15 October 2010
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1. Compilation of RtoP excerpts from Member States in support of the norm at GA
1. ICRtoP overview of speakers’ reactions to the SG proposal during the dialogue
2. Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect’s full report including regional trends, consensus, concerns and the way forward
1. Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect – Summary of meeting on commitments of governments to strengthened national capacities to prevent and halt mass atrocities
2. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark - Joint Press Statement by co-host Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Ghana and Denmark
3. US Department of State Official Blog - Fulfilling the Responsibility to Protect
4. Representative of Ghana comments in the General Assembly on the report of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda
1. Congo rebel commander arrested following mass rape of civilians--France 24
2. Rwanda rebel FDLR leader Mbarushimana held in France-- BBC News
3. Kyrgyzstan votes in landmark poll -- BBC News
4. A Plan B for President Obama: Get tough on Human Rights-- Kenneth Roth, Human Rights Watch
1.Tentative Programme of the Third Budapest Human Rights Forum, 18-19 October
2. International Crisis Group - Global Briefing 2010, 25-26 October3.The University of Pittsburg- The Responsibility to Protect, 10 November
1. Compilation of RtoP excerpts from Member States in support of the norm at GA
23-29 September 2010
The 65th session of the UN General Assembly officially opened on 14 September with an opening statement by President Joseph Deiss of Switzerland reflecting on UN members’ priorities for the year, namely the Millennium Development Goals, UN reform and implementation as well as environmental sustainable development. World leaders gathered to discuss main political and economic challenges and achievements and it was an opportunity for Member States to re-emphasize the importance that they give to taking forward the Responsibility to Protect after this summer’s dialogue. This year, a total of 12 member states mentioned RtoP and its implementation.
See this document to see all excerpts on RtoP from statements in the dialogue.
1. Overview: General Assembly Interactive Dialogue on Early Warning, Assessment and RtoP
15 September 2010
On August 9th, the General Assembly (GA) held an informal interactive dialogue on Early Warning, Assessment and the Responsibility to Protect, in response to July 14 Secretary General Ban Ki moon’s report on the issue. The dialogue took place in follow up to the July 2009 GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect (RtoP), where Member States agreed (resolution A/RES/63/308) to continue consideration of RtoP. A total of 42 Member States, 2 representatives from regional organizations and 2 representatives from civil society spoke at the dialogue. See this short document for a comprehensive summary of the meeting and the next steps at the UN.
2. “Early Warning, Assessment, and the Responsibility to Protect”:
Informal Interactive Dialogue of the General Assembly held on
10 October 2010
(…) In a United Nations conference room that was filled to capacity, 42 member states, two regional organizations, and two civil society representatives discussed the SG’s report and opening remarks, as well as the presentations of five panelists, who included the SG’s advisers on the prevention of genocide and on the responsibility to protect. (…)
The resoundingly positive tone of the discussion echoed the tenor of the GA’s first formal debate on R2P held in July 2009, revealing once again the support of governments, North and South, for the goal of preventing and halting genocide, ethnic cleansing, war crimes, and crimes against humanity (the four R2P crimes). Notably, constructive interventions from some member states, who were previously quite skeptical about R2P—India, Cuba, and Egypt—suggested that consensus on R2P within the membership is deepening.
Virtually all of those that spoke stressed the need to prevent atrocities and agreed that effective early warning is a necessary (if not always sufficient) condition for effective prevention and early action. More than half the delegations welcomed the SG’s report and thus endorsed ongoing changes to enhance the UN Secretariat’s early warning capacity. Equal numbers expressed support for the SG’s proposals to establish a joint office for his special advisers on the prevention of genocide and R2P, and their role in convening colleagues in order to identify policy options for preventing mass crimes and protecting populations. Many member states, however, were keen to get more detail on how the joint office would function. A quarter of the statements noted the two overlapping mandates of genocide prevention and R2P.
Certain regional trends were also apparent in the 2010 informal dialogue. The statements delivered by Latin American representatives once again demonstrated that this region is home to both some of the staunchest supporters and most outspoken detractors of R2P. In contrast, the emphasis in most of the statements by African delegations on the existing early warning structures at both the regional and sub-regional levels conveyed the message that the commitment to R2P is already a living reality in that continent. The remarks by eight delegations from Asia Pacific, including the positive intervention by India, underscored a constructive engagement from the region with R2P. Likewise, by endorsing the logic of building genocide prevention under the broader remit of R2P, the interventions by European delegations and by the European Union (EU) made clear their support for the SG’s call to institutionalize the collaboration between his two special advisers.
It was left to the same handful of member states as in the July 2009 GA debate on R2P to express strong objections—namely, Nicaragua, Iran, Pakistan, Sudan, and Venezuela. Even so, there was some notable movement in the spectrum of opposition, with a subtle shift in the Cuban position distancing it from outright opposition. While the statements delivered by Egypt and Cuba suggested the enlargement of the group of moderate opponents, the expanding number of supporters, including both strong and moderate, indicated the consolidation of consensus.
Read full report
On 24 September 2010, a ministerial meeting co-hosted by the Hon. Alhaji Muhammad Mumuni, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration of Ghana, and H.E. Ms. Lene Espersen, Foreign Minister of Denmark, and arranged in collaboration with the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, was held on the theme “Fulfilling the responsibility to protect: Strengthening our capacities to prevent and halt mass atrocities”.
1. Meeting Summary: Fulfilling the responsibility to protect: Strengthening our capacities to prevent and halt mass atrocities
Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
14 October 2010
(…) 21 countries, represented by 9 ministers - including 7 foreign ministers – and senior government officials along with the Secretary-General’s Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide (SAPG) and his Special Adviser on the conceptual, political and institutional development of the Responsibility to Protect (SAR2P) met to discuss how to strengthen capacities to prevent and halt mass atrocity crimes. This was the third annual meeting of its kind held in New York on the margins of the opening of the General Assembly. With 7 participants from Africa, 4 from the Americas, 3 from Asia Pacific and 7 from Europe, the meeting underscored once again that commitment to make a reality of R2P comes from all regions of the world. (…)
Many participants announced the designation of national ‘focal points’ for the responsibility to protect - senior officials serving as principal national advisers on R2P with the responsibility to coordinate national efforts and collaborate with other such officials in other governments and institutions to enhance efforts to anticipate, prevent and respond better to “R2P crimes.” There was a commitment to hold a meeting of such focal points within the coming 12 months with a view to this becoming a standing network of specifically designated officials improving inter-governmental coordination on mass atrocity prevention. Participants also sought to meet again at ministerial level, thereby entrenching such a ministerial meeting in New York to discuss fulfilling the responsibility to protect as an annual tradition.
See key themes of the discussion and full summary here
2. Joint Press Statement by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Ghana and Denmark
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark
24 September 2010
We hosted today a discussion among ministers and high level officials of governments from all parts of the world on the Responsibility to Protect (R2P). (…) The presence of other ministers at the meeting was a signal of the continued high-level commitment across the UN membership to this effort, especially after the two very constructive debates held within the UN General Assembly in 2009 and again in August this year (…)
(…) We met today to talk about what governments can do – at the national level, and in collaboration with others in regional organisations or here at the UN – to save lives, including in strengthening early warning and assessment. We discussed how to better coordinate our effort to implement R2P and prevent mass atrocities. We believe that one way to coordinate national effort is by the designation of a senior level official – a national focal point – with the responsibility to serve as a principal adviser on R2P. We have both decided to appoint such national focal point and hope that other countries will do the same.
In addition, we expect to facilitate a first meeting of R2P focal points in a format that could become a standing network of officials dedicated to improve global efforts to prevent atrocities. (…)
Click here to read full statement
3. Fulfilling the Responsibility to Protect
DipNote : US Department of State Official Blog
24 September 2010
On Friday, Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs Esther Brimmer participated in a high-level Ministerial Meeting in New York in parallel with the UN General Assembly entitled "Fulfilling the Responsibility to Protect." (…)
Assistant Secretary Brimmer's remarks at the meeting underscored the U.S. commitment to the ideals and concepts framed by the Responsibility to Protect -- a commitment made clear in the President's National Security Strategy: "The United States is committed to working with our allies, and to strengthening our own internal capabilities, in order to ensure that the United States and the international community are proactively engaged in a strategic effort to prevent mass atrocities and genocide."
