General Assembly Opening Plenary Debate
The 67th Session of the General Assembly opened in September 2012 with a General Debate among Heads of State and Government from 25 September - 1 October with the theme “Adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations by peaceful means.” Many Member States also participated in High-Level meetings on such themes as Rule of Law, Sustainable Energy, and Countering Nuclear Terrorism.
Addressing Member States during the debate on 25 September 2012, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon reminded governments that, “It is the duty of our generation to put an end to impunity for international crimes (…) It is our duty to give tangible meaning to the responsibility to protect.”
The Secretary-General was joined by twenty-four governments from around the world, all of whom mentioned the responsibility to protect in their interventions to the General Assembly. These states not only reiterated the consensus that governments and the international community have a collective responsibility to ensure that populations are protected from genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing, but also highlighted the norm in the context of country cases and other issues related to human security and governance.
The speakers who directly mentioned the Responsibility to Protect in their remarks to the General Assembly included: Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and the delegations from: Bahrain; Belarus; Belgium; Botswana; Brazil; Costa Rica; Côte d’Ivoire; Croatia; Denmark; Estonia; Libya; Liechtenstein; Montenegro; Poland; Romania; Russia; Slovenia; South Africa; Sudan; Syria; the Netherlands; Turkey; Uruguay; Zimbabwe.
The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect published a document, featuring the compiled statements of those delegations which mentioned the Responsibility to Protect, country cases where populations have been or are threatened by RtoP crimes and other related themes, including concerns over the use of force, the focal points network, accountability and mass atrocities, the UN Security Council veto, and regime change.
See the full statements of delegations that referenced RtoP in their statement to the General Assembly:
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Bahrain (in English)
Belarus (in English)
Costa Rica (in English)
Russian Federation (in English)
Syria (in English)
Uruguay (in English)