20 April 2012
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I. Sudan and South Sudan: threat of full-scale war places populations at risk of human rights abuses
1. International Crisis Group – Preventing Full-Scale War between Sudan and South Sudan
2. International Federation of Human Rights - Active fighting between Sudan and South Sudan must stop to allow for a negotiated settlement of the conflict
1. George A. Lopez, Christian Science Monitor - Bashar al-Assad may be beating Annan plan in Syria for now, but he won't for long
2. Amnesty International - UN Security Council’s Resolution on Syria “Underwhelming”
1. Human Rights First -Remembrance Day Underscores Need for Atrocities Prevention Board
2. Prevention and Protection Working Group – Media Advisory: Quotes, Reactions to President's Holocaust Memorial Speech Available Monday
1. 25 April Martti Ahtisaari Centre and European Parliament - Panel Discussion: Regional Actors as Vectors of Peace
2. The Stanley Foundation Courier - R2P: The Next Decade
I. Sudan and South Sudan: Threat of full-scale war places populations at risk of human rights abuses
Reignited violence on the Sudan-South Sudan border threatens populations
Tensions between Sudan and South Sudan have escalated significantly, resulting in renewed violence and the risk of war, threatening the populations of both nations, and disrupting steps taken to address outstanding issues, including oil, citizenship and border demarcation, that have remained since South Sudan’s July 2011 independence. Aerial bombing by Sudanese forces in civilian areas of South Sudan’s Unity State, having increased in intensity since initial clashes over the disputed Heglig oil field, resulted in at least eight dead and twenty-two injured since 14 April. The attacks prompted United Nations (UN) High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, to condemn on 17 April the “indiscriminate” attacks, calling on both sides “to avoid escalation of armed confrontation, bearing in mind the dire human rights and humanitarian consequences for civilians.”
Air and land clashes in the disputed regions of the Unity State began in late March, causing Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir to suspend his participation in a summit in South Sudan’s capital of Juba to be held on 3 April to resolve issues of oil production and border disputes. Renewed violence between Sudan and South Sudan surged in the Heglig oil field, a contested border region, which has been periodically claimed by both states since the independence of South Sudan. On 10 April, the army spokesperson for South Sudan claimed that Sudanese warplanes and artillery attacked an oil pipeline in Heglig and that the South had been able to divert an attack in the border town of Teshwin. Following these allegations, Sudan withdrew on 11 April from ongoing AU mediated talks, which had been established to engage both countries in peaceful negotiations for the resolution of outstanding issues.
The clashes prompted the African Union (AU) and the UN Secretary-General to express their grave concern on 11 April, calling on all parties to exercise restraint and respect for the territorial integrity of both states. As reported on 12 April, the AU Peace and Security Council condemned South Sudan’s initial seizure of Heglig as “illegal,” and urged both countries to avert a “disastrous” war. In a 12 April Presidential Statement, the UNSC demanded a “complete, immediate and unconditional” end to violence, the establishment of a Safe Demilitarized Border Zone, the withdrawal of troops from Heglig, and the return to peaceful dialogue. The UN and AU reminded the countries of their obligations under the Memorandum of Understanding and Non-Aggression and Cooperation Agreement, a pact in which both states agreed in February 2012 to hold talks to discuss the remaining issues and tensions.
Following calls to halt further violence, South Sudanese Information Minister Barnaba Marial Benjamin stated on 12 April that troops would only withdraw from Heglig if certain conditions were met; including a cease of air and ground attacks by Sudan, the withdrawal of the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) from Abyei and a guarantee that Heglig “will not be used for another attack against [South Sudanese] territory.” The following day, South Sudan called for UN action, stating that it would only withdraw troops if neutral UN monitoring forces were deployed to the region. Although South Sudanese President Salva Kiir had openly stated he did not want war and urged the international community and the UN to pressure Sudan into peace talks, President Omar al-Bashir accused South Sudan of “choosing a path of war” and branded the country as an “enemy state” on 16 April.
