NEW DELHI (IANS) : With one month to go until the United Nations summit in New York, the India, U.S., Russian and Brazil have been called upon to back a new agreement designed to stop genocides like Rwanda from ever happening again, according to a press release.
International agency Oxfam has named these powerful countries as they are currently lukewarm to or are actively blocking new measures designed to stop atrocities like genocide from taking place, the release said.
The reforms will be discussed at the U.N. summit in New York in a month's time. Other countries seeking to block the measures include Syria, Iran, Cuba, Pakistan, Egypt and Algeria, the release said.
Oxfam is pushing for a strong agreement on the responsibility of states to protect civilians from large-scale atrocities such as genocide and ethnic cleansing.
If agreed this would establish a new standard and oblige the international community to act were there to be another Rwanda or a similar mass murder of civilians where the government was unwilling or unable to do anything to stop the bloodshed, the release said. The Rwandan government, supported by dozens of others around the world, has led the calls for a strong agreement, but those opposing it are refusing to back down. "It is hard to overstate how important this is. In one month's time the biggest meeting of world leaders in history could endorse a new standard which could help stop a future Rwanda from happening. Today we've taken the step of exposing the governments blocking the agreement so people around the world can call on them to change their minds. We urge these governments to urgently reconsider their position and agree to protect civilians from mass murder and atrocities. The international community must never again allow genocide or mass murder to go unchecked," Nicola Reindorp, Head of Oxfam in New York, was quoted as saying. India, Brazil and Russia are currently actively opposing strong language on the responsibility to protect civilians. Oxfam is also concerned that the U.S. government, although supporting the "responsibility to protect" in principle is currently pushing a watered-down proposal.
By contrast key governments supporting the call for strong language include Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Nigeria, Kenya, Chile, Peru, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Canada and the EU. The current draft outcome document states that the U.N. has a "shared responsibility to take collective action, in a timely and decisive manner," to, "help protect populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity."