Seventh Open Debate on the Protection of Civilians: 26 June 2009
On 26 June 2009, the Security Council held its Seventh Open Debate on the Protection of Civilians. The Seventh Open Debate focused on sexual violence and rape as frequent tactics of war, and governments acknowledged the need for such abuses to be treated as war crimes.
With regard to continued violations against civilians in conflict, many governments reiterated the primary responsibility of states to protect their own populations. 15 Member States (out of 42) mentioned the RtoP in their statements. Among them, the Czech Republic (on behalf of the EU), France, Mexico and Guatemala called for an urgent operationalization of the concept. The representatives from France, Peru and Italy expressed their anticipation of a UN debate on RtoP at the General Assembly which was held on 23, 24 and 28 July 2009. A couple of governments emphasized the prevention aspect of the norm and called for the strengthening of early-warning mechanisms. China was the only state who offered a more cautious note on RtoP, reminding the international community to respect sovereignty.
See excerpted statements compiled by the Global Centre for R2P mentioning the norm: click here. For the full Security Council transcript of the Seventh Open Debate,