As the threat to populations escalated, the Secretariat of the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region issued a statement on 16 April, followed by an AU statement on 17 April, calling on both countries to end the conflict. The AU stressed the importance of ensuring “that [Sudanese and South Sudanese] armed forces adhere scrupulously to relevant provisions of human rights law and international humanitarian law, with respect to the protection of civilians.” The UN Security Council (UNSC) reportedly began a discussion on 16 April considering the imposition of sanctions on both governments if the clashes do not stop. AU Mediator Thabo Mbeki briefed the UNSC on 17 April, warning that the two sides were locked in “the logic of war”. The League of Arab States also announced on 19 April that it would hold an emergency meeting to discuss the ongoing crisis. On the same day in a press briefing, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on all parties to exercise restraint and begin peaceful negotiations again.
By 18 April tensions between the two states had risen and President al-Bashir referred to South Sudan as an “insect…trying to destroy Sudan” with his “main target from today…to eliminate this insect completely”. Sudan followed these calls on 19 April with renewed air strikes on Heglig, resulting in President Kiir’s announcement the following day that South Sudanese forces would withdraw from the oil field. Such action may not end the conflict, however, as Sudanese government spokesperson Rabie Abdelaty declared that “it is too late for them [South Sudanese forces] to withdraw…they should just surrender.”
Civil society responses to the escalating conflict
The International Federation for Human Rights urged Sudan and South Sudan on 14 April to comply with the Memorandum of Understanding in order to reach a peaceful settlement, warning that “the current fighting could escalate into widespread violence accompanied by increased violations of the rights of the civilian population.” The International Crisis Group issued a crisis alert on 18 April calling on the international and regional communities to implement measures to prevent “full-scale war” and pressure Sudan to adopt a national reform agenda that would bring an end to impunity in Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile, allow unhindered humanitarian access, and support efforts of UNAMID and UNISFA to protect civilians. For additional background information, see the Global Centre for R2P’s updated timeline.
Failing to meet the 8 April deadline, issue of citizenship remains unresolved
Meanwhile, the issues that remain since South Sudan’s independence continue to go unaddressed, including the subject of citizenship for northerners in the south and southerners in the north. Both countries had agreed ahead of the formation of South Sudan to a nine-month transitional period to resolve remaining matters. The government of Sudan had previously stated that Southerners would have until 8 April to return to South Sudan or be “treated as foreigners.” On 9 April, Sudan began registering South Sudanese as “foreigners” and stripped many of their identity cards and documents. Floods of people flocked to the airport in Khartoum only to be left stranded and denied permission to board flights due to their disputed legal status.
1. Preventing Full-Scale War between Sudan and South Sudan
International Crisis Group
18 April 2012
Sudan and South Sudan are teetering on the brink of all-out war from which neither would benefit. Increasingly angry rhetoric, support for each other’s rebels, poor command and control, and brinkmanship, risk escalating limited and contained conflict into a full-scale confrontation between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Army (SPLA). Diplomatic pressure to cease hostilities and return to negotiations must be exerted on both governments by the region and the United Nations (UN) Security Council, as well as such partners as the U.S., China and key Gulf states. The immediate priority needs to be a ceasefire and security deal between North and South, as well as in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile. But equally important, for the longer-term, are solutions to unresolved post-referendum issues, unimplemented provisions of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) (that ended the civil war in 2005), and domestic reforms in both countries. (…)
A game of “chicken” appears to be underway, in which both sides embark on risky strategies in the hope that the other will blink first. If neither does, the outcome will be disastrous for both. (…)
Khartoum and Juba need to exercise restraint and consider carefully the consequences of their actions. The decision to abandon negotiations and resort to increasingly bellicose posturing can only hurt both. (…) Stability is necessary in both the North and the South for either to develop and prosper and, in turn, enjoy long-term stability. (…)
(…) Fundamentally, the current conflict is rooted in the CPA's unimplemented provisions, such as the status of Abyei, the cancelled popular consultations in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile and disputed borders, as well as unresolved issues stemming from separation. While they have acknowledged their interdependence, the two countries must still reach detailed agreements on many divisive issues, such as the joint exploitation of oil, transitional financial arrangements, citizenship, security and trade. The time for posturing and brinkmanship is past; they must return to the table promptly and sustain the focus and commitment necessary to hammer out and implement deals. Otherwise, if these critical issues are allowed to fester, they will undermine any ceasefire or limited peace deal. (…)
With developments increasingly appearing to be spiraling out of control, a new strategy is needed to avert an even bigger crisis. (…) The international community must focus not only on North-South issues or the situation in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile, but also require the NCP to agree to an immediate, inclusive, national reform process. The first priority needs to be for a security deal that stops both the fighting between the North and the South, as well as Khartoum and the SRF, but for this to hold it must also be clearly linked to binding commitments to discuss and implement political reforms.
The UN – the Security Council – should exert pressure on the two presidents to meet and negotiate an immediate ceasefire. This should be based on the 29 June 2011 Agreement on Border Security and the Joint Political and Security Mechanism, as well as the 10 February 2012 Memorandum of Understanding on Non-Aggression and Cooperation. They also need to reach common ground on a security deal for Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile based on the 24 June 2011 Framework Agreement, to be monitored by an enhanced JBVMM.
To encourage reforms in Khartoum, a united international community, particularly the African Union (AU), Arab League and UN, should put pressure on the NCP to accept a free and unhindered national dialogue aimed at creating a national stabilisation program that includes defined principles for establishing an inclusive constitutional arrangement accepted by all. (…)
If the NCP commits seriously to such a national reform agenda, regional actors and the wider international community should offer assistance. Major players like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, the Arab League, China, the U.S., EU and AU must recognise that reform is necessary for stability and requires their support. (…) Meanwhile, North-South relations may also be improved by greater domestic stability in South Sudan. Building institutions, extending service delivery, bolstering economic growth, and calming inter-communal tensions are among the priorities, and will be served in part by advancing promised political reforms. This includes an opening of political space inside and outside the SPLM, and an inclusive constitution-making process, that should be supported by partners and donors.
Read the full alert.
2. Active fighting between Sudan and South Sudan must stop to allow for a negotiated settlement of the conflict
International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH)
14 April 2012
FIDH and its member organisation, the African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies (ACPJS), urge the Sudanese and South Sudanese authorities to comply with the Memorandum of Understanding on Non-aggression and Cooperation signed by both parties on February 10th 2012. (…)
The Sudan People’s Liberation Army and the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) have been engaged in clashes around the disputed region around Heglig in South Kordofan (Sudan) and in Unity State (South Sudan) since March 26, 2012, with each side claiming to be acting in response to attacks from the other. Inflammatory statements from both sides have accompanied these confrontations including mutual general mobilizations of the Sudanese and South Sudanese populations to respond to the aggression from each side.
(…) In its fight against the SPLA-N, the Sudanese authorities continue to commit serious human rights violations that could amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity including indiscriminate bombings, looting and burning down villages, sexual violence, and extra-judicial executions. Mr. Ahmed Haroun, the Governor of South Kordofan who has been indicted by the International Criminal Court for his alleged responsibility for crimes committed in Darfur, recently issued ominous instructions to members of the SAF clearly suggesting that they should not bring back any prisoners. (…)
(…) If both parties fail to agree on critical issues such as the demarcation of the international border between their two countries, the status of the contested region of Abyei, questions of citizenship and repatriation, and oil transit fees, the current fighting could escalate into widespread violence accompanied by increased violations of the rights of the civilian population.
