13 April 2009
15 Years since Rwandan genocide; East Africa CSO forum and RtoP, NATO Shadow Summit and RtoP
In this Issue:
I. I5th Anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide
1. BAN KI MOONS STATEMENT FROM THE UNS 15TH COMMEMORATION OF THE RWANDAN
2. PRESIDENT OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY MIGUEL DSCOTO BROCKMANNS REMARKS
II. East Africa Civil Society Forum and RtoP
1. EAST AFRICA PRESS CONFERENCE: LAUNCH OF THE INTERNATIONAL COALITION FOR THE
RESPONSIBILITY TO PROTECT AND CALL TO AFRICAN GOVERNMENTS PRIOR TO GA
DEBATE ON RtoP
2. EAST AFRICA CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATION FORUMIVIL SOCIETY WANTS BIGGER STAKE
IN EAC INTEGRATION
III. Governments express support for the RtoP
1. JOINT STATEMENT BY UK AND MEXICO CALL FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF RtoP AT NATIONAL,
REGIONAL AND INTERNATIOAL LEVEL
IV. Crisis in Darfur since expulsion of international NGOs
1. JOHN HOLMES MPACT OF EXPULSION ON HUMANITARIAN SITUATION
2. INSTITUTE FOR SECURITY STUDIESTUMBLING AND FUMBLINGMPLEMENTING THE
RESPONSIBILITY TO PROTECT IN DARFUR
V. NATO Shadow Summit and RtoP
1. GARETH EVANSATO AND THE RESPONSIBILITY TO PROTECT
2. CITIZEN'S DECLARATION OF ALLIANCE SECURITY SAY IMPLEMENTING RtoP IS A MORAL AND
VI. Kenya National Dialogue: Kofi Annan says Kenya proof that RtoP can work
1. KOFI ANNANENYA NATIONAL DIALOGUE, ONE YEAR LATER
VII. Report: AUs article 4(h) and implementing the RtoP
1. NORDIC AFRICA INSTITUTEHE CHALLENGES OF THE AFRICAN UNION AND
IMPLEMENTING THE RESPONSIBILITY TO PROTECT
VIII. Upcoming Events and Conferences
1. 14 APRIL: INTERNATIONAL REFUGEE RIGHTS INITIATIVEU, DARFUR, AND THE QUESTION
2. 16 APRIL: FORDHAM LAW SCHOOLYMPOSIUM: PREVENTING GENOCIDE
AND COLLECTICE ACTION
3. 23 APRIL: NORWEGAN PARLIAMENTN INTERNATIONAL AND NORWEGIAN R2P: CRIMES
AGAINST HUMANITY IN BURMA
I. I5th Anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide
The United Nations commemorated the 15th Anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide at a ceremony attended by survivors, diplomats, and civil society organizations on 7 April 2009. Speakers included Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon, President of the General Assembly Miguel d-Escoto Brockmann, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice, Rwandan Ambassador to the U.N. Joseph Nsengimana, Libyan Ambassador to the U.N. Ibrahim Dabbashi and testimonies from survivors of the Rwandan Genocide.
The following two speeches references RtoP and are the only available transcripts at this time. For other speeches made, see the full webcast at:
www.un.org/preventgenocide/rwanda/commemoration.shtml. For text of the Survivor Testimonies see: http://www.un.org/preventgenocide/rwanda/testimonies.shtml
1. Message on the 15th Anniversary of the Genocide in Rwanda
Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon
7 April 2009
On this years observance of the anniversary of the Rwandan genocide, let us reflect on the genocide as seen through the eyes of Rwandans themselves. ()
The United Nations continues its vital work to avert future tragedies. We have intensified our focus on conflict prevention, and built up our mediation capacity. We are doing more to protect civilians caught in conflict. The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and other international courts are sending a strong signal that the world will not tolerate impunity for gross violations of international human rights and humanitarian law. My Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide monitors the world for signs of potential problems. And the responsibility to protect doctrine is bolstering UN prevention, protection, response and rebuilding mechanisms.
Preventing genocide is a collective responsibility. Only by meeting this challenge can we match the resolve of the survivors and truly honour the memory of those who died in Rwanda 15 years ago.
2. Remarks of Miguel DEscoto Brockmann, President of the General Assembly
7 April 2009
It is with profound sadness that we gather today to commemorate an event that shook the world. For the grief that we feel for the genocide that traumatized Rwanda 15 years ago, traumatized all of us. The mass murder and unspeakable crimes committed shook our confidence in the conviction the hope that we are building societies where racism and ethnic hatred are no longer tolerated.
Unlike many acts of genocide that have gone unrecorded and unpunished in history, we can take heart in the attention that the world continues to give to the events in 1994. Powerful presidents have apologized for not doing enough to prevent the violence.; murderers and rapists, religious leaders and politicians have been arrested and tried for their crimes; the international community grapples with the complex and as yet operational concept of the responsibility to protect people facing massive violations of their human rights. ()
Yes, the world feels remorse for standing by while these crimes unfolded across this verdant land. But these crimes did not spring out of thin air. We acknowledge too that the seeds for this genocide were planted long before and nurtured with lethal results by colonial policies that institutionalized ethnic tensions and resentments.
Let us continue to learn from the Rwandan experience to explore the roots of ethnic conflict and racial discrimination as much as we try to combat impunity and promote truth and reconciliation. For if we are not aware of the injustices and grievances inherent in our economic and social systems, we will certainly continue to reap the harvest of death and destruction they have sown. (...)
II. East Africa Civil Society Forum and RtoP
The Eastern Africa Civil Society Forum (EACSOF) held its third Annual civil society forum in Arusha in on 20-21 March 2009. The meeting themed trengthening Civil Society in the EAC: Sharing Experiences with other RECs was called to support efforts of strengthening the participation of civil society in the regional integration process to ensure that needs and aspirations of people and strategic interests of the East African region are taken into account. Over 90 organizations from all the five Partner States attended and included in the agenda was a panel on the Responsibility to Protect. A communiqu issued at the end of the conference will be available shortly.
Steering Committee Members from the International Coalition on the Responsibility to Protect (ICRtoP) attended the forum and held a press briefing in advance of the upcoming General Assembly debate on the Secretary-Generals report on Implementing the Responsibility to Protect. The first briefing was held in Arusha, Tanzania, on 19 March 2009, and the second in Accra, Ghana, on 25 March 2009. A press conference is also being been planned for Mali.
1. East African Press Conferenceaunch of the International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect and Call to Governments in Advance of GA Debate on RtoP
International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect
20 March 2009
On 12 January 2009, the Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon issued his report on mplementing the Responsibility to Protect (RtoP). The report is the first comprehensive UN document on the Responsibility to Protect, following Bans stated commitment to turn the concept into policy. (...)
It is expected that the UN General Assembly (GA) will formally meet to debates the report in the first half of 2009. NGOs have begun preparing for the upcoming GA debate, which is expected to provide an opportunity to reaffirm the commitments made in 2005 and advance towards implementing the RtoP. The report is already being circulated among member states and NGOs.
The African Governments who have supported the norm in 2005 must again rise up to the challenge of supporting and moving the norm to the next level of consolidation at the forthcoming GA debate on the RtoP, the International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect (ICRtoP) said today.
The International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect (ICRtoP), which was established on 28 January 2009 to promote, accelerate and strengthen the Responsibility to Protect norm, believes that by supporting the RtoP norm, African Governments would be giving life to article 4(h) of the Constitutive Act of the African Union which expressly states the willingness and determination of the Union to intervene in any member state of the AU in pursuant to a decision of the assembly over the breach of the crime of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. Furthermore, ICRtoP believes that strengthening the RtoP in Africa will help enhance early warning capabilities. (...)
The RtoP, when fully adopted and implemented by the AU member states, will assist the continent in preventing and accelerating the resolution of conflicts involving mass atrocities in a sustainable manner and further promote good governance.
he Responsibility to Protect is an internationally agreed norm that is very relevant to East Africans. It is not an abstract notion. Had we implemented it earlier, it would have stopped or at least minimized the death, injury and destruction that occurred in Kenya last year. It is also needed to accelerate the Burundi peace process in a sustainable manner. It is finally crucial for the EAC peace and security architecture that is currently being developed. The East Africa Law Society (EALS), which is a member of the Steering Committee of the Coalition, is committed to playing an active role for the utmost respect of this norm in East Africa and beyond said Mr. Donald Deya, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the EALS.
