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1. Policy memo from conference includes summary of talks on mainstreaming R2P within the UN
2. SG Ban Ki-moon remarks highlight strengthening early warning at the UN
 
1. Centre for Citizen’s Participation consultations on the AU’s Year of Peace and Security
 
1. Ban urges restraint as inter-religious violence takes deadly toll
2. Human Rights Watch - Nigeria: Protect Survivors, Fully Investigate Massacre Reports
 
1. The Enough Project Releases New Sudan Report
 
1. Center for Jewish History--Panel on Diplomacy and Genocide: Challenges for the Future
2. Institute for Security Studies--call for Papers on the AU’s Peace and Security Council and thematic issues including RtoP


 
1. Policy memo from conference on “Implementing Responsibility to Protect”
The Stanley Foundation
21 January 20009
 
The Stanley Foundation convened about 35 governmental and nongovernmental officials near New York last week to examine practical steps toward the implementation of the Responsibility to Protect (RtoP). Participants included UN officials and diplomats from a number of countries and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon spoke at the opening dinner of the conference.
A policy memo is now available which expands on these key observations from the discussion:
·       Consideration of RtoP is at a different place today than it was in earlier discussions. While some doubts and questions remain, the focus now is on accepting the 2005 Summit Outcome as agreed and focusing on the actions needed to implement and mainstream it within the UN system.
·       While early warning about the relevant crimes is always vital, there is significant agreement that assessment and turning information into actionable intelligence are equally critical and an even greater challenge. A focal point is needed for this information flow and assessment, and the joint office proposed by the secretary-general seems a logical place.
·       Establishing and supporting the proposed joint office of Special Advisor on the Prevention of Genocide and the Special Advisor focused on RtoP, received considerable support among conference participants and this should be carried forward in the appropriate UN bodies. The joint office's mandates should be integrated and any definitional deficiencies remedied.
·       The primary leadership for implementing RtoP within the UN system necessarily falls on the shoulders of the secretary-general. His role is to lead and direct, using existing structures where possible.
 
Read full policy memo here. A full report will follow shortly.
 
2. Remarks at Stanley Foundation Conference on “Implementing the Responsibility to Protect” Stanley Foundation
15 January 2009
 
(…) The outcome document also focused on another crucial element – early warning. The assembled leaders called on the international community to “support the United Nations in establishing an early warning capability.”
 
The Annex to my report outlines how we might begin to go about this. After all, the UN system does not lack information. The problem is assembling the relevant information in one place and assessing it from a responsibility to protect perspective.  In addition, the Office of the Special Adviser for the Prevention of Genocide already does this through the lens of one of the four atrocity crimes.
 
It would thus make sense to have a joint office on genocide prevention and the responsibility to protect, whose functions would include early warning and assessment and which would have direct access to me.
 
Moreover, an inter-agency mechanism will consider policy options to be presented to me and, through me, to relevant intergovernmental bodies in emergency situations.
 
My two Special Advisers have been consulting widely with relevant departments and agencies on how to go about this. Professor Luck will report on their conclusions and recommendations to the Policy Committee at the end of March.
 
Before closing, let me mention two issues that are before us in 2010.
 
The first relates to collaboration between Member States and the Secretariat.
 
In the conceptual development of the responsibility to protect, our ongoing conversation has proven remarkably productive. We have listened to and learned from you. As we move towards creating the joint office of the Special Advisers, however, we will also need some modest financial and human resources. We hope to have as constructive a dialogue with the Fifth Committee as we have had with the Plenary.
 
The second issue relates to the very credibility of the United Nations.
 
As you know, there are many critics who doubt that the world body can be a reliable protector of populations from atrocity crimes. And indeed, they have lots of history and several recent debacles with which to make their case.
 
Still, I remain convinced that the only way to endow the responsibility to protect with legal authority, moral weight and the promise of effective action is to keep it under the provisions of the UN Charter. This was made explicit in the Summit Outcome document.
 
Civil society – including some of you in this room – can keep pressing capitals and international institutions to act.
 
The Secretariat can help make prevention work, undertake Chapter VI measures, and ring the alarm bells when timely and decisive action is needed. But in the toughest and most visible cases, when prevention fails and peaceful means are inadequate, it will be up to the Member States to prove their mettle as well as the value of the world body. (…)
 
Full Speech here.
 
 
1. Centre for Citizen’s Participation consultations on the AU’s Year of Peace and Security
CCP-AU
20-21 January 2009
 
The CCP-AU was established in 2007 to coordinate and facilitating the activities of civil society organizations in their engagement with the AU, held a two -day consultation on the AU Year of Peace and Security in Addis Ababa on 20 – 21 January 2010.
 
