institutions, security and migration, support for regional integration through local and transnational development, and human rights. Ms. Paolo Solano of FUNPADEM, researched and authored a report “Informe Nacional sobre Inseguridad y Violencia Armada en Costa Rica,” which is part of this project, focusing on problems that are causing situations of insecurity in Costa Rica. In November 2013, this report was presented to diplomats, international organizations, government authorities, civil society and academia.
On 27 November 2013 FUNPADEM held a forum discussing the limitations and opportunities for the peaceful resolution of conflicts and democratic coexistence in Latin America, along with la Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and el Viceministerio de Paz. It was attended by over 70 people including, law enforcement, civil society, international organizations and academia.
• The Auschwitz Institute for Peace and Reconciliation (AIPR)’s core program, the Raphael Lemkin Seminar for Genocide Prevention, provides government, military and academic leaders the opportunity to learn from top scholars and practitioners on the most effective approaches for preventing genocide. The first seminar was held in 2008, and in 2013 AIPR launched a regional edition for Latin America, to take place bi-annually. In June 2013, the first of these seminars took place in Poland, which included two guided visits of the camps Auschwitz I and Birkenau. Sixteen member countries of the Latin American Network for Genocide and Mass Atrocity Prevention participated. The second seminar transpired in November 2013, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where eighteen countries discussed the region’s institutional implementation of mass atrocity programs, and the avenues available to strengthen cooperation amongst Network members. The next session will take place in Buenos Aires, Argentina in June 2014.
• Instituto de Relaciones Internacionales e Investigaciones para la Paz (IRIPAZ) participated in ICRtoP’s 2013 global civil society conference, organized with the Nexus Fund, in Istanbul, Turkey. The IRIPAZ representative at the event, Diego Padilla, also participated in the panel on Latin American regional integration along with Andrei Serbin (CRIES - Argentina), Camila Asano (Conectas), and James Waller (Auschwitz Institute for Peace and Reconciliation).
• The Igarapé Institute held an event in Brasilia, Brazil, from 21-22 November 2012, focused on implementing the Responsibility to Protect and examining the responsibility while protecting. Approximately 80 policy makers, practitioners, scholars and advocates participated in the event, which was the first time such a diverse group of stakeholders in Brazil discussed these topics in an open debate. Following the event, the Institute released a report, “Implementing the Responsibility to Protect: New Directions for International Peace and Security", in Englishand Portuguese. In March 2013, the Igarapé Institute released a book on RtoP, again in both Englishand Portuguese, featuring 12 papers by experts from Brazil and abroad.
• La Coordinadora Regional de Investigaciones Económicas y Socialies (CRIES) issued the thirty-fifth journal issue of Pensamiento Propio, “The Responsibility to Protect and its Applicability in Latin America,” in May 2012. The issue focuses on the goal of fostering debate on the RtoP in Latin America and features contributions focusing on different national and regional perspectives on the norm, the role of civil society in the development of RtoP, and various country cases where mass atrocities have been committed. In July 2012, the volume was presented alongside a panel of speakers including, Dr. Andrés Serbin, Director of the journal, Chair of ICRtoP and Executive President of CRIES, Dr. Ricardo Arredondo, diplomat and professor at the University of Buenos Aires, and by Dr. Khatchik Der Ghougassian, professor of international relations at the University of San Andrés.
• The Global Action to Prevent War (GAPW) issued their Spring 2012 newsletter on 14 March 2012, which included an article entitled “Assessing RtoP in Caracas”which discussed a recent workshop in Caracas, Venezuela hosted by the World Foundation of United Nations Associations (WFUNA) and GAPW. Workshop participants, including 60 NGOs, journalists and government officials from Venezuela, discussed objections by governments that are wary of RtoP.
• The Caribbean Studies Association held a conference entitled Building a New House: Towards New Caribbean Futures in an Age of Uncertainty from 30 May - 3 June 2011. The conference included a panel on RtoP, with discussants examining topics such as regional prevention mechanisms and civil society, and the normative evolution of RtoP.
