Event Summary: UN Capacities for Timely and Decisive Response
World Federalist Movement Canada
The All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Prevention of Genocide and Other Crimes Against Humanity (GPG), and the Civil Society Project on the Responsibility to Protect led by World Federalist Movement - Canada and Global Action to Prevent War, New York jointly organized this event for parliamentarians and staff from the GPG, civil society representatives, and officials from Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. The meeting was held on 30 May 2012 in Ottawa Canada. Guest speakers included H.E. Piragibe dos Santos Tarrago, Ambassador of Brazil to Canada and Dr. Simon Adams, Executive Director of the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect.
From an international perspective, current Canadian discussions of R2P are puzzling. In Canada R2P is treated as a partisan issue. But Elsewhere, R2P is not an idea aligned with one political philosophy, or party. It is non-partisan. Atrocity prevention is everybody’s business. (…)
The notion of “Responsibility While Protecting” was introduced to strengthen the conceptual framework for civilian protection. It is intended to help clarify and support the Responsibility to Protect. Any international use of force must be implemented in a manner consistent with the Charter’s collective security principles and after all peaceful means have been exhausted. There is always a danger of unintended consequences, that the use of force will cause more harm than the initial dangers that it was intended to address. The use of force must be judicious, limited, proportionate. Enhanced UN Security Council procedures are needed to monitor and assess implementation of R2P mandates.
R2P “Focal Points” are senior government officials mandated to enable national efforts to improve mass atrocity prevention and response. The precise mandate given these officials is context specific, depending on the circumstances of the particular government. The Global Centre’s initiative seeks to expand the number of R2P Focal Points appointed by national governments and to link these Focal Points within a global network designed to facilitate international cooperation and coordination in pursuit of protection-focused objectives.
To date, 13 governments have identified R2P focal points, with at least 20 more assessing guidelines for such an appointment. Canada is a member of the “Friends of R2P” group at the UN. It was suggested that Canada should also appoint an R2P focal point.
The R2P is at a stage where advocates have largely won the battle of ideas. (…) Now, the question is how to implement. (…)
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