The Coalition believes that African Governments have sent a very strong statement to the rest of the world on the importance of collective response, as evident in the adoption in 2002 of the Constitutive Act of the African Union. In this regard, supporting the forthcoming GA debate and the UN Secretary Generals effort in implementing the RtoP will a go a long way in demonstrating their commitment to ensuring collective responses to the gravest challenges to peace and security not only in Africa, but the entire world.
e know too well the consequences of failing to act together as a civilized world in responding to the many atrocities that we have witnessed and those that are still around. Taken on board by the world, the norm of Responsibility to Protect gives us hope of collective response to end such atrocities, said Dismas Nkunda, Co-Director of the International Refugee Rights Initiative, which is a member of ICRtoPs steering committee. (...)
As the General Assembly considers the report of the Secretary General on the Responsibility to Protect, we, the members of the ICRtoP call on African leaders, as a matter of priority, to:
o Support the effort of the UN Secretary General in transforming the Responsibility to Protect norm from policy to
o Help develop the early warning capabilities as a prerequisite for enhancing the effectiveness of the norm in
o Stand up and speak out in support of the norm at the forth coming GA debate on the norm.
Full Statement: http://www.responsibilitytoprotect.org/index.php/eupdate/2207
2. East Africa: Civil Society Want Bigger Stake in EAC Integration
The New Times (Kigali, Rwanda)
24 March 2009
Civil society organisations in East Africa have called for an all inclusive process and involvement of non-state actors in the formal structures of the East African Community (EAC) integration process. Over 90 organisations from all the five Partner States were last weekend attending the 3rd' annual conference of civil society organisations held in Arusha, Tanzania.
In a communiqu the East African Civil Society Organisations' Forum (EACSOF) issued at the end of the meeting, called for full participation of civil society organisations in all EAC negotiations from sectoral committees to the Council of Ministers. ()
The organisations undertook to fully support the East African charter of the International Coalition of the Responsibility to Protect (ICRtoP) and the peace and security architectures within the African Union (AU) in general and the EAC in particular.
They however implored partner states to embrace constructive criticism from non-state actors and called for the stemming of any hostility for such critique. On law and justice, the organisations said they want to work closely with the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) in the development of regional legislation.
"We recommend to the EAC that the operationalisation of the East African Court of Justice (EACJ) be extended to include handling of human rights cases brought before it and to institute best practices in the selection of judges to the court," states the statement.
b>III. Governments express support for the RtoP
1. Joint declaration between the UK and Mexico
Prime Minister Brown and President Calderon
30 March 2009
The following is an excerpt of a joint declaration made by Mexican President Felipe Calderon and United Kingdom Prime Minister Gordon Brown during President Calderons recent Official State visit to the U.K for a bilateral meeting. Of nine issue areas that the two covered regarding international and bilateral relations between the two countries, support for the United Nations and enhancing the Responsibility to Protect was included.
(...) United Nations
We welcome our partnership on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and we will continue to work together to promote disarmament, non proliferation and arms control initiatives. We share a conviction that the UNSC must be reformed in a comprehensive manner to make it more representative of todays world, and look forward to constructive debate on how to achieve this during the intergovernmental negotiations process in New York.
We will also engage our respective regional partners in order to bring about a comprehensive approach to security, which includes the fight against transnational organised crime, the promotion of human rights and development, and to make progress on operationalising the Responsibility to Protect at national, regional and international levels. (...)
Full Declaration: http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/newsroom/latest-news/?view=Speech&id=15613927
IV. NATO Shadow Summit and RtoP
1. NATO and the Responsibility to Protect
31 March 2009
The following excerpts are from a speech delivered by Gareth Evans at the Shadow NATO Summit, entitled ptions for NATO: Pressing the Re-Set Button on the Strategic Concept in Brussels, Belgium. Organized by BASIC, Bertelsmann Stiftung, ISIS Europe, and NATO Watch, the conference took place on 31 March- 1 April 2009 as a Civil Society Shadow Summit. Gareth Evans served as Co-Chair of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty, and President of the International Crisis Group.
