UN Must invoke “Responsibility to Protect” to prevent unlawful killings
22 February 2011
CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation is a global movement of civil society with members and partners in over a hundred countries.
The situation in Libya is escalating with mass killings of protestors, resulting in the commission of crimes against humanity. CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation calls upon the UN Security Council to invoke the principle of 'Responsibility to Protect' to deal immediately with the threat posed to international peace and security. (…)
"The international community cannot afford to look the other way while Gadaffi's henchmen mow down unarmed civilians on the streets", said Ingrid Srinath, Secretary General of CIVICUS. "Failure to act will not only result in the deaths of large numbers of innocent people, which constitutes a crime against humanity, but will also embolden other despotic regimes to use similar measures against their populations".
Following the 2005 World Summit on Human Rights, the international community made a historic commitment to prevent genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity through the doctrine of 'Responsibility to Protect'.
Heads of state and government agreed that states have the primary responsibility to prevent the above crimes and the international community should encourage or assist states to exercise this responsibility. But when a state manifestly fails in its responsibilities then the international community must step in and if necessary use collective force through the UN Security Council to protect the adversely affected people.
"This is an extraordinary situation of mammoth proportions and certainly not a domestic matter. The ongoing cruel and wanton murder of protestors by Libyan government forces is a serious risk to humanity that the UN Security Council must address forthwith", said Netsanet Belay, Policy and Research Director at CIVICUS.
CIVICUS calls upon the UN Security Council to treat the ongoing atrocities in Libya as a threat to international peace and security and act in accordance with Chapter 7 of the UN Charter by taking appropriate non-military and military action to restore peace and security for the people of Libya.
Read full press release.