Our organisations call upon the international community - notably the AU the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACPHR) - to put pressure on both parties to immediately end hostilities and resume negotiations with the goal of reaching concrete and rapid results. (…)
Read the full article
UN Secretary-General recommends observer mission as fighting continues
Despite an initial decrease in violence following the 12 April ceasefire deadline put in place by UN-Arab League Joint Special Envoy Kofi Annan, United Nations Secretary-General (UNSG) Ban Ki-moon reported Syria had failed to adhere to the ceasefire, and on 18 April called for the UN observer mission in Syria to be expanded to 300 - backed by air transport – to be deployed for a period of at least three months. An advance mission of unarmed military observers, which will reach up to 30 observers in coming days, was deployed following the 14 April unanimous adoption of Security Council Resolution 2042– the first resolution not vetoed since the conflict began. Resolution 2042 calls on both sides to respect the ceasefire, outlines plans for an advance monitoring mission, and expresses its intention to deploy a larger observer mission pending a report by the UN Secretary-General.
Meanwhile, gunfire and explosions were reported in the cities of Deraa, Homs and Qusayr on 18 and 19 April, including in areas where the UN monitors are based, killing 22 civilians, according to the London-based group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. More than 9,000 people have been killed since the fighting began 13 months ago and as UNSG Ban Ki-moon stated on 19 April, over 230,000 civilians have been displaced and an estimated one million people are in need of aid.
The Syrian government and Kofi Annan reportedly reached a deal on 19 April on the terms for the advance observer team’s operations, which included the withdrawal of Syrian troops to a minimum of 2-3 kilometers outside of towns and cities and for Syria too grant unhindered access to UN personnel. Annan, in turn, would need to confirm that opposition fighters stop all violent attacks on Syrian armed forces. Despite negotiations, divisions remain over the nationality of observers in the mission, the number of those deployed, and their freedom of movement and accessibility throughout the country.
International community calls for unified response
Following this surge of violence just days after the Security Council Resolution, international leaders spoke out in the face of continued attacks. The Arab League ministerial committee, meeting in Doha on 17 April, urged the Syrian government to abide by the rules of the ceasefire. On the same day, European Commission Vice President Catherine Ashton addressed members of the European Parliament, noting European Union support for a unified international response and commitment to Annan’s six-point plan. At a meeting of NATO ministers in Brussels on 18 April, US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton suggested the United States would consider placing more pressure on the Syrian government if the ceasefire is not respected. The following day at a meeting of the Friends of Syria in Paris, Clinton called for the UN Security Council to impose an arms embargo. The Friends group announced that if the UN mission failed to manage the conflict in Syria, they would look to “other options”. Though not in attendance in Paris, China announced on 20 April that it would be willing to contribute personnel to the UN mission. Syrian Foreign Minister Wallid al-Muallem, speaking from China on 17 April, pledged to respect the six-point plan and assured the international community of the government’s willingness to co-operate with the UN team sent to monitor the ceasefire.
1. Bashar al-Assad may be beating Annan plan in Syria for now, but he won't for long
George A. Lopez
Christian Science Monitor
18 April 2012
The unanimous Security Council resolution that puts UN monitors on the ground in Syria as part of Kofi Annan’s wider peace plan is a constructive step forward. The arrival Monday of the first half dozen monitors demonstrates the seriousness of many nations to end the killing in Syria.
But not surprisingly, to create this possibility the council has been forced to engage in a new diplomatic dance with Bashar al-Assad where he continues to set most of the terms, at least in the short run.
Any move to limit or end the killing of Syrians is welcome. But no one should be naive in thinking that the monitors – even if allowed at some future date to enter Syria in full force at their projected 250 – are a victory for outsiders trying to constrain or oust Mr. Assad.
By permitting UN monitors, Assad accepts what at first appears to be a concession or even a political setback. But Assad believes this action makes him more indispensable to the Syrian future and increases his chances of survival, personally and politically. The Syrian leader is already manipulating this development to make himself more central to the future Syrian political process. And the more time and options Assad accumulates, the greater his chances of survival, personally and politically. (…)
But the monitoring presence is not futile. Rather, the monitors’ documentation and related work, especially in making consistent demands of all fighting parties to end particular actions, can decrease the killing. The monitors provide a first, small crack in the previously closed door of Syrian repression.