He is the current co-chair on the International Commission on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, in terms of conventional military capability, is by far the best resourced and most sophisticated regional or multilateral organization in the world. Its 26 countries which will become 28 following the Strasbourg-Kehl NATO summit later this week - together have a formidable war-fighting and peace enforcement capacity, in terms not only of the raw numbers of both personnel (some 2.5 million in uniform) and equipment (over 5,000 helicopters for a start) but also their interoperability, highly professional and integrated military command structure, and ability draw on the contributions of non-EU countries like Turkey and Norway.
The question arises as to what all this capacity is for, and whether it can or should be used for a wider range of global peace and security tasks. And in particular the question arises as to what role NATO can and should play in helping implement the international responsibility to protect vulnerable populations against mass atrocity crimes genocide, ethnic cleansing, other crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in internal conflicts. As most of this audience will know, the responsibility to protect norm was adopted unanimously by the UN General Assembly in 2005 by over 150 heads of state and government meeting as a World Summit on the UNs 60th anniversary, against a background of long failure to reach any kind of consensus on how to react to these atrocities, which dates back centuries but came to a head in the series of catastrophes in Rwanda and the Balkans through the 1990s.
The core elements of the new responsibility to protect norm can be very simply stated. First, sovereign states have the responsibility to protect their own people against mass atrocity crimes. Second, where they need assistance in doing do, others have a responsibility to help them (including where necessary by providing, at the request of the government in question, military forces for human protection purposes). And third, where they are manifestly failing to protect their people perhaps because of ill-will rather than incapacity then the wider international community has the responsibility to take appropriate collective action, in a timely and decisive manner (including in extreme cases, if the Security Council agrees, the use of coercive military force). The responsibility to protect unlike the doctrine of the right of humanitarian intervention, which it was expressly designed to supersede of course involves much more than just the use of military force, but it is that small part of the total picture which is relevant to the present discussion about NATOs role.
A third option, and one that I very much prefer, would be for NATO to quite fundamentally recast its role and become a global military resource, potentially available to prevent and resolve security problems worldwide in partnership with others as circumstances required or allowed, but deploying anywhere only with UN authority. Such a NATO would not just defend its members against attack from within or without but be prepared to contribute when asked to human protection missions, and above all to play the role of emergency force provider in response to conscience-shocking mass atrocity crimes the responsibility to protect situations I have been describing. ()
2. Shadow NATO Summit: A citizens Declaration of Alliance Security
International Security Information Service urope
The following itizens Declaration of Alliance Security outlines the basic principles for equipping NATO to meet the different and diverse challenges of this 21st century. It was prepared by NATO Watch and revised in the light of discussions and comments received during a Shadow NATO Summit in Brussels on 31 March April 2009. It is being used to kick-start a NATO-wide, civil society-led public consultation on a new Strategic Concept to be negotiated in 2009-10. The Citizens Declaration of Alliance Security (and Framing Paper) is to be circulated widely throughout NATO Member States, Partnership and Contact Countries. Support for the Declaration and further feedback is being actively courted via the NATO Watch web site www.natowatch.org. Towards the end of 2009 a similar process will be initiated to launch a Citizens Strategic Concept.
The following section is an extract of the Declaration highlighting the Responsibility to Protect
Section II: Putting the mission into action - practical implications
4. Decisions over use of force
NATO is morally and legally obliged to exhaust all other means possible before taking up arms, and force should only be used in accordance with the UN Charter. This either means authorised by the UN Security Council or in self-defence (when there is a real, imminent and severe danger and the UN Security Council is unable to act in time).
5. Upholding humanitarian and international laws of war
NATO must uphold the highest standards of international law, including humanitarian law, when choosing to threaten or use force, and in the application of force.
6. Responsibility to Protect Part I: preventing genocide and mass atrocities
Preventing genocide and mass atrocities should be a priority for NATO and not merely an idealistic add-on to the core collective defence agenda. It is a moral and strategic imperative for the Alliance to implement the UN Responsibility to Protect (R2P) agenda and resources should be directed towards the development of a comprehensive approach to genocide prevention.
7. Responsibility to Protect Part II: civilians during conflict
NATO must move towards a human security approach, contributing to the protection of every individual human being and not focus merely on the defence of territorial borders. This means prohibiting military activities that indiscriminately impact on civilians, safeguarding the economic and social infrastructures of civilian life and accurately accounting for civilian casualties arising from NATO operations.
8. Responsibility to Protect Part III: NATO service personnel
The Alliance should prioritise better equipment, pay and conditions for service personnel as part of a renewed compact between the military and wider society.
