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International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect
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12 November 2007
Responsibility to Protect Engaging Civil Society
Web: www.responsibilitytoprotect.org
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In this issue: [R2P in the News; Upcoming Events; Other Reports of Interest and Position Available]


I. R2P in the News
1. UN SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE ON SOMALIA TO TALK WITH NGOS ON RESPONSIBILITY TO PROTECT
2. ASSEMBLY PRESIDENT HIGHLIGHTS HUMAN-CENTRED APPROACH TO SECURITY
3. CONCERN AND 40 NGOS RESPOND TO CATASTROPHE IN SOMALIA

II. Upcoming Events
1. SIXTH ANNUAL CONFERENCE ON PEACE EDUCATION IN CANADA
2. INTERVENTION AND THE RESPONSIBILITY TO PROTECT: CANADA'S ROLE
3. RESPONSIBILITY TO PROTECT AND THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT: AMERICA'S NEW PRIORITIES

III. Other Reports of Interest
1. ATROCITIES AND INTERNATIONAL ACCOUNTABILITY BEYOND TRANSITIONAL JUSTICE
2. HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH -- BURMA: SOLD TO BE SOLDIERS
3. HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH SOMALIA: MOGADISHU CLASHES DEVASTATING CIVILIANS

IV. Position Available
1. EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR FOR NEW GLOBAL CENTRE FOR R2P NEEDED


I. R2P in the News


1. UN SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE ON SOMALIA TO TALK WITH NGOS ON RESPONSIBILITY TO PROTECT
United Nations Political Office for Somalia
13 November 2007

The United Nations Special Representative for Somalia, Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, is holding a meeting with representatives from civil society and Non-Governmental Organizations involved in Somalia to explore with them the difficulties they are facing. Mr Ould-Abdallah said he would be 'listening and sharing views on how to address the situation in Somalia including the responsibility to protect'.

Mr Ould-Abdallah has praised the work carried out by national and international humanitarian workers especially in Mogadishu and expressed his readiness to work closely with them in the fulfillment of his mandate.

() The objective is to build a consensus on a coherent approach to end the 17 years of continuing conflict.

UNPOS and Non-Governmental Organizations operating in Somalia have a common position regarding the responsibility to protect, as highlighted in their separate statements issued on 30 October 2007.

Full text available at:
http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/RWB.NSF/db900SID/EGUA-78VLQK?OpenDocument


2. ASSEMBLY PRESIDENT HIGHLIGHTS HUMAN-CENTRED APPROACH TO SECURITY
UN News Centre
07 November 2007

A human-centred approach to security one that extends beyond the State and focuses more on the protection and empowerment of people lies at the core of an evolving new culture of international relations, General Assembly President Srgjan Kerim said today.

Addressing a meeting of the Friends of Human Security, held this afternoon at UN Headquarters in New York, Mr. Kerim said this new culture is one ased on the values of human rights, the rule of law, human security, the responsibility to protect and sustainable development.r
Mr. Kerim argued that a human-centred approach to security goes hand in hand with individuals accepting greater responsibility for their own well-being, but added that it also has implications for the role of the State.

tates should place greater emphasis on their individual and collective responsibilities to care for the well-being of their citizens, as well as for the well-being of individuals that may be threatened wherever they may be, he stated.

() n our interdependent world more and more of the threats to peace and stability are challenges that States cannot deal with on their own, he said, adding that they must be addressed collectively through the multilateral system.

he United Nations, in particular, has an important role to play to put positive peace, and not just the mere absence of conflict, at the heart of multilateral discourses on security, stated the President.

e should try to make human security a principle that is better reflected in a wider range of UN activities from peacebuilding, human rights, development, and migration, to the environment, gender equality and fighting organized crime and human trafficking, he added.

Full text available at:
http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=24578&Cr=ga&Cr1=president


3. CONCERN AND 40 NGOS RESPOND TO CATASTROPHE IN SOMALIA
Concern.org
02 November 2007

According to Concern and other international and national NGOs, there is an unfolding humanitarian catastrophe in South Central Somalia. Tens of thousands of people are currently fleeing violence in Mogadishu adding to the up to 335,000 people already needing immediate lifesaving assistance in Mogadishu and the Shabelle regions.

