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United Nations General Assembly holds eighth annual informal, interactive dialogue on the Responsibility to Protect, focusing on UN Secretary-General report, Mobilizing collective action: the next decade of the responsibility to protect

On 6 September 2016, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) held its eighth annual informal, interactive dialogue on the Responsibility to Protect (RtoP, R2P) at the United Nations headquarters in New York. The dialogue followed the August release of the UN Secretary-General’s (UNSG) eighth, and final, report on RtoP entitled, “Mobilizing collective action: The next decade and the responsibility to protect.” The report lauded the accomplishments in advancing RtoP and raised several challenges currently facing the norm’s implementation, including the increasingly challenging global context and the lack of delivering on political commitments such as investing in prevention, among others. However, the report also highlighted ways in which we might be able to work collectively to overcome such obstacles into the next decade of RtoP.
 
The dialogue included participation from 68 Member States and one regional organization, who delivered statements on behalf of 95 governments. The International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect, represented by Mr. Gus Miclat of the Initiatives for International Dialogue, as well as three ICRtoP members – The Global Centre for R2P, The Asia-Pacific Centre for R2P, and The Canadian Centre for R2P – delivered interventions. Over the course of the dialogue, Member States reaffirmed their commitment to RtoP and supported the Secretary-General’s vision for mobilizing collective action. In doing so, Member States supported a variety of initiatives to overcome current barriers to implementation. Echoing past dialogues, but with increased support, 37 Member States as well as the European Union (EU), collectively representing 59 States, spoke of the need for veto restraint. This concern manifested itself through support of either/both of the complimentary initiatives led by the governments of France and Mexico, and the Accountability, Coherence and Transparency Group (ACT). Many States as well as the Group of Friends of RtoP (GoF) and EU also proposed ways in which the UNGA could support RtoP in the coming decade, calling for a new UNGA resolution on RtoP and/or the formalization of the dialogue on the UNGA agenda. Emphasizing the title of the report, 11 Member States and the GoF called for the next UNSG to prioritize RtoP, with many others highlighting the need to further mainstream the norm. Finally, many Member States made note of the changing landscape of the past-decade, citing the rise of non-state actors in the commission of mass atrocity crimes as well as the continued disregard for international law, with many calling for ensuring accountability for perpetrators and more support for the International Criminal Court.
 
The ICRtoP has produced a number of educational materials about the UNSG report and UNGA dialogue, including a summary of both the 2016 report and dialogue, an infographic highlighting the major themes raised in the meeting, and an updated page on the UN and RtoP, which includes information on all UNGA dialogues.
 
View the ICRtoP’s summary of the UNSG report here.
View the ICRtoP’s summary of the UNGA dialogue here.
View the ICRtoP’s infographic highlighting key themes here.
View the ICRtoP’s UN and RtoP page here.

See below for the list of UNGA dialogue participants (in speaking order).

Panelists
H.E. Mogens Lykketoft
UN Deputy Secretary-General Mr. Jan Eliasson
UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide Mr. Adama Dieng (French)
Former UN Special Adviser on R2P Dr. Edward Luck
Former UN Special Adviser on R2P Dr. Jennifer Welsh

Regional Organizations

European Union - on behalf of Albania, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Georgia, Iceland, Moldova, Montenegro, Turkey and Ukraine, and European Union Member States)

Member States 
The Group of Friends of the Responsibility to Protect - presented by the Netherlands
The Netherlands - in national capacity
Latvia - on behalf of Estonia and Lithuania
New Zealand
United Kingdom
Belgium (French)
Brazil 
Mexico (Spanish)
Italy
Australia
Thailand
Morocco (French)
Slovenia
Philippines
Cuba (Spanish)
Argentina (Spanish)
France
Liechtenstein
Panama
Peru (Spanish)
Syria (Arabic)
Switzerland (French)
Denmark
Tanzania
Hungary
Russia
South Africa
Georgia
Canada
Egypt
Ecuador (Spanish)
Croatia
Sudan (Arabic)
United States 
Spain
Botswana
Costa Rica (Spanish)
Nicaragua (Spanish)
Ghana
Benin
Japan
Poland
Iraq (Arabic)
Fiji
Finland
Bolivia (Spanish)
Jamaica 
Slovakia
Nigeria
Armenia
Singapore
Bangladesh
Republic of Korea
Qatar (Arabic)
Luxembourg (French)
Turkey 
Germany
Chile (Spanish)
Libya (Arabic)
Uruguay (Spanish)
Kazakhstan
Liberia
Rwanda 
Democratic People's Republic of Korea
Vanuatu
Venezuela
Sierra Leone
Iran
Azerbaijan

Civil Society Organizations

Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect (
Pour la version française s'il vous plaît cliquez ici .)
Canadian Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
Asia-Pacific Centre for R2P

 
Special thanks to the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect for their assistance in obtaining statements.

 

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