Source: full Citizens Declaration of Alliance Security: http://www.isis-europe.org/pdf/2009_conf_25_microsoft_word_-_citizens_declaration__final.pdf
V. Kenya National Dialogue: Kofi Annan says Kenya proof that RtoP can work
1. Opening Remarks to the Opening Plenary Session--Kenya National Dialogue: One Year Later
30 March 2009
Kofi Annan, as Chair of the Panel of Eminent African Personalities, addressed the opening plenary session of the Kenya National Dialogue, a two day event hosted by the Kofi Annan Foundation in Geneva to review the mediation process in Kenya. The event took place 30-31 March 2009 and was attended by key actors in the Kenyan Peace Process, as well as Kenyan civil society organizations, mediators, media, and academics.
() Almost all of us in this room were, one way or another, part of the efforts to resolve peacefully the crisis that engulfed Kenya following the December 2007 elections. ()
President Kufuor and I quickly spoke to President Mkapa and, Graca Machel to ask if they would join me as members of a Panel of Eminent African Personalities to assist in the mediation. With a great sense of urgency, as Kenya was burning and its citizens were being killed, the three of us agreed to help. We also quickly decided on the way forward. We recognized that strong and coordinated international support from the African Union, the United Nations, the European Union, the United States, and others was needed right from the start. It was important, too, that the international community acted in unison and spoke with one voice. We also needed to ensure that Kenyan stakeholders, such as civil society organizations and the media, were given an effective voice in the mediation process.
We sought their views and listened to their concerns, which helped us to draw up the agenda for the negotiations. And to ensure public support and confidence in the process, we published all agreements reached by the parties and were determined to be as transparent as possible. The effective external response proves that the responsibility to protect can work. But whatever positive role was played by the international community, the cessation of violence was a great achievement on the part of the Kenyan political leadership and the people of Kenya. ()
Kenya is at a crossroads. The time to act is now. And many of the people who need to undertake the required actions are right here in this room. In some ways, negotiating and signing a peace agreement is the easy part. Implementation is much more complex and much more difficult. An agreement, no matter how beautiful its text, is merely a piece of paper until it is actually implemented faithfully, in both letter and spirit. ()
More information on the event, including the agenda, can be found at the following link: http://kofiannanfoundation.org/newsroom/2009/04/kenya-national-dialogue-and-reconciliation-one-year-later%E2%80%99-which-took-place-geneva
VI. Crisis in Darfur since expulsion of international NGOs
1. Press conference by Emergency Relief Coordinator on Sudans humanitarian situation
UN Department of Public Information
24 Mar 2009
The joint assessment mission to gauge the impact of the Sudans expulsion of non-governmental organizations on the countrys humanitarian situation was a first positive step to address the situation in Darfur, John Holmes, the top United Nations humanitarian official, said today, while cautioning that key tests still lay ahead.
Speaking at a Headquarters press conference, Mr. Holmes, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, said the conclusions of the joint United Nations-Government of the Sudan assessment mission had been released in Khartoum. They focused on food, health, nutrition, shelter, water and sanitation, and showed the impact on the humanitarian situation in the three States of the Darfur region unless critical gaps were filled immediately or the Government reversed its decision to expel the non-governmental organizations.
Urging a reversal of the decision to expel 13 international non-governmental organizations and revoke the licences of three national ones, he said the joint assessment showed that efforts by the Government, the United Nations and non-governmental organizations to plug the gaps were and-aid solutions. The World Food Programme (WFP) was carrying out a uick and dirty food distribution programme that could last for two months; pumps for water required fuel and maintenance; sanitation sludge tanks needed to be cleaned out in order to prevent health problems; and non-food items like shelter needed to be distributed to some 700,000 people. Moreover, the upcoming rainy season could exacerbate existing problems. ()
Asked about the statement by the Permanent Representative of the Sudan to the United Nations that there were no gaps in delivering humanitarian aid as non-governmental organizations from the region would step in, Mr. Homes said there was no instant crisis. While the capacities offered by the non-governmental organizations in question could not be replaced quickly, local and regional groups could fill the gaps if financed in a sustainable manner, but that could not simply happen overnight. ()
Responding to a question as to whether the current situation was not a clear example of the responsibility to protect and if no lessons of Rwanda had been drawn, Mr. Holmes warned against comparing the situation in the Sudan with the Rwanda genocide, adding that he did not himself use the word genocide. The issue of responsibility to protect was a preventive that was being addressed by the General Assembly. The reality was that humanitarian aid could not be provided if the Government did not cooperate. ()
Asked to clarify olitical access, he said it was a question of whether Government workers could gain access to camps. The Kalma camp, for instance, contained some 100,000 people with a hostile attitude towards the Sudanese Government. It was a question of whether the safety of Government workers there could be guaranteed. ()
2. Stumbling and fumbling over the implementation of the responsibility to protect - The Darfur debacle
Institute for Security Studies
9 April 2009
Festus Aboagye is a Senior Research Fellow in the Training for Peace Program at the Institute for Security Studies in Tshwane, Pretoria, South Africa.