The challenge now is how Mr. Annan and his allies can leverage this opening to increase options for violence reduction, for condemning cease-fire violations, and for increasing the constraints on Assad’s forces.
To assist this, the United Nations and its individual member states must push Assad to respond to every request and pressure him to cooperate with each provision of the Annan plan. (…)
Other proactive initiatives will need to take advantage of the emerging realities that already exist to undermine Assad’s tactics. For example, the presence of UN observers might reawaken the Arab League and embolden them anew to narrow the military and political space available to Assad.
Even a part-time cease-fire might well permit more Syrian armed forces personnel to desert or defect than have been able to under conditions of continued fighting. (…)
And Annan, the US, and others must continue to dialogue with the Russians. Despite verbal support for Assad, there are some signs that Russian patience with him is wearing thin. Chaos is a condition Assad believes will favor his claim that he is fighting terrorists and that only his survival provides hope for the future. But Russia fears such chaos and its regional implications, and this may make it open to different strategies with Syria. (…)
(…) For now, he may be able to sidestep the constraint of UN peace monitors. But with more concentrated and creative international action to bolster the monitors and the Annan plan, Assad will not be able to do so in the medium to long term.
Read the full op-ed.
2. UN Security Council’s Resolution on Syria “Underwhelming”
14 April 2012
The resolution voted today by the UN Security Council endorsing the implementation of Kofi Annan’s plan to end the violence in Syria is a positive but belated development that must be followed up with vigorous monitoring in order to ensure the human rights of Syrians are protected, Amnesty International said.
The resolution calls for the full implementation of a six-point plan by Joint Special Envoy Kofi Annan – which calls for a cessation of violence, the initiation of a political process and the respect for a range of human rights.
“The adoption of Kofi Annan’s plan could lead to a marked improvement in the human rights situation in Syria. However, the Syrian government has shown it cannot be trusted to respect its commitments so a credible, vigorous monitoring operation will be essential to keep all parties to their obligations,” said José Luis Díaz, Amnesty International’s Representative at the United Nations. (…)
Amnesty International also said that if there was a sustained cessation of armed violence in Syria, the Security Council should establish a larger observer mission with the expertise and resources needed to effectively monitor all parts of the plan. (…)
“It is positive to see the Security Council finally condemning the violence in Syria and calling for those responsible for widespread human rights violations to be held accountable. However, after a year in which over 8,000 people were killed and thousands arbitrarily detained and tortured mostly at the hands of the Syrian forces, today's compromise resolution appears underwhelming,” said José Luis Díaz.
To read the full press release, see here.
Holocaust Remembrance Day, or Yom Hashoah, is observed on 19 April 2012. In commemoration of the victims of the Holocaust, United States President Barack Obama will speak on 23 April at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C. According to the Examiner, Obama will “give remarks commemorating the Holocaust and discuss how the United States is honoring the pledge of ‘Never again’ by developing a comprehensive strategy to prevent and respond to mass atrocities.”
According to a press release from Human Rights First on 19 April, Obama may roll out the Interagency Atrocities Prevention Board, announced in August 2011 in a Presidential Study Directive on Mass Atrocities, alongside a Corresponding Interagency Review. President Obama stated in the directive that "preventing mass atrocities and genocide is a core national security interest and a core moral responsibility of the United States." The Stanley Foundation analyzed the Administration’s mandate in December 2011, issuing a Policy Dialogue Brief entitled “Structuring the US Government to Prevent Atrocities: Considerations for an Atrocities Prevention Board”. The brief offered prospects and challenges confronting the Review as well as recommendations for design and approach that had been discussed during the52nd annual Strategy for Peace Conference convened by the Stanley Foundation in October.