NGOs cannot respond effectively to the crisis because access and security are deteriorating dramatically at a time when needs are increasing. The international community and all involved parties have a responsibility to protect civilians, to allow the delivery of aid and to respect humanitarian space and the safety of humanitarian workers.

Compounding an existing crisis

A dramatic increase in movement from Mogadishu has occurred in the past few days. This comes on the heels of an existing humanitarian crisis in which 1.5 million people in Somalia require humanitarian assistance. Constrained access and deteriorating security is leaving international and national NGOs with little humanitarian space in which to operate in Somalia.

Given these restrictions, it is impossible to obtain more precise figures of the magnitude of the crisis. However, all indicators point to a deterioration of the already dire humanitarian situation.

Over 400,000 people fled violence and insecurity in Mogadishu earlier this year. After a relative lull, fighting between transitional federal government / Ethiopian troops and anti-government forces has now increased again, triggering another mass exodus from the city.

Fleeing the violence
In the past few days tens of thousands of people have fled Mogadishu. They have moved to areas that are already inundated with thousands of people who have previously been displaced from their homes. The communities attempting to host these growing numbers of people are already at breaking point. Humanitarian agencies have little or no access to these areas.

NGOs are struggling to deliver assistance through Somali partners in these settlement areas. They are being constrained by high levels of insecurity and other impediments (for example, harassment, intimidation, roadside bombs and landmines, checkpoints severely delaying access are increasing in number and prices to pass them are rising).

The international community and all parties to the present conflict have a responsibility to protect civilians, to allow the delivery of aid and to respect humanitarian space and the safety of humanitarian workers.

The above statement was signed by a group of 40 NGOs, including Concern, Trocaire and Oxfam.

Full text available at:
http://www.concern.net/news-and-features/world-news/a1412/Concern-and-40-NGOs-respond-to-catastrophe-in-Somalia.html



II. Upcoming Events
1. SIXTH ANNUAL CONFERENCE ON PEACE EDUCATION IN CANADA
Ontario, Canada
Canadian Centres for Teaching Peace (CCTP)
McMaster Centre for Peace Studies
12-19 November 2007

This year's conference will focus upon the theme of "Cultivating Sustainable Learning Communities". Particular emphasis will be placed upon: developing a core community/network of peace educators within Canada; discussing and developing action plans for addressing shared challenges; and building critical skills for community involvement.

Further information available at:
http://www.peace-education.ca/core.php?content=pec_canada

2. INTERVENTION AND THE RESPONSIBILITY TO PROTECT: CANADA'S ROLE
Toronto, Ontario
Vivian and David Campbell Conference Centre,
Munk Centre for International Studies,
1 Devonshire Place,
University of Toronto.
4-6pm
12 November 2007

Liberal MP Michael Ignatieff and University of Toronto professor Janice Stein will discuss Canada's role in R2P in the international community.

For more information visit: http://www.utoronto.ca/mcis

3. RESPONSIBILITY TO PROTECT AND THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT: AMERICA'S NEW PRIORITIES
Chicago, Illinios
5-7 December 2007

"The R2P Coalition is sponsoring an event hosted by the Center for International Human Rights at Northwestern University School of Law. The main focus of the conference will be on how R2P can be advanced with US engagement with and participation in the ICC. An additional key component will be a discussion on laying the foundation for the development of an International Marshall Service. Other sponsors of the event include the American Bar Foundation and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs."

For more information visit:
http://r2pcoalition.org/


III. Other Reports of Interest

1. ATROCITIES AND INTERNATIONAL ACCOUNTABILITY BEYOND TRANSITIONAL JUSTICE
Edited by William A. Schabas, Ramesh Thakur, and Edel Hughes
United Nations University Press

Rebuilding societies where conflict has occurred is rarely a simple process; but where conflict has been accompanied by gross and systematic violations of human rights, the procedure becomes fraught with controversy.

