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Making a difference, strengthening capacitites to respond to crises and security threats

3-4 June 2009 Brussels

Organized by the European Commission

Every two years, the European Commission brings together in Brussels the international community of policy makers and practitioners in conflict prevention and crisis response so as to examine and learn from responses to crises and security threats. M
ore than ten years after the decision which led to the launch of the EU’s ‘Common Foreign and Security Policy’ (CFSP), there is a growing understanding that conflicts and other crises require comprehensive responses that address all relevant dimensions, be they civilian, social, economic, political or military. The need for truly comprehensive approaches was clearly confirmed in the 2008 review of the ‘European Security Strategy’. 

Coherent and timely responses to crises include inter alia effective mediation and post conflict strategies aimed at the promotion of peace, stability and reconciliation. The success of multifaceted responses requires proactive, coordinated and sustained engagement of state and non-state actors deploying a range of instruments. Moreover, the restoration of peace and stability in conflict affected areas around the world relies on the strengthening of local capacities to respond to crises and security threats.
The particular aim of this 2009 conference is to explore what works best and “what makes the difference”, with a view to identifying effective approaches to the strengthening of crisis response capacities.

Panel on the Responsibility to Protect – making the concept operational
The Responsibility to Protect (RtoP) populations from genocide, ethnic cleansing, war crimes and crimes against humanity is a commitment taken by governments at the World Summit in 2005 to prevent and react to grave mass atrocities, wherever they may occur. Four years after the World Summit agreed that states have a primary responsibility to protect their own populations and that the international community has a responsibility to help states enhance their capacity to do so, but also to act when these governments fail to protect the most vulnerable, much remains to be done. What could and should be key priorities for the EU when it comes to contributing to the Responsibility to Protect?
This panel was chaired by Mr Gareth EVANS, President and Chief Executive of International Crisis Group and included the following speakers:  
  1. Ms Corlett LETLOJANE, Director, Human Rights Institute of South Africa
  2. Ms Sapna CHHATPAR, Program Associate, World Federalist Movement-Institute for Global Policy, New York
  3. Mr Andrew RATHMELL, Deputy Director, Directorate for Strategy and Policy Planning, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, UK
  4. Prof Gary BASS, Princeton University, US
  5. Ms Kirstin DE PEYRON, Acting Head of Unit for UN affairs, Directorate General for External Relations, European Commission
  6. Rapporteur: Mr Luc LAMPRIÈRE, General Director ofOxfam France

See more on the 'Making the difference' incl. panels, report and summary of recommendations: here.


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