The consultation came in response to the AU Assembly’s call to African civil society groups to make concrete proposals and recommendations to the AU on peace and security issues that AU leaders will deliberate upon in the upcoming 14th Ordinary African Union Summit of Heads of State and Government (31 January-02 February 2010). Also, the consultations aimed at familiarizing African NGOs with the Plan of Action of the AU General Assembly as well as the Tripoli Declaration, both of which were adopted by AU Heads of State at the Special Session on the Consideration and Resolution of Conflicts in Africa in August 2009. (See more info here)    
 
In these discussions, participants (including ICRtoP and Coalition members Oxfam and International Refugees Rights Initiative) expressed strong support for RtoP. More specifically, the final Communiqué of the Consultations, signed by twenty-five NGOs, included the following RtoP references: 
 
(…) Encouraged by the positive contributions of African governments during the July 2009 United Nations General Assembly Debate on the Responsibility to Protect, in particular the reference by many member states to Article 4(h) of the Constitutive Act of the African Union and its transition from the principle of non interference to the principle of non indifference; (…)
 
We therefore make the following recommendations to the Heads of State and Government of Africa on Peace and Security issues in Africa: (…)
 
The Responsibility to Protect
 
1.     Urge AU Member States to prioritize efforts to prevent and halt genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and crimes against humanity by taking timely and appropriate action in specific situations where these crimes and violations are imminent.
2.     Urge AU Member States to strengthen their collaboration with the UN and regional bodies in the provision of assistance required for states to fulfil their responsibility to protect. (…)
3.     Recalling the adoption in 2005 of World Summit Outcome Document where UN Member States Nations expressed in Paragragh 138 and 139, their commitment to the protect civilians from genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing; and the subsequent Security Council Resolution 1674 on the protection of civilians ;
4.     Welcome the report of the United Nations Secretary General on ‘Implementing the Responsibility to Protect’ (A/63/677) especially the formulation of the ‘three pillar approach’;
5.     Commend the African Governments who spoke favourably in support of strengthening the Responsibility to Protect at the July 2009 General Assembly debate on the Responsibility to Protect. (…)
 
Read all recommendations to the AU in the full Communiqué
 
 
Clashes between Christians and Muslims resumed in Jos, Nigeria, on January 17 2010, reportedly resulting in over 200 deaths. This is the fourth instance of mass killings in the past decade (at least 700 casualties resulted from the violence in Jos in November 2008). AFP   reported that the incitement to violence was helped by transmission of hate messages through cell phones. According to Human Rights Watch, the three days of clashes have forced at least 5,000 people from their homes. Nigeria responded by deploying additional military and anti-riot police units to the streets of Jos and imposed a 24-hour curfew in the city.
 
There remain questions as to the extent to which these crimes are widespread and systematic, arguably a determining factor for whether the RtoP threshold has been met. As Paragraphs 138-139 of the World Summit Outcome Document outline, States have the responsibility to protect their populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity. Nigeria, like every other State, carries this responsibility to protect its populations and to prevent these crimes from occurring. 
 
 UN SG Ban Ki-moon has expressed serious concern about the violent episode, which is the latest of many religiously fueled conflicts in the region. Human Rights Watch has called for the Nigerian government to launch a full investigation into the attacks.
 
1. Nigeria: Ban urges restraint as inter-religious violence takes deadly toll
UN News Centre
20 January 2010
 
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today appealed for maximum restraint after inter-religious violence in the central Nigerian city of Jos has reportedly left over 200 people dead.
 
He also appealed to all concerned to “seek peaceful solutions to religious and other differences in the country,” in a statement issued by his spokesperson.
 
“In particular, he calls on all political and religious leaders in Nigeria to work together to address the underlying causes of the recurring sectarian violence in the country.”
 
Mr. Ban took note of the Government’s expressed determination to find a permanent solution to the crisis in Jos, and urged that every effort be undertaken to restore stability and avoid further deterioration of the situation, the statement added.
 
Deadly clashes between Muslims and Christians in Jos in November 2008 killed several hundred people and displaced thousands of others. In addition, at least 100 people were reportedly killed in northern Nigeria last July during clashes which pitted local Muslims against police forces.
 
 
2. Nigeria: Protect Survivors, Fully Investigate Massacre Reports
Human Rights Watch
23 January 2010
 
Nigeria's vice president should order an immediate criminal investigation into credible reports of a massacre of at least 150 Muslim residents of a town in central Nigeria, Human Rights Watch said today.
 