Ahead of Obama’s speech, the Prevention and Protection Working Group (PPWG) released a media advisory on 19 April saying that representatives from, Oxfam America, United to End Genocide, Human Rights First, and the Religious Action Center would be available for comment following Obama’s speech.
See here for Obama’s speech on live webcast and check back to our website for civil society statements on U.S. efforts to prevent mass atrocities
Read the Presidential Study Directive on Mass Atrocities, and see information on other national endorsements of the Responsibility to Protect and initiatives to prevent and respond to threats of mass atrocities.
1. Remembrance Day Underscores Need for Atrocities Prevention Board
Human Rights First
19 April 2012
(…) Human Rights First advocates for U.S. leadership in identifying and disrupting the supply chains that enable mass atrocities. We commend the U.S. government for its plan to take a necessary step forward in U.S. atrocities prevention efforts, including a robust focus on enablers, by announcing the official creation of the Atrocities Prevention Board (APB), that is anticipated to occur next week. The interagency APB is expected to have the authority to develop comprehensive atrocity prevention and response strategies for the U.S. government and to ensure that concerns of emerging and ongoing atrocities are elevated in a timely fashion for more effective senior-level decision making and action.
“Done right, the APB promises a new comprehensive, much needed approach to halting the perpetration of mass atrocities,” said Human Rights First’s Sadia Hameed. “Atrocities in Rwanda, the Balkans, and Darfur happened in part because foreign governments, like the US, lacked a central coordinating structure authorized to effectively and decisively drive whole-of-government responses when they were most needed, such as intervening on supply chains. The APB should fill this void by escalating atrocity prevention as a key national policy priority and by offering a central point of decision making and accountability in the U.S. government for preventing and responding to genocide and other mass atrocities.”
According to Human Rights First, in order for the board to successfully achieve this task, it will need a full range of tools – economic, diplomatic, humanitarian, and military – when monitoring and addressing the threat of mass atrocities. The organization also notes that focusing beyond perpetrators on atrocity enablers is an important and innovative strategy that should be included in that toolbox.
Human Rights First believes that an effective Atrocities Prevention Board should include:
1. High ranking decision makers to be engaged throughout the process of atrocity prevention policy making and implementation.
2. Regular meetings with focused agendas and concrete outcomes.
3. A well-resourced bank of intelligence information shared across all relevant government agencies.
4. A policy toolbox that not only focuses on accountability for perpetrators but that tracks, disrupts and holds accountable those enablers-countries, companies and individuals- who provide the means and resources on which perpetrators rely to commit their crimes.
5. Transparent and open processes that allow for input from NGOs, international organizations and issue experts.
6. Operational institutionalization with bi-partisan support.
“As we join the human rights community in welcoming the prioritization of atrocity prevention by the White House, we will monitor the APB and hope to see the six principles above embodied within its operations,” Hameed concluded. “We look forward to working alongside the APB to make the United States a better champion in atrocity prevention.”
Read full press release.
2. Media Advisory: Quotes, Reactions to President's Holocaust Memorial Speech Available Monday
Prevention and Protection Working Group
19 April 2012
The Prevention and Protection Working Group is a coalition of human rights, religious, humanitarian, anti-genocide, peace and other organizations dedicated to improving U.S. government policies and civilian capacities to prevent violent conflict, mass atrocities and protect civilians threatened by such crises.
"On Monday, President Obama will speak at the Holocaust Memorial Museum and announce the creation of a new Atrocities Prevention Board and other elements of a strategy to prevent and respond to genocide and mass atrocities. After the President speaks, the following experts from member organizations of the Prevention and Protection Working Group* are available for comment:"
Oxfam America: Scott Paul
Senior Humanitarian Policy Advisor with Oxfam America working on the horn of Africa and on a range of issues including security sector reform, atrocity prevention and humanitarian response. He also has expertise on the United Nations and international law.
