In a speech by Hon Stephen Smith MP, the Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs on 19 August, 2008 at The Sydney Institute, he devotes the last section of his speech to the discuss Australias support of the Responsibility to Protect principle, its involvement in advocacy and outreach, and announced that the Australian government will establish a $2 million Responsibility to Protect Fund.
Excerpt from the speech
()Responsibility to Protect
An area closely related to our strengthened human rights commitment is the emerging doctrine of esponsibility to Protect or 2P.
The R2P principle was developed at the 2005 World Summit and has been reaffirmed in 2006 by the Security Council. It holds that States are responsible for the protection of their own civilians from heinous mass crimes such as genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.
Further, it enunciates the international communitys responsibility to use diplomatic, humanitarian and other peaceful means to help protect populations.
Australia supports the R2P principle and, in this critical early stage of its development, will support efforts to clarify the concept and consolidate its authority.
Outreach and advocacy to advance and consolidate the World Summit consensus on R2P is a priority at this stage.
Accordingly, the Government has affirmed Australias support for the New York-based Global Centre NGO that will work to move R2P from principle to practice.
The Government is also keen that Australia continue to support, develop and advocate the R2P principle.
Australia is fortunate to have a range of institutions, individuals and NGOs who are very committed to the principle and who can contribute to its development.
I therefore announce tonight that the Government will establish a $2 million Responsibility to Protect Fund, to be administered by AusAID, which will underpin work in Australia on the concept.
The fund will be available on a competitive basis to institutions, NGOs and individuals in Australia, for projects or research which will materially contribute to making R2P a reliable factor in international crisis handling.
R2P remains an emerging area of normative growth and the Government is determined that Australia remains committed to making the principle central to conflict prevention and resolution.()
Full text of speech