The humanitarian emergency in Darfur continues to challenge the United Nation's responsibility to protect (R2P) vulnerable populations. ()
It is more than three years since the 2005 World Summit adopted the agenda on 'operationalising' R2P. Since then, the emerging international criminal justice architecture around the role of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in both Africa and elsewhere has provided some momentum in this direction. The deployment of the third European Force in Chad and the Central African Republic ((EUFOR Chad-CAR), as well as of the UN Mission in the CAR and Chad (MINURCRAT), have also helped to stabilise the situation.
However, practical progress in the protection of the vulnerable populations on the ground in Darfur, as in other violent armed conflict areas within the continent, has been painfully slow. The humanitarian situation in Darfur has recently been further compounded by the response of the government of Sudan to the ICC's indictment of its president. Sudan's expulsion of key humanitarian agencies is no doubt an eloquent contempt of the efforts of the UN to address issues of regional and global human insecurity. The subsequent emergence of diplomatic support by the African Union (AU) and the League of Arab Nations further detracts from an effective and speedy resolution of the humanitarian plight of the millions of displaced Darfurians in and out of the country.
These developments cripple the R2P agenda, which formed one of the key outcomes of the 2005 Summit and heralded in an era of hope in building upon the Canadian initiative around the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (ICISS) in 2000. For the moment, it does appear that the state sovereignty has won the tactical round in the operational campaign to propel the normative R2P discourse to the centre stage of international politics. ()
Among other factors, the UN failed Darfurians with a speedy and decisive intervention because of divisions within the Council itself. Perhaps, the lack of broad and sufficient consensus within the UN Security Council, and perceptions of its double standards in dealing with similar situations in the world, is banal to its own success and effectiveness. It is these weaknesses that the government of Sudan has successfully exploited in thwarting collective international action in implementing the UN R2P strategy in Darfur. Any hope of an effective implementation of the UN R2P strategy in Darfur must therefore start with regaining sufficient global consensus to push this notion beyond the threshold of international normative practice to become a binding international law with universal application.
In the case of Darfur, such an international consensus-building forum must involve the AU, the Arab League and state actors in the region. This new initiative must also go in tandem with progress by the unified mediation to yield the dividend of a more constructive and comprehensive peace accord that addresses political and other disputes pre-dating Sudan's independence in 1956.
VII. Report: AUs article 4(h) and implementing the RtoP
1. The African Union and the Challenges of Implementing the esponsibility to Protectr Nordic Africa Institute
Dan Kuwali is a fellow at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvards Kennedy School of Government. He is also the Deputy Director of Legal Services for the Malawi Defense Force. The following report is part of a forthcoming larger paper on challenges within the African Union facing R2P, and possible opening points through the Constitutive Act.
The concept of the responsibility to protect (2P) was endorsed by the worlds leaders sitting at the 2005 World Summit level in the UN General Assembly. The World Summit Outcome Document affirmed that every sovereign government has a responsibility to protect its citizens and those within its jurisdiction from genocide, war crimes, thnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.
The concept of R2P is cast in the three core pillars: first, an affirmation of the primary and continuing obligation of individual states to protect its population from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and crimes against humanity, as well as incitement thereof; second, a commitment by the international community to assist states in meeting these obligations; and third, acceptance by UN member states of their responsibility to respond in a timely and decisive manner through the UN Security Council
, if national authorities are manifestly failing to protect their populations from these mass atrocity crimes.
