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Third Open Debate on the Protection of Civilians: 22 June 2007
 
The third debate on the protection of civilians in armed conflict took place on 22 June 2007. Mr. John Holmes, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator briefed the Security Council, referring to the responsibility to protect in his opening and closing comments. 
 
Apart from China, who continued to express reservations with RtoP, governments continued to be overwhelmingly positive in expressing their support for the Responsibility to Protect and urging the Security Council to consider ways to operationalize RtoP. Of the twenty-eight nations that made statements at the Open Debate, twenty-three referred to the principle of the “responsibility to protect.” Countries expressing support for RtoP in their statements included: the UK, Panama, Italy, Congo, Slovakia, Ghana, Belgium, Japan, Argentina, Germany on behalf of the European Union and associated States, Nigeria, Canada, Liechtenstein, Korea and Rwanda. 
 
This Open Debate indicates the Security Council’s continued commitment to operationalizing the principle of “the responsibility to protect” in order to promote the protection of civilians from the most heinous of crimes in armed conflict. 
 
For excerpted government statements referencing RtoP at the third Open Debate click here.
 
For the full Security Council transcript of the third Open Debate click here.
 

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