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International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect
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ICRtoP Listserv 
5 March 2010
Web: www.responsibilitytoprotect.org
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 ***ICRtoP releases new identity brochure*** 


The International Coalition for RtoP is pleased to release its new brochure! This one-page (front and back) document gives an overview of the Responsibility to Protect as a new norm for preventing and halting mass atrocities, and includes information on why there is a need for RtoP, how it guards against abuse of military intervention, and what it will take to transform the norm “from words to deeds”. The brochure also provides information on the Coalition, including our goals, current membership and what our website offers.

Access the new brochure in English and in Spanish. French version coming soon…

In the Issue: ICRtoP New Educational materials, Global Centre policy brief on Burma/Myanmar and RtoP, upcoming event

I. Featured Report from the Global Centre for R2P

1. Global Centre for R2P--Applying the Responsibility to Protect in Myanmar/Burma

II. NGO Communiqué on January 2010 Jos Crisis details Nigeria’s failure to protect 
1. Communiqué released by Nigerian NGOs analyzes conflict in Jos, Nigeria and asserts failure to uphold RtoP

III. Upcoming RtoP Events and Projects and Call for action in Sudan 
1. 10 March, Center for Jewish History – Panel: Genocide and the “Responsibility to Protect:” The Evolution of International Law
2. 20 March, DOMAC Project – Call for Papers on the Impact of International Criminal Procedures on Domestic Criminal Procedures in Mass Atrocity Cases.
3. Call for Action around the upcoming elections in Sudan—Beat for Peace campaign calls for urgent diplomatic action in Sudan
 



I. Featured Report from the Global Centre for R2P

1. Applying the Responsibility to Protect to Burma/Myanmar
Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect 
5 March 2010

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. (...) 

Fighting insurgents is not a legitimate pretext to commit atrocities. Equally important, the government has a responsibility to protect its entire population, irrespective of ethnic or religious identity. The government’s unwillingness to do so provides substantial grounds to believe that it is manifestly failing to uphold its responsibility to protect. (...)

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

II. NGO Communiqué on January 2010 Jos Crisis details Nigeria’s failure to protect

1. Communiqué released by Nigerian NGOs analyzes conflict in Jos, Nigeria and asserts the failure to uphold RtoP 
Right to Know Initiative, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre
28 January 2010

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
The maintenance of safety and security without discrimination on grounds of race, ethnic or other origin, sex, religion, political or other opinion, status or social grouping is the first obligation of government. The Nigerian government is failing in its duty to protect its own citizens from violence. This failure extends to complete impunity for the perpetrators of similar crimes in previous outbreaks of violence in Jos, and a lack of serious efforts to address the underlying causes of tension between the different communities living in the city. This failure has also fed a succession of crises, targeted violence and systematic vigilante action.

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. (...)

ACCESS TO INFORMATION AND IMPUNITY
Since 1994, and successively in 2001, 2004, and 2008, Jos has experienced repeated crises involving targeted, identity-based violence, each incident more severe than the preceding one. Thousands of people have been killed in these crises and many more have been wantonly violated or forcibly displaced. Over this period, government has established at least 12 Commissions of Inquiry into various crises in Jos. The reports and recommendations of these Commissions of Inquiry are unpublished and inaccessible.

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. (...)

CREDIBLE INVESTIGATION AND ACCOUNTABILITY
To end the cycles of violence in Jos, government in Nigeria must act promptly to investigate, prosecute and punish those responsible for the crimes and disclose the reports, findings and recommendations of the commissions of inquiry into the successive crises in Jos. Victims and witnesses deserve to be protected and evidence gathered and preserved. These measures are required in order to reassure the victims on all sides and rebuild the confidence of the communities in the existence of government that cares about their well being.

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. (...)

ADDRESSING HATE COMMUNICATIONS
This recent crisis in Jos was escalated by the distribution through mobile telephones of messages mobilizing individuals and communities to vigilante violence. Government has a responsibility to prevent, punish and discourage such crimes of hate communication. The National Communications Commission (NCC) and its licensees should take seriously their responsibility to ensure that their services are not used as vehicles to facilitate hate communications. We call on the NCC and its licensees to implement as quickly as possible the compulsory registration of all SIM packs deployed in Nigeria. (...)

DURABLE SOLUTION TO JOS CRISES
It is the responsibility of government in Nigeria to implement durable solutions to the Jos crises based on the values of our constitution and shared humanity, including truth, justice, equality of all Nigerian citizens, respect for human life, zero tolerance for impunity, and mutual respect for all the communities in Jos. If and when it provides the needed leadership for this, government will find ready partners among the communities in Jos and Plateau State, civil society and the international community. In the interim, all concerned must take steps to minimize harm, encourage coexistence and preclude a return to violence. (...)

Click here to the see the thirty-five CSOs who signed this document.


Read the press release from the Right to Know Initiative and the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre.

III. Upcoming Events and Projects and Call for action on Sudan

1. Panel on Genocide and the “Responsibility to Protect,” The Evolution of International Law
Center for Jewish History
10 March 2010

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
20 March 2010

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: 
Thordis Ingadottir 
DOMAC Director 
Email:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  
For more information please visit www.domac.is.

3. Sudan 365 Beat for Peace campaign supports urgent diplomatic action in Sudan 
Sudan 365

In 365 days, January 9, 2011, a referendum is due to be held to determine the future of Sudan. The people of South Sudan will vote to decide whether they wish to remain part of a united Sudan or whether they want to become an independent country. We believe it should be a future in which human rights are guaranteed in an environment of peace, prosperity and harmony.

Our fear is that it could be a future of conflict and suffering. Sign the petition and we will add your voice to thousands of campaigners around the world calling for action.

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.

Join a beat for peace and call on governments worldwide to take action to prevent war in Sudan. Join a beat for peace and call on governments worldwide and Sudanese leaders to protect the people of Sudan. Join a beat for peace and call on governments worldwide to protect human rights and give peace a chance in Sudan. Join the global beat for peace.

Read more information about Sudan 365

Send in your own “Beat for Peace” video

 

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