Member Sign In
International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect
PDF Print E-mail
Statements on RtoP at the 64th Session General Debate

View all excerpted statements in a word document. 
Statements for GA Debate
UN SG Ban Ki-moon
This Assembly also reaffirmed the responsibility to protect. In our modern era, no nation, large or small, can violate the human rights of its citizens with impunity. Where conflicts arise, justice and accountability should follow.
The Responsibility to Protect populations against genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity remind us, once more, the need for responsible cooperation.
We regard the principles of Prevention of Genocide and Responsibility to Protect as the key principles, cornerstones of the overall human security system. In this respect we commend the report of the Secretary General on "Implementing the Responsibility to Protect", which charts a course for the United Nations to prevent genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing through bolstering the capacities of the Organization.
As it is rightly stated, in the Report, genocides do not happen all of a sudden. The instigators propagate intolerance and hatred, setting grounds for violence. As survivors of genocide, we, Armenians welcome all efforts to prevent and combat racist and xenophobic attitudes. We have been and will be doing everything to provide for a continuous advocacy for prevention of genocide. The international community must be vigilant over the development of such situations and events, and demonstrate its ability to act timely to prevent future tragedies.
National sovereignty implies responsibility. Belgium wholeheartedly supports the principle of the "responsibility to protect", which requires governments to safeguard their citizens against genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity. Belgium would like to thank the Secretary-General, Mr Ban Ki-moon, for the excellent report on this topic and we fully support his efforts in this area.
We need a United Nations capable to rise to the challenges to…the promotion of the rule of law at the national and the international levels…the exercise of responsibility to protect, the fight against impunity by strengthening international justice, the protection of civilians, in particular, the protection of children, women, and elderly people in situations of armed conflict, etc.”  
… We appreciate the Secretary-General’s report entitled “Implementation of the Responsibility to Protect” of January 2009 as an important and timely outline and state our firm interest to further discuss and elaborate on the concept. We hope that with the recently adopted GA resolution this concept will be implemented.
It would also be good to provide a better definition of the responsibility to protect, giving ourselves enough time for reflection with regard to its launching.
Democratic Republic of the Congo
“With respect to the responsibility to protect, we believe that it is up to each state to protect its people from genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and ethnic cleansing. 
We are also of the view that the principle role of the international community in this area should be to determine how to build institutional capacities and provide substantial assistance to states, more specifically to the administrations of countries in post conflict situations so that they can acquire the means to ensure that they have this protection.
In conflict situations, the civilian population needs protection. At the UN World Summit in 2005, the "Responsibility to Protect" was accepted as a general principle applying to genocide, crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansing and war crimes. Further efforts are urgently needed to save civilians from the violence, and we welcome the active role of the Secretary-General in reminding us of this important commitment. 
Further, in the context of the United Nations we have supported advancing in the implementation of the concept of the responsibility to protect populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.
Holy See
…there is a strongly felt need, even in the midst of a global recession," for an urgent "reform of the United Nations Organization, and likewise of economic institutions and international finance, so that the concept of the family of nations can acquire real teeth." Such reform is urgent "to find innovative ways of implementing the principle of the responsibility to protect and of giving poorer nations an effective voice in shared decision-making". Quoted taken from Pope Benedict XVI’s Encyclical, Charity in Truth.
Hungary will play its part in multilateral efforts aimed at implementing the principle of responsibility to protect. We strongly believe that there is a clear and urgent need for further institution-building in the field of the prevention of genocide and mass atrocities.
At the 2005 World Summit, this Assembly endorsed the important concept of Responsibility to Protect. It is now imperative to take forward the work to give practical effect to this concept, based on the consensus resolution at the end of the 63rd Session.
At the World Summit of 2005 the concept of the Responsibility to protect was agreed upon. Latvia supports this concept. It is important to work towards its implementation. It would help us to create a world order where inactivity in the face of mass atrocities becomes a thing of the past.
The Rwanda genocide is still fresh in our minds. Though the wounds may have healed, the scars remain pronounced, and serve as a painful reminder of man's inhumanity to man. They also serve as a reminder of how the international community can fail a people. Beyond Rwanda, and I dare say, even post Rwanda, we have witnessed mass atrocities being committed with impunity, against the most innocent and vulnerable populations. And sadly, the Security Council, in whose purview the power to act is centralized, failed to act, thereby incapacitating the international community to act.
In our resolve to never fail any population again, we adopted the Principle of the Responsibility to Protect, at our 2005 World Summit. This Principle seeks to restore the confidence of populations in the United Nations system. In July 2009, the General Assembly held a debate on the Secretary General's report entitled "Implementing the Responsibility to Protect". Lesotho welcomes that balanced report, especially, the proposed practical measures for its implementation. We view the report as a good basis for negotiations in the General Assembly on how to implement the principle. It is true that the scope of the Principle is narrow and limited to genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity. I would, nonetheless, discourage any reopening of the debates on paragraphs 138 and 139 of the World Summit Document.
In this regard, I wish to reiterate the support of my country towards the implementation of the "responsibility to protect", symbol of the strengthening of multilateralism at the service of populations. The responsibility to protect does not affect thé exercise of responsible sovereignty, which places the individual at the forefront.
We emphasize the crucial importance of the debate on the concept of the Responsibility to Protect, taking place at the UN, and we fully support the activities of the Secretary-General and assessments outlined in his latest report. We believe that an upsurge of internal conflicts and serious violations of human rights in the 1990s have spurred a discussion on the need for protection of civilians in armed conflicts, which has unquestionably led to further deliberations and analyses on the primary obligation of each state to protect its citizens from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity, as well as the international community's responsibility in the event where countries fail to do so.
[RtoP] must be clearly defined and marked out like the constitution of the African Union”.
New Zealand
All too often, the UN, has however, found itself unable to respond to emerging crises. New Zealand therefore strongly supports the concept of Responsibility to Protect. I am pleased at the solid foundation the General Assembly's recent debate on R2P has laid for its implementation.
Papua New Guinea
Furthermore, the concept of the “Responsibility to Protect”has received broad support with an inclusive process now in train to elaborate it better.
Another significant decision taken in the 2005 Outcome Document concerns a crucial issue: the Responsibility to Protect. A few months ago, the General Assembly held a very constructive debate on how to implement this concept. The Responsibility to Protect is one of the most important conceptual evolutions for the United Nations. This path should be thoroughly explored by Member States as it holds a tremendous preventive capacity.
Among the key tools that the United Nations has at its disposal for protecting the most endangered and the most vulnerable is the concept of responsibility to protect, which is one of the most important achievements of the 2005 World Summit. We believe the international community should focus more on the protection of civilian population from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.
The failures to protect human beings from mass atrocities and from gross and systematic violations of human rights should not be repeated. We still haven't found the right tools to respond in a timely and effective manner. I welcome the debate on the responsibility to protect that took place in the General Assembly in July. Continued engagement of the General Assembly on this subject proved to be necessary.
(on behalf of the European Union)
We cannot let war crimes, genocide, or crimes against humanity go unpunished.

Browse Documents by Region:

International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect
c/o World Federalist Movement - Institute for Global Policy
708 Third Avenue, Suite 1715, New York, NY 10017