$4.5 million package of support to advance the Responsibility to Protect
The Hon Stephen Smith MP
Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs
21 July 2009
Australia will advance the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) principle at the regional, global and civil society levels with a $4.5 million package of support over four financial years.
Endorsed by world leaders at the 2005 World Summit and in 2006 by the UN Security Council, the R2P principle holds that states are responsible for the protection of their own civilians from grave mass crimes such as genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.
Under the principle, the international community assists states to exercise this responsibility, with the international community having a responsibility to respond through diplomatic, humanitarian and other peaceful means when a state is manifestly unable to provide protection to its civilians.
Australia is committed to supporting important project and research work on R2P that will contribute to making it an international norm in crisis prevention and resolution.
As part of this package, Australia will provide $1.8 million to the Asia-Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, based at the University of Queensland This will assist the Asia-Pacific Centre's work to further support R2P within the Asia-Pacific region.
The Asia-Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect conducts research and policy work, and engages in advocacy and outreach on R2P.
This support builds on my announcement in August 2008 of $2 million to establish the Australian Responsibility to Protect Fund to advance the R2P concept and help states build capacity to protect their own civilians.
Australia has entered into a joint initiative with the Asia-Pacific Centre for R2P to implement the Fund.
Applications to the Fund are currently being assessed by a selection committee chaired by the Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on R2P, Edward Luck. Grants will be awarded from late 2009 through an open competitive process managed by the centre.