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Conference on R2P in New Delhi: The Responsibility to Protect – What’s Next?
World Federation of UN Associations and the Indian Federation of UN Associations
8 October 2012
On Monday, October 8 WFUNA and the Indian Federation of United Nations Associations (IFUNA)invited civil society members, academics and UN and government officials to a day-long Conference on the Responsibility to Protect (R2P)in New Delhi, India. This event was a follow up to the Symposium Series WFUNA held in 2011 and the beginning of 2012 in Kenya, China and Venezuela in conjunction with the Government of Sweden which looked at the Responsibility to Protect and its added value to mass atrocity prevention framework. (…) Over 60 participants from nearly all states in India, including Ambassadors and government representatives from Denmark, Norway, UK, the Arab League and Tunisia, and 10 media outlets turned up for the day.
The Conference took up the theme of this year's General Assembly Informal Dialogue on R2P which focused on third pillar measures. (…) Under the premise that India as an emerging and influential power should play a larger, more pro-active and constructive role in the debate on implementing R2P the Conference sought to ask key members of the UN community, civil society members and government officials if, when and how it is suitable for the international community to intervene to protect civilians from mass atrocities. (…)
There was no doubt that all agreed that prevention was the best policy yet understood that in situations of mass atrocity the international community has a responsibility to act. Concerns were raised over the “'double standards” in applicability of R2P and the concept of sovereignty was heavily debated. Many participants and panelists identified the current structure of the Security Council, and in particular the veto power, as the main prohibitor in effectively implementing R2P and called for UN reform. It was clear from both the panellists and audience that it is essential that India plays a larger role in the debates. Advocacy and awareness raising was cited a number of times as important for pushing the norm forward in a more effective way. This can only be achieved by reaching out and providing increased knowledge on the issue to key stakeholders - politicians, policy makers, academics, civil society and media. (…)
Read more about the conference.
Read an article on the event from India Blooms News Service, India can play a larger role for world peace.

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