Spotlight on R2P: First annual First Annual Dialogue between the Chinese Institute of International Studies and the Asia Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
On 28 October 2014, the Asia Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect (APR2P) and the Chinese Institute for International Studies (CIIS) co-hosted their first annual dialogue on the Responsibility to Protect (R2P). CIIS is the think tank of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and conducts research and provides policy recommendations on a wide range of foreign policy issues. This year’s dialogue took place at the CIIS compound in Beijing, and addressed the theme ‘Under the UN Framework: The Responsibility to Protect and International Assistance’. Led by CIIS Secretary-General Yang Yi, Chinese participants at the dialogue included representatives from: China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the UN Association of China, the Chinese Institute of Contemporary International Relations, the Shanghai Institute for International Studies, China Foreign Affairs University and Fudan University. Delegates from Australia included APR2P Centre Director Professor Alex Bellamy, the Director of the Peacekeeping and Conflict Section of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, David Chick, and APR2P Centre Deputy Director Sarah Teitt.
This year, the dialogue featured an exchange of ideas on Pillar 2 of the R2P framework on how international assistance can help build resilient states and societies. Chinese participants endorsed the 2005 World Summit Outcome Document as the consensus definition of R2P, and characterised the 2009 Secretary-General’s report on implementing R2P as a solid ‘handbook’ to guide action on the concept. Chinese participants underscored that the primary responsibility for protection lies with the state itself, and the concern for building resilient states and societies is a ‘common area between China and the rest of the world’. International assistance should be guided by the principles of national ownership and consent, and should include encouragement, capacity building and protection assistance. In addition, participants stressed the Chinese perspective that international assistance should not be limited to the human rights/humanitarian framework, and should apply to a more comprehensive economic and social development agenda. Discussions centered on how to build resilience to mass atrocities within the post-2015 development agenda, and how to engage and work with the G7+ group (the association of twenty fragile or conflict-affected countries seeking to end conflict, build effective state institutions and eradicate poverty through innovative development policies).
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