Assistant Secretary Brimmer noted that the United States is "…working with the United Nations to bring concerted international pressure to bear against perpetrators of atrocities, providing humanitarian assistance and protection to victims, and supporting in appropriate cases international and hybrid tribunals to bring perpetrators to justice."
This meeting, which featured voices from governments and civil society, was an important opportunity to focus attention on the need for global consensus on the meaning and implications of R2P. As repeated by more than one participant, advancing the goals embedded in R2P will require redoubled efforts to mobilize political will and public understanding. (…)
Read full note
4. Comments on RtoP in the GA report of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda
Representative of Ghana Mr. Ebenezer Appreku
8 October 2010
Mr. President, African countries also joined the consensus in this Assembly when it adopted paragraphs 138, 139, and 140 of the 2005 Summit Outcome document in which world leaders accepted their responsibility to protect their populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and crimes against humanity. (…)
(…) To this end the Foreign Ministers of Ghana and Denmark co-hosted in NY a side event on 24 September 2010 attended by Foreign Ministers and other ministers from some 25 countries in a cross regional endeavor to explore ways of moving beyond concepts to the effective operationalization of the principle of the responsibility to protect populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and crimes against humanity. This will no doubt complement initiatives of the United Nations Secretary-General and his Special Adviser on RtoP as well as his Special Executive on the Prevention of Genocide. Furthermore…the Ghana government invited to Accra the Special Executive on the Prevention of Genocide to exchange views on measures to address the root causes of conflict thereby preventing genocide and other serious crimes within the ECOWAS region. (…)
Click here to read statement
1. Congo rebel commander arrested following mass rape of civilians
5 October 2010
U.N. headquarters in New York circulated the announcement by the U.N. peacekeeping for in Congo of the arrest of the Mai-Mai commander, known as as Lt. Col. Mayele.
The U.N. announcement said Mayele is suspected of being one of the commanders in the mineral-rich Walikale area from July 30 to Aug. 2 when about 250 people in five villages, mainly women, were repeatedly gang raped, according to Dr. Chris Baguma of the Los Angeles-based International Medical Corps (…)
(…) The U.N. force said a preliminary report from U.N. human rights officials identified 303 civilian victims - 235 women, 13 men, 52 girls and 3 boys. Margot Wallstrom, who is responsible for U.N. efforts to combat sexual violence in conflict, welcomed Mayele's apprehension, calling it ''a victory for justice, especially for the many women who have suffered rapes and other forms of sexual violence.''
''The numerous criminal acts committed under `Lt. Col.' Mayele's command cannot be undone, but let his apprehension be a signal to all perpetrators of sexual violence that impunity for these types of crimes is not accepted and that justice will prevail,'' she said in a statement from the Congolese capital, Kinshasa. (…)
2. Rwanda rebel FDLR leader Mbarushimana held in France
11 October 2010
A leader of the Rwandan FDLR rebel group has been arrested in France on war crimes charges, the International Criminal Court says. In a sealed warrant, Callixte Mbarushimana is accused of 11 counts of murder, rape and other crimes committed during the long conflict in DR Congo (…)
Some FDLR leaders have been accused of taking part in the 1994 genocide of ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus in Rwanda. After a Tutsi-dominated group took power in Rwanda, they fled into what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo, sparking years of unrest in the region (…)
(…) ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo said Mr Mbarushimana's arrest was "a good day for justice" and marked a "crucial step in efforts to prosecute the massive sexual crimes committed in the DRC". But he warned there was "still a lot to do to break the cycle of impunity in the DRC" with 15,000 cases of sexual violence reported in 2009.
"Another commander sought by the ICC for massive crimes, Bosco Ntaganda, is still at large in Goma and his forces roam the Kivus killing and raping. He must be next," said Mr Moreno-Ocampo.
