12 June 2013
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ICRtoP to hold its first global conference for civil society practitioners
on the Responsibility to Protect
The International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect (ICRtoP) is excited to announce that it will hold its first global civil society conference on the Responsibility to Protect norm (RtoP, R2P) in Istanbul, Turkey on 20 June 2013.
History has taught us that strong civil society networks can play a pivotal role in urging governments, regional organizations and the United Nations to honor their international commitments. Endorsing RtoP was one such commitment, made by all states in the Outcome Document at the 2005 World Summit, to prevent and halt the worst crimes known to humankind: genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and ethnic cleansing. There is already a rich and active community of civil society organizations working to advance the Responsibility to Protect and prevent mass atrocities, but more needs to be done to ensure that the NGOs, academics and other actors in this community know of one another, communicate about their activities and coordinate across sectors and regions. To this end, the ICRtoP is convening this community of practitioners to strengthen civil society’s impact in advancing RtoP around the world.
Over 60 organizations - both ICRtoP members and other interested groups – from over 25 countries will participate in the conference to share and exchange strategies for advancing RtoP and mass atrocities prevention around the world. The conference will begin with a panel discussion on developments on the norm since its endorsement by all governments at the 2005 World Summit, country cases and the challenges facing RtoP’s implementation, the range of tools available for prevention and the crimes and violations within the norm’s framework. Participants will then take the rest of the day to strategize on working with national actors to implement RtoP; increasing civil society activity and support for the norm; and engaging with regional organizations on atrocities prevention. During these discussions, civil society representatives from around the world will share their success stories and expand on the challenges they've faced working in different fields and with a variety of stakeholders. We hope that this close examination of how civil society can move forward to operationalize the norm will stimulate enthusiasm around the world to fill these gaps, increase collaboration between groups on atrocities prevention initiatives and strengthen the movement of organizations supporting and advancing RtoP.
ICRtoP is dedicated to building a global community of committed and engaged civil society to prevent mass atrocities and advance the Responsibility to Protect, and looks forward to collaborating with participating civil society organizations on many different projects following this conference. If you are interested in learning about how you can support the work of the Coalition, please visit www.responsiblitytoprotect.org/donate.
The conference for global practitioners on the Responsibility to Protect will immediately follow a three-day global convening to end mass atrocities and deadly violence against civilians, organized by the Nexus Fund and to be held in Istanbul as well. The ICRtoP would like to thank the Nexus Fund for their crucial support in the organization of this event.
See the conference agenda, and look out for a summary of the meeting, which ICRtoP will release in July 2013.