The killings, allegedly by groups of men armed with knives, machetes, and guns, were in the town of Kuru Karama, 30 kilometers south of the city of Jos in Plateau State in central Nigeria. (…)
 
Witnesses interviewed by Human Rights Watch said that groups of armed men attacked the largely Muslim population of Kuru Karama around 10 a.m. on January 19, 2010. After surrounding the town, they hunted down and attacked Muslim residents, some of whom had sought refuge in homes and a local mosque, killing many as they tried to flee and burning many others alive. The witnesses said they believed members of the armed groups to be Christians. (…)
 
In a televised address to the nation on January 21, Vice President Goodluck Jonathan, the acting president, pledged that the perpetrators of the violence in Plateau State and their sponsors would not evade justice. "The federal government is determined to secure convictions of the perpetrators of this crime, no matter how highly placed," he said. (…)
 
Muslim leaders in Plateau State reported today that at least 364 Muslims have been killed in Jos and surrounding communities, including 187 of the dead that have been taken to the Jos central mosque for burial. A Christian leader told Human Rights Watch today that the Christian Association of Nigeria is still compiling figures on the number of Christians killed.
 
Human Rights Watch said the government should also take concrete steps to end the discriminatory policies that treat certain groups as second-class citizens and lie at the root of much of the inter-communal violence in Nigeria. (…)
 
Read the full article.
 
 
1. Clear Benchmarks for Sudan
The Enough Project
19 January 2010
 
Ten NGOs, including Enough, Humanity United, Human Rights Watch, Save Darfur Coalition, Genocide Intervention Network, Physicians for Human Rights, American Jewish World Service, Investors Against Genocide, and i-Act/Stop Genocide Now, released a major policy paper calling on the Obama administration to apply firm benchmarks to Sudan to prevent much broader conflict. In its Sudan policy review completed in mid-October 2009, the Obama administration indicated it would regularly assess the progress of peace in Sudan—or lack thereof. But the administration has not publicly disclosed precisely what benchmarks it is applying to assess progress in Sudan, even as it begins its official review process this month and as tensions increase across Sudan.
To help bring transparency to the process by which the United States ensures strict adherence to unambiguous benchmarks, and ensure that the appropriate pressures and incentives are applied accordingly, “Clear Benchmarks For Sudan” aims to provide guidance for how officials, concerned citizens, and others in the international community can assess genuine progress toward a lasting peace in Sudan.
 
Excerpt:
The Obama administration has rightly demanded an approach to Sudan that is based on demonstrable change on the ground. Just as the administration has made clear that it will hold the parties in Sudan accountable for their actions, so too will activists and policymakers hold the Obama administration accountable for whether and how it consistently uses benchmarks to deploy pressures and incentives.”
 
Read full report
 
 
1. Panel on Diplomacy and Genocide: Challenges for the Future
Center for Jewish History
1 February 2010, 6:30pm
 
The Center for Jewish History and the Auschwitz Institute for Peace and Reconciliation have organized a panel discussion, Diplomacy and Genocide: Challenges for the Future, to take place on 1 February at 6:30 PM at the Center for Jewish History in New York. General admission in $15, $12 for CJH and AIPR members and $5 for students.
 
Raphael Lemkin's tireless efforts to build a world free of genocide set a high standard for the global actors of today. A distinguished panel of diplomats, policy makers and scholars discuss the issues and opportunities in diplomatic approaches to the prevention of genocide in the contemporary international community.
 
Panelists include: HE Ileka Atoki, Ambassador to the United Nations, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Francis Deng, Special Adviser to the UN Secretary General on Genocide Prevention, Mone Dye, Permanent Mission of South Africa to the UN, Ambassador Renee Jones-Bos, Dutch Ambassador to the U.S., former Dutch Ambassador-at Large, Joe Mellot, U.S. Department of State – Public Diplomacy, and Ambassador Stephen Rapp, U.S. Ambassador-at-Large on War Crimes Issues.
 
More information on this panel
 
2. Institute for Security Studies--call for Papers on the AU’s Peace and Security Council and thematic issues including RtoP
Institute for Security Studies
January 2010
 
The Institute for Security Studies through its Addis Ababa-based African Conflict Prevention Program, invites policy-makers, academics, practitioners, policy researchers to submit abstracts, and subsequently papers, which will assess a broad range of issues relating to the AU Peace and Security Council, with specific reference to its first five years of operation.
 
Authors are invited to submit a 250 word abstract, by Friday 29th January 2010, indicating the title of their proposed paper as well as a summary of their core research and analysis objectives. Authors are requested to concisely outline their core argument and also identify potential policy recommendations that will emerge from their analysis. Authors who are selected by the Review Committee will be required to submit their paper by 19th March 2010. (…)
Themes will include conceptual, institutional and operationalization issues within the AU Peace and Security Council and its relationship with other actors. Themes also include case studies of country specific cases, regional interventions and thematic issues such as RtoP, the prevention of genocide, International Justice, and more.
See more details
 

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