5 March 2010
***ICRtoP releases new identity brochure***
In the Issue: ICRtoP New Educational materials, Global Centre policy brief on Burma/Myanmar and RtoP, upcoming event
II. NGO Communiqué on January 2010 Jos Crisis details Nigeria’s failure to protect
III. Upcoming RtoP Events and Projects and Call for action in Sudan
1. Applying the Responsibility to Protect to Burma/Myanmar
The following are excerpts from the Global Centre for R2P's most recent policy brief on RtoP in Burma/Myanmar:
The Burmese junta, its armed forces known as the “Tatmadaw,” and other armed groups under government control are committing gross human rights violations against ethnic and religious minorities. Extrajudicial killings, torture, and forced labor are prevalent; rape and sexual abuse by the Tatmadaw are rampant; and from August 2008 through July 2009 alone, 75,000 civilians in the east, where armed conflict is ongoing, were forcibly displaced. The Tatmadaw shows a complete disregard for the principle of distinction, intentionally targeting civilians with impunity.
Reports indicate that these violations, perpetrated primarily by state actors on a widespread and systematic basis, rise to the level of crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansing and war crimes – three of the four crimes states committed themselves to protect populations from in endorsing the responsibility to protect (R2P) at the 2005 World Summit. (...)
International actors have been strong in their condemnation of the regime but this has not yet translated into unified or effective action. Many governments have enacted an arms embargo and other sanctions against the government. However, despite the 2005 agreement that the Security Council is prepared to take action should governments manifestly fail to protect their populations, the Security Council to date has been largely silent on Burma. Both China and Russia vetoed a 2007 draft Security Council resolution on Burma on the grounds that violent repression in Burma was not a threat to international peace and security.
Much more needs to be done to engage reluctant actors, such as China and Russia, and to unify the international community of states behind policies to engage, and put pressure on, the government to fulfill its responsibility to protect the people of Burma. The ruling generals appear to be concerned about how they are viewed and are willing to make some concessions to improve their international standing. This leverage should be directed towards encouraging the government to end the perpetration of atrocities against ethnic and religious minorities.
The Security Council, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the United States, India and Thailand, are potentially the most influential actors and must determine what policy options can plausibly prevent the commission of mass atrocities in Burma. Regional actors have a crucial role to play. ASEAN has made a decision that it will not defend Myanmar if domestic issues about the country are raised in any international forum. ASEAN and its members must continue to put pressure on the government, in keeping with R2P and the ASEAN charter, leading the way for future international efforts.
Measures that have been proposed include strengthening diplomatic sanctions, consideration of the Burmese government by the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights, enacting a global arms embargo and economic sanctions, and referring the military leaders to the ICC. A 2009 Harvard Law report called for the creation of an international commission of inquiry, and possible ICC referral, in light of its finding that there was a prima facie case that the government was contravening prohibitions against crimes against humanity and war crimes. (...)
Read full policy brief
1. Communiqué released by Nigerian NGOs analyzes conflict in Jos, Nigeria and asserts the failure to uphold RtoP
Nigerian civil society groups and some concerned citizens met in Abuja on Thursday, 28 January 2010 to consult on the situation in Jos, receive updates and call for action through a joint statement. Thirty-five NGOs endorsed a communiqué which denounce the crimes and the failures of the government to protect its population, calls for a investigation and humanitarian assistance and address the incitement to crimes by hate messages in the media.
See our past analysis of the crisis from our past Listserv
Excerpts from the final NGO Communiqué:
FAILURE OF THE RESPONSIBILITY TO PROTECT
Government has a responsibility to take urgent, credible and transparent steps to regain credibility as a guarantor of the safety and security without discrimination on any grounds. Civic, faith and professional groups should co-operate in implementing such measures. (...)
Over the years, the police have made several arrests but no one has been prosecuted or punished for any crimes in the Jos crises. The perception has, therefore, grown that government at different levels tolerates, acquiesces or participates in these crimes. This cannot be allowed to continue. (...)
In addition, given the scale of the crimes alleged and the fact that Nigeria is party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, it is also necessary to determine whether crimes were committed which fall within the purview of the International Criminal Court (ICC).
To complement this process, Nigerian civil society will constitute and deploy without delay an independent team of investigation into the crimes in Jos. In constituting this team, the Nigerian Coalition for the International Criminal Court (NCICC) on behalf of civil society organizations will call in relevant professional expertise from outside and within Nigeria, including the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA); the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) and the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE).
In the interim, civil society will transmit appropriate communications to the following international and regional institutions requesting independent multi-lateral investigation of the crimes committed in Jos or assistance to the Nigerian government in undertaking such investigation, namely:
• the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights;
• the Prosecutor of the ICC;
• the Chairperson of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights; and
• the Chairperson of the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child.
Any investigation into the crisis in Jos must address the needs for the protection of victims and witnesses; avoid steps likely to re-ignite violence; and offer a credible promise of identifying and bringing to justice the perpetrators of the crimes committed. (...)
DURABLE SOLUTION TO JOS CRISES
Click here to the see the thirty-five CSOs who signed this document.
1. Panel on Genocide and the “Responsibility to Protect,” The Evolution of International Law
The Center for Jewish History, Yeshiva University Museum and the Program in Holocaust and Human Rights Studies at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law have organized a panel discussion exploring the evolution of the Responsibility to Protect, its current status in law and politics, and its greatest challenges going forward.
The event will be held at the Center for Jewish History at 15 West 16th Street in New York (between 5th and 6th Ave) on Wednesday March 2010 at 6:30 PM. General admission is $15. CJH, YUM, and YU faculty tickets are $12, and student tickets are $5.
Doris Mpoumou, Director of the International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect will be speaking on the panel.
Other panelists will include: Roberta Cohen, Non-Resident Senior Fellow in the Foreign Policy Studies program at the Brookings Institution and Senior Adviser to the Brookings-Bern Project on Internal Displacement, Sheri Rosenberg, Professor of Clinical Law and Director of the Human Rights and Genocide Clinic and Program in Holocaust and Human Rights Studies at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Matthew Waxman, Associate Professor of Law at Columbia University and Adjunct Senior Fellow for Law and Foreign Policy at the Council on Foreign Relations, Nicole Deller, Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect as moderator.
Read more about the event.
2. Call for papers for the DOMAC Conference on the Impact of International Criminal Procedures on Domestic Criminal Procedures in Mass Atrocity Cases.
The DOMAC Project is hosting a Conference on the Impact of International Criminal Procedures on Domestic Criminal Procedures in Mass Atrocity Cases at the University of Amsterdam. The Conference is organized by DOMAC, in cooperation with the Project on International Courts and Tribunals (PICT) and the Amsterdam Center for International Law (ACIL). The Conference is free and open to academics and practitioners in various fields, including international law and international relations.
In addition to invited speakers, the Conference has slots for presentations, which are selected from proposals. Deadline for abstracts is 20 March 2010.
Abstract submissions and inquires should be directed to:
3. Sudan 365 Beat for Peace campaign supports urgent diplomatic action in Sudan
The beat started in Sudan and was echoed by people from all over the world: from Nairobi to New York, London to Tokyo.
Famous drummers from Radiohead, The Police, Pink Floyd, Snow Patrol and the legendary musicians Mohammed Munir, Yehia Khalil and Mustaffa Tettey Addy joined the beat.
Send in your own “Beat for Peace” video