UN Secretary-General Report on the Responsibility to Protect5 August 2013
“State Responsibility and Prevention” and ICRtoP Overview of Report
United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon published his fifth report since 2009 on the Responsibility to Protect (RtoP, R2P), State Responsibility and Prevention, in advance of the UN General Assembly informal interactive dialogue on the same subject to take place in early September 2013.
Recent and ongoing events, such as the ever-deteriorating crisis and civil war in Syria, illustrate the critical importance of early preventive action and the consequences that can arise should such action not be taken or fail. As such, the Secretary-General has focused his report on the responsibility of States to protect their populations by developing the necessary national capacity to build societies resilient to atrocity crimes.
The report identifies six risk factors that have been evident to varying degrees in situations where atrocities were committed, as well as reflects on the range of preventive measures available to governments, featuring over 40 examples as implemented by Member States. Such policy options listed within the report include, but are not limited to, ensuring constitutional protections; holding inclusive, fair, electoral processes that involve the participation of all sectors of the population and meet international human rights standards; fostering political pluralism through the diffusion and sharing of power, as well as through the establishment of self-regulating political parties that promote national cohesion and participation rights for all; and ensuring accountability for the commission of atrocities and ratifying, domesticating and implementing relevant legal instruments. Additionally, the Report outlines targeted measures, such as establishing early warning mechanisms or designating an atrocities prevention or RtoP focal point, to prevent atrocities.
ICRtoP’s has produced a 4-page overview of the report available here.
See the full Report of the Secretary-General, State Responsibility and Prevention, here.