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Joint Press Release by the Governments of Botswana, Brazil, Denmark, & the Netherlands: Ministerial Meeting on the Responsibility to Protect –Deepening our Commitment to Mass Atrocity Prevention
Global Center for the Responsibility to Protect
28 September 2012

This morning the Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Republic of Botswana, H.E. Mr. Phandu T. C. Skelemani, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Denmark, H.E. Mr. Villy Søvndal, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, H.E. Dr. U. Rosenthal, and the Vice-Minister for Political Affairs of the Ministry of External Relations of the Federative Republic of Brazil, H.E. Ms. Vera Lúcia Barrouin Crivano Machado, in association with the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, co-hosted a ministerial breakfast on “Responsibility to Protect: Deepening our Commitment to Mass Atrocity Prevention.”
The meeting was attended by 15 ministers representing governments from across the globe. The Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, H.E. Mr. Jan Eliasson, and the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, Mr. Adama Dieng, also participated in the meeting.
The principle of the Responsibility to Protect has come a long way since 2005. The commitment to protect populations from genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing has now become an operational reality. In keeping with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s declaration of 2012 as the year of prevention, the aim of this year’s Ministerial Roundtable was to discuss how we can operationalize the preventive dimension of the Responsibility to Protect, and deepen our understanding of effective responses to the threat of mass atrocities.
This morning’s meeting discussed the full range of preventive options, including long term structural measures such as good governance, human rights, the promotion of socioeconomic development and the national R2P Focal Points initiative. Short term operational components of prevention were also considered, including early warning, mediation and preventive diplomacy.
The Brazilian concept of “Responsibility while Protecting” was discussed and debated as a positive contribution. Discussions also addressed different lessons from various mass atrocity crisis situations.
The co-hosts remain engaged to promoting and broadening the discussions on the principle of the Responsibility to Protect, including through the concept of the Responsibility while Protecting, given the challenge posed by the urgent need to protect civilians at grave risk of mass atrocity crimes. They look forward to the annual informal interactive dialogue on Responsibility to Protect in the 67th session of the General Assembly. (…)
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