The FDLR is one of the most powerful rebel forces operating in eastern DR Congo, where they are believed to make millions of dollars a year by controlling mines rich in gold and other minerals, and extorting money from local people (…)
3. Kyrgyzstan votes in landmark poll
People in Kyrgyzstan have voted in a landmark parliamentary election, the first since 400 people died in inter-ethnic violence.
Turnout was reported to be strong across the country, including in the southern city of Osh, which saw some of the worst of last June's clashes.
Six or seven parties are expected to dominate, none with a majority (…)
(…) The BBC's Rayhan Demetrie, in the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek, says the unpredictability of the outcome makes the election significantly different from every other election that has ever taken place in Central Asia.
It is the first to be held under a new constitution adopted in a June referendum that changed the form of government from a presidential system to a parliamentary democracy (…)
(…)The head of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe's election monitors, Janez Lenarcic, said the vote had passed off peacefully (…)
4. A Plan B for President Obama: Get tough on Human Rights
Human Rights Watch
In the 1990s, the United States, though hardly perfect, did more than any other country to promote the responsibility to protect people facing mass atrocities. In Bosnia and Kosovo, though tragically not Rwanda, leaders learned that the slaughter of their people risked a forceful response from Washington.
Unfortunately, President George W. Bush tainted such action when, finding no weapons of mass destruction, he tried to justify the invasion of Iraq retrospectively in humanitarian terms. Yet as Barack Obama recognized in his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, "Force can be justified on humanitarian grounds, as it was in the Balkans."
Obama needs to put this principle into practice, and there is no better case for the humanitarian use of force than the urgent need to arrest Joseph Kony, the ruthless leader of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) (…)
(…) The LRA began as a rebel movement in northern Uganda, but it now terrorizes the civilian population of northern Democratic Republic of the Congo as well as southern Sudan and the Central African Republic. Its cadre often descends on a remote village, slaughters every adult in sight, and then kidnaps the children, some shockingly young (…)
(…) In May, Obama signed a bill committing the United States to help arrest Kony and his commanders and protect the affected population. Now it is high time to act. Arresting Kony would reaffirm that mass murder cannot be committed with impunity (…)
1. Tentative Programme of the Third Budapest Human Rights Forum
18-19 October 2010
Budapest, MFA, Conference Hall
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Hungary launched a series of international human rights conferences in 2008, to be held annually, entitled “Budapest Human Rights Forum”. The Third Budapest Forum will host six panel debates with the participation of three or four panelists in each panel and a human rights expert as a moderator.
The objective of the six panels is to discuss certain human rights priorities of the forthcoming Hungarian presidency of the EU as follows:
1. The construction of the global architecture for the prevention of genocide and mass atrocities: where are we standing? What would be the additional value of the Budapest Centre for the prevention of genocide and mass atrocities?”
2. Minorities and the challenges for human rights protection worldwide: the role of the European model in minority protection; the possible contribution of the Budapest Centre
3. Acess to water: source of conflicts?
4. 2011 Review of the Human Rights Council: questions and challenges
5. Optional Protocal to the Convention of the Rights of the Chils: the challenges of the establishment of a complaint procedure mechanism
Click here for more information
2. Crisis Group Global Briefing 2010
International Crisis Group
25-26 October 2010
The International Crisis Group is pleased to announce its flagship annual event, The Global Briefing: an exclusive two-day, high-level event examining urgent issues and solutions concerning major conflict flashpoints across the globe. The briefing offers an opportunity to go beyond the headlines and hear from and interact with over thirty of Crisis Group’s field-based senior staff and Board members assembled for this unique occasion. The following plenary and break-out sessions will be offered:
3. The Responsibility to Protect
The University of Pittsburg
10 November 2010
Ford Institute Speaker Series will host Alison Giffen of The Stimson Center’s Future of Peace Operations, Washington, D.C. to speak about military doctrine for the responsibility to protect on Wed., Nov. 10 at 12:30 p.m. in room 3800. The university community is invited to attend.
Click here for more information
Thanks to Stephanie Perazzone for compiling this listserv