• The United States Institute of Peace hosted a course on Conflict Prevention in Latin America from 23-27 May 2011. The course focused on how to anticipate and prevent violent conflict, with specific attention on security threats in Latin America.
• The Stanley Foundation convened a conference on 11 May 2011, which focused on the theme, The Role of Regional and Sub-Regional Arrangements in Strengthening the Responsibility to Protect. The conference report, published on 25 May 2011, included a paper by Bertrand G. Ramcharan entitled Enhancing the Responsibility to Protect in Latin America and the Caribbean. The paper analyzes the existing mechanisms related to RtoP in the region, providing recommendations on how to enhance implementation of the norm.
• In 2011, the article, “The Relevance of the Responsibility to Protect for Latin America and the Caribbean Region: Prevention and The Role of Civil Society” by Andrés Serbin and Gilberto M. A. Rodrigues of CRIES, was included in Volume 3, Issue 3 of the Global Responsibility to Protect (GR2P) journal. The authors argue that, “the traditional role of regional organisations and mechanisms in peaceful resolution of inter-state conﬂicts, should be deepened, combined and coordinated with civil society initiatives, in the implementation of RtoP.”
• Erasmo Lara Peña, director of the Centro Domincano para la Paz, released La Responsabilidad de Proteger on 3 June 2010. (Spanish only)
• ICRtoP and Coordinadora Regional de Investigaciones Econmicas y Sociales (CRIES) organized a regional meeting in Panama on 12 March 2010 entitled Responsabilidad de Proteger, Multilaterlismo y Sociedad Civil en America Latina y el Caribe. (Spanish only)
• The EastWest Institute held a Roundtable on Conflict Prevention in Latin America and the Caribbean on 7 July 2009 in Brussels. The seminar brought together diplomats from Latin America and the Caribbean, the Council of the European Union, and members of civil society and academia. The event fostered dialogue on the existing frameworks for prevention and opportunities for facing current challenges. The Institute released an event report upon completion of the roundtable.
• The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect held a Regional Forum on RtoP in Mexico City from 26-27 February 2009. The forum brought together government representatives, NGOs, and academics from the region to discuss the principles and challenges of RtoP within a regional context.
• ICRtoP,in partnership with the Consejo Argentino de Relaciones Internacionales (CARI) and the Coordinadora Regional de Investigaciones Econmicas y Sociales (CRIES), held a roundtable in Buenos Aires on 31 March – 1 April 2008, entitled, Dialogue on the R2P: Latin American Perspectives. See the outcomes of all global roundtables in our January 2009 publication Civil Society Perspectives and Recommendations for Action: here.
• The Coordinadora Regional de Investigaciones Económicas y Sociales (CRIES) published Paz, Conflicto y Sociedad Civil en America Latina y el Caribe in 2007. The document is a series of studies that CRIES used in the development of a Regional Action Plan for civil society, and in a presentation before the United Nations in the framework of the Global Conference promoted by the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC).
• The Canadian Centre for the Responsibility to Protect held a panel on 29 March 2014 called “From the Rwandan Genocide to R2P: A Journey of Lessons Learned.”
• In 2013, former secretary of state, Madeleine K. Albright, and former presidential special envoy to Sudan, Richard S. Williamson, authored a report titled, “The United States and R2P: from words to actions.” The findings of the Working Group on the Responsibility to Protect, of which Albright and Williamson are the co-chairs and organized by the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and the Brookings Institution, were used in the report’s assessment of RtoP. The report recognized the challenges to implementation that RtoP faces politically, institutionally, and operationally. It underscored the need for policymakers to expand their toolsets by emphasizing the pertinence of closing the gap between mass atrocity warning and effective response. The report states, “asserting that nothing realistic can be done to stop mass atrocities makes such violations more likely,” and concludes by offering recommendations to strengthen RtoP. These recommendations range from rhetorical and diplomatic measures, such as clarifying U.S. support for all of RtoP’s pillars and working with other states in this process, to developing modern technology to achieve RtoP’s aims. The report also serves the overall purpose of reminding its audience that RtoP’s primary function is prevention.
• Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies: in June 2013, MIGS held a three-day professional training program on mass atrocity prevention.
• Victor MacDiarmid and Patrick Quinton-Brown of the Canadian International Council published an article on 11 May 2012, “Recommitting to R2P” aiming to address where Canada currently stands on international humanitarian intervention as the government’s involvement in implementation of RtoP has been less visible in recent years. The authors call on Canada to renew its commitment to RtoP.
• Following the announcement of the United States government’s launch of the Atrocities Prevention Board (APB), civil society organizations, including, United to End Genocide, The Auschwitz Institute for Peace and Reconciliation (AIPR), The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect (GCR2P), Amnesty International, Citizens for Global Solutions (CGS), and The Will to Intervene Project (W2I) released statements welcoming the APB as a positive and progressive step for mass atrocity prevention. Organizations also provided suggestions for further implementation of preventive measures, as well as recommendations to ensure effectiveness of the APB.
• As part of its 52nd annual Strategy for Peace Conference, the Stanley Foundation convened about 30 US government officials and mass atrocity specialists to discuss prospects and challenges facing the interagency review, which aimed to create a design and approach for the Atrocities Prevention Board (APB) established by the Obama administration in August 2011, and provide key recommendations to the APB. The Stanley Foundation released a Policy Dialogue Brief on 20 December 2011, “Structuring the U.S. Government to Prevent Atrocities,” offering an overview of the conclusions and recommendations for the APB. These included: mainstreaming policy-approaches across all agencies to be atrocity-focused, taking a leading role, being a resource for other actors, directly supporting other governments, and partnering with NGOs and civil society to garner support.
• The Stanley Foundation held a conference entitled Atrocity Prevention and US National Security: Implementing the Responsibility to Protect from 14-16 October 2010 to discuss the United States government’s approach to genocide and mass atrocities and to explore steps for future development and dialogue. Participants identified several key action points to further the atrocity prevention agenda.
• The Canada Studies Program at the University of California – Berkeley organized and hosted a symposium entitled Canada, Humanitarian Intervention and the Responsibility to Protect on 13 November 2009. The conference explored the problem of how to protect human rights in the international community from a Canadian perspective, and examined RtoP and humanitarian intervention in the broader context of Post-Cold War humanitarian crises.
• In October 2009 the Council on Foreign Relations published a Special Report entitled Intervention to Stop Genocide and Mass Atrocities published by Matthew C. Waxman. The report asks if current international policies regarding the use of force are effective in preventing mass atrocities. The author calls on the US to work with allies to enhance the response mechanisms of the UN Security Council, and states that major elements of a strategy should include strong but nuanced declarations of support for the “responsibility to protect.”
• The Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies (MIGS) published a report entitled Mobilizing the Will to Intervene: Leadership and Action to Prevent Mass Atrocities in 2009. The report focuses on operationalizing RtoP in Canada and the US, and examines previous case studies, such as the genocide in Rwanda, to analyze state response to mass atrocities.
• The R2PCS Project organized a series of consultative roundtables with NGOs worldwide, and on 7 March 2008 hosted the Canada Civil Society Roundtable in Ottowa. The roundtable brought together civil society organizations to meet the following goals: (i) increase understanding of RtoP and how it applies to conflicts in the region, (ii) explore how to strengthen regional and international mechanisms to support RtoP, and (iii) forge partnerships with NGOs who are interested in joining in a core group in building an NGO network.
• The Genocide Prevention Task Force, launched in November 2007 and jointly convened by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, the American Academy of Diplomacy, and the U.S. Institute of Peace, released a report in December 2008 that aims to be a blueprint for genocide prevention.
Special thanks to Brianna Burt for her work in compiling this page.