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International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect
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New Security Council members must recall their pledge to protect
12 November 2010
Any new member of the Security Council must act to protect populations from genocide and mass atrocities, inherent threats to international peace and security.
In light of United States President Barack Obama’s 8 November 2010 endorsement for India’s pursuit of a permanent seat on the Security Council, current permanent members, non-permanent members, and states, such as India, seeking a permanent seat on the Council, must acknowledge that the protection of populations from genocide and mass atrocities is an inherent part of the Council’s mandate in maintaining international peace and security.
While visiting India, United States President Barack Obama stated that he looked “forward to a reformed UN Security Council that includes India as a permanent member.” In his speech to the parliament in New Delhi, President Obama referenced factors such as India’s economic growth and existence as one of the two largest democracies in the world in his support for India as a UN SC permanent member. Mr. Obama was frank in mentioning that India has shied away from condemning and reacting to human rights violations, specifically citing crimes that have occurred in Burma/Myanmar. He stated that the Indian government should not avoid issues regarding human rights violations, and declared that “speaking up for those who cannot do so for themselves is not interfering in the affairs of other countries. It is not violating the rights of sovereign nations. It’s staying true to our democratic principles.”
Given the commitment that all Heads of State and government made during the 2005 World Summit to recognize their Responsibility to Protect populations from genocide and other mass atrocity crimes and to take the appropriate measures to prevent and halt these crimes, UN Security Council members should refrain from using the right to veto when exercising this power which could impede on action from the Council. 
Current members of the UN Security Council, the recently elected Non-permanent Members of South Africa, India, Germany, Columbia, and Portugal, and future SC members must recall their commitment to the prevention and protection of populations from the most serious violations of human rights and to enact this pledge within their participation in the Council.
More information:
On 9 November 2010, the Telegraph reported that Britain will support Brazil’s campaign to gain a permanent seat on the Security Council: see here
For additional information on Security Council reform and the expansion of permanent seats, please visit our sister project at WFM-IGP at who writes the following:
(…) Given the political divisiveness of the issue, it is important to consider whether adding more permanent seats to the Security Council would do more to advance the Council’s work on international peace and security, or hinder it.
(…) If the Security Council truly wants to increase its effectiveness in maintaining international peace and security, it should seek to expand its membership on a non-permanent basis, adding ten more seats with five-year, renewable mandates, rather than adding more permanent seats with the ability to assert veto power. 
See article here

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