R2P is a restatement of positive binding obligations of states to protect their citizens from mass atrocity crimes; and the collective responsibility to the international community to prevent mass atrocity crimes. () These obligations are particularly relevant to Africa in the face of crises such as those in Sudan (Darfur), parts of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Somalia. It is, however, rather early to pass definitive judgment on the relatively young notion of R2P without addressing some of the challenges confronting its implementation in Africa.
Source: see this link
VIII. Upcoming Events and Conferences
1. The African Union, Darfur, and the Question of Justice
International Refugee Rights
14 April 2009
The African Union, Darfur and the Question of Justice
Tuesday, April 14
12:30 - 1:30PM
The Church Center
777 United Nations Plaza, New York
Since 2004, the African Union has played a critical role in efforts to resolve the ongoing crisis in Darfur. From facilitating peace negotiations in Abuja to deploying the regions first peacekeepers, the regional institution took a strong early lead in the international response. Although the United Nations has taken on an increasing role in recent years, the African Union remains a key partner in peacekeeping and mediation efforts.
More recently, the question of justice has come to the fore of this engagement, with the African Union reacting with consternation to the presentation of charges against Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir. Dismas Nkunda, Co-Chair of the Darfur Consortium and Co-Director of the International Refugee Rights Initiative, will present his perspectives on the role that the African Union has played in mediating the crisis so far and the impact that debates over international justice have had in its recent engagement. ()
Invitation and Further Information: http://www.responsibilitytoprotect.org/index.php/pages/4
2. An International and Norwegian Responsibility to Protect: Crimes Against Humanity in Eastern Burma
Conference in Oslo, Norway on 23 April 2009
Severe economic mismanagement and disregard for the Burmese population by the ruling military junta has turned the former rice bowl of Asia into one of the worlds poorest and least developed countries. Eastern Burma is the sight of the worlds longest ongoing civil wars since Burmas independence in 1948. The ruling military junta has repeatedly targeted civilians and obstructed humanitarian assistance in the wake of natural disasters, such as in 2008 during Cyclone Nargis. Despite upcoming elections in 2010, a constitution adopted in the wake of the Cyclone guarantees that military dominance will be entrenched in the Burmese government. Despite calls from the International Community and United Nations since 1994 to form a tripartite government between the Daw Aung San Suu Kyis democracy movement, the military junta, and ethnic minorities, the crisis in Burma has yet to be alleviated.
Invitation and Further Information: http://www.responsibilitytoprotect.org/index.php/pages/4
3. Symposium on Preventing Genocide Through Dialogue: Reaffirming Human Rights for ALL and Starting With Ourselves
Thursday, 16 April 2009 7 PM
Fordham Law School, Amphitheater
140 West 62nd Street, New York City (Off 9th Avenue) NYC
Dialogue Group Discussions: Lessons learned and challenges to face
Dr. Martina Emme & Rosalie Gerut: One-by-One, Jews & Germans in Dialogue
Dr. Yunus Tuncel & Dr. Kalayjian, Dialogue between Armenian & Turkish people
Dr Amarjit Singh & Dhani Ram Sapkota, Need for dialogue between Indians & Sikhs
Recipient of 2009 AASSSG Outstanding Achievement Award
Andrew H. Tarsy, Facing History and Ourselves
Chair: Dr. Ani Kalayjian, President of AASSSG and Psychology Professor @ Fordham
Hosted by: Armenian American Society for Studies on Stress & Genocide (AASSSG), Fordham Psychology Association, SPSSI NY, Association for Trauma Outreach & Prevention (ATOP), Fordham Psi Chi, and Meaningfulworld.
Admission: $12 donation (free with Fordham ID)
Invitation and Further Information:
ANNOUNCEMENTew Journal on the Responsibility to Protect
Global Responsibility to Protect is a new academic journal launched for the study and practice of RtoP. The inaugural issue was published in January 2009 and edited by Alex Bellamy and Sarah Davies. The journal will publish articles from latest research on the norm, its development and operationalization through the work of global, regional, and sub-regional actors and NGOs. The Journal will serve to advance the norm through the compilation of best practices and dissemination of RtoPs relevance to institutions, academics, and country-specific situations. It welcomes contributors and insight from every region of the world.
Thanks for Emily Cody for compiling this listserv