Human Rights First: Winny Chen
Senior Associate with Human Rights First working on atrocities prevention and human rights advocacy. You can reach Winny Chen at 202.559.9814
Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism: Rabbi David Saperstein
United to End Genocide
Daniel Solomon is the National Student Director of STAND, the student-led division of United to End Genocide. Daniel works on Sudan, DRC, and genocide prevention policy. You can reach him at 917-587-9921
1. Regional Actors as Vectors of Peace
25 April 2012
Martti Ahtisaari Centre; European Parliament
European Parliament, Brussels
The conference will provide an inclusive forum for examining the role of regional actors as peace vectors and for reflecting on the performance, added value, and main challenges of regional actors' engagement in peace processes.
With the participation of:
Mr. Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament
Mr. Erkki Tuomioja, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Republic of Finland
Mr. Didier Reynders, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and European Affairs, Kingdom of Belgium
Mr. Elmar Brok, Chair, Committee on Foreign Affairs, European Parliament
Mr. Pierre Vimont, Executive Secretary-General of the European External Actions Service
Keynote speakers include:
President Martti Ahtisaari, former President of Finland and Nobel Peace Laureate
Mr. Lakhdar Brahimi, founding member of The Elders and former UN Under-Secretary-General
Mr. James Victor Gbeho, former President of the ECOWAS Commission and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ghana
Ms. Margaret Vogt, Special Representative and Head of the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in the Central African Republic (BINUCA)
They will be joined by panels of envoys of regional and international organisations, negotiators from a number of peace processes from around the world, as well as local actors working in the field.
Prior registration is required in order to enter the conference venue, which is the European Parliament. On the day of the conference please allow for adequate time to go through registration check-in and security for the 9:00 am start.
2. R2P: The Next Decade
The Stanley Foundation
Courier, Number 74, Spring 2012
Earlier this year, the Stanley Foundation, along with the MacArthur Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation of New York, organized an event titled “Responsibility to Protect: The Next Decade.” The daylong conference was intended to mark the tenth anniversary of the “Responsibility to Protect” concept and chart a path toward more effectively halting and preventing genocide and mass atrocities around the world. The event featured an all-star lineup of panelists and participants including United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon along with many original members of the International Committee on Intervention and State Sovereignty (ICISS) that launched the “Responsibility to Protect” report in December 2001. (…)
The Stanley Foundation has long been active in helping the world promote and live up to the ideals of R2P. We have organized many conferences and dialogues on the topic, commissioned original writing and analysis, and produced a widely distributed event-in-a-box toolkit titled Before the Killing Begins: The Politics of Mass Violence. In addition, the foundation has been honored by the presence of Francis Deng and Ed Luck, two prominent community. Once, vocal groups of nations could claim that most domestic cases of mass violence were internal matters unsuited for discussion at the international level, including the UN Security Council. Today, that idea no longer holds sway.
In this edition of Courier, former ICISS Cochair Gareth Evans gives us a quick overview of how R2P has developed over the last ten years. He says, “The principle is firmly established and has delivered major practical results. But its completely effective implementation is going to be a work in progress for some time yet.”
Around the world today, from Syria to Libya and Côte d’Ivoire, the idea of R2P animates the debate about global responses. Foundation program officer Sean Harder reports on how policymakers and experts at the New York conference considered these present day applications—from Gareth Evans who expressed concern that R2P may be undergoing a bit of a “midlife crisis” to Knut Vollebaek who wondered what happens when the “international community…fails to take up this responsibility?”
Finally, in this issue of Courier, foundation program officer Rachel Gerber looks beyond the horizon at the challenges R2P will face in its second decade of existence. She reminds us that at the 2005 World Summit, leaders “reinforced R2P’s focus on peaceful, preventive means” rather than pigeonholing R2P as merely a rationale for military intervention. As Gerber points out, “Setting the sights of global policy to prevent rather than simply respond to mass atrocity threats raises deeper questions about the internal dynamics that drive atrocity violence.” Answering these questions and responding to those dark motives will be vital for R2P’s future.
Read the full edition of the Courier.