The traditional debate on 'transitional justice' sought to balance justice, truth, accountability, and peace and stability. The appearance of impunity for past crimes undermines confidence in new democratic structures and casts doubt upon commitments to human rights. Yet the need to consolidate peace sometimes resulted in reluctance on the part of authoritiesoth local and internationalo confront suspected perpetrators of human rights violations, especially when they are a part of a peace process.

() However, there is a growing consensus that some form of justice and accountability are integral to rather than in tension with peace and stability. This volume considers if we are truly going beyond the 'transitional justice' debate. ()

For more information visit:
http://www.unu.edu/unupress/2006/atrocities.html

2.HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH -- BURMA: SOLD TO BE SOLDIERS
The Recruitment and Use of Child Soldiers in Burma
Human Rights Watch
05 November 2007

This report details the recruitment of children, as young as 10 years old, in Burma by the ruling military junta and the non-state armed groups. The recruitment of child soldiers under the age of 15 is listed as a war crime in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. This report outlines the problem of child soldiers and gives recommendations to address the situation.

Full report available at:
http://hrw.org/reports/2007/burma1007/
3. HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH MOGADISHU CLASHES DEVASTATING CIVILIANS
Human Rights Watch Press Release
09 November 2007

Ethiopian troops and insurgents have violated the laws of war in killing and wounding dozens of civilians in new clashes in Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, Human Rights Watch said today.

Tens of thousands of civilians remain trapped in the city, many of them wounded and unable to access medical care and other services due to continuing fighting.

"All the warring parties are responsible for ensuring that civilians are not targeted and that they do not impede access to medical treatment and other relief," said Peter Takirambudde, Africa director at Human Rights Watch. "The international community should condemn these attacks and hold combatants accountable for violations of humanitarian law - including mutilating captured combatants and executing detainees."

() Within 24 hours, 30 wounded people turned up at a single Mogadishu hospital, including a 3-year-old boy and a 90-year-old man, both with shrapnel injuries. Doctors claim most of the wounded were non-combatants, and half were children and women. Because of the ongoing clashes and the closure of many roads, the doctors predicted that some victims would not reach the hospital until November 10.

"Fighters on all sides must also respect that hospitals, medical staff, and humanitarian convoys enjoy special protection under humanitarian law," said Takirambudde.

Tens of thousands of civilians continue to flee Mogadishu, especially the Huriwa, Hamar Jadid, and Gubta neighborhoods, which have been pounded with heavy weaponry.

International humanitarian aid agencies trying to reach people in need have encountered obstacles, some reportedly created by officials of Somalia's Transitional Federal Government (TFG), who have even been accused of threatening aid workers. The World Food Program, which distributes food to 75,000 people in Mogadishu, temporarily suspended operations following the detention of its director by TFG officials on October 17.

"The TFG also has a responsibility to ensure that aid agencies are able to carry out operations without threats or obstruction, particularly at this critical time," said Takirambudde.

Full text available at:
http://allafrica.com/stories/200711100017.html


IV. Position Available

1. EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR FOR NEW GLOBAL CENTRE FOR R2P NEEDED


Job Description
The Executive Director will exercise primary decision-making authority for the newly established Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect. He or she will be the principal public face of the Centre, ensure liaison with and assist senior officials in the United Nations, regional organizations, governments, and civil society and bear principal responsibility for fundraising.

The ideal candidate should have an advanced academic degree, strong management skills, and 10-15 years experience in government, international organizations, or NGOs dealing with peace and security, human rights, or humanitarian action. He or she should have strong inter-personal and diplomatic skills, high energy, knowledge of responsibility to protect issues, excellent media presence, and prior relationships affording access to senior officials in international organizations and national governments. A strong record of research and publication is desirable.


About the Organization
The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect is planned to begin operations early in 2008 in New York City at the Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies of The CUNY Graduate Center (www.GlobalCentreR2P.org), which was the Research Directorate for the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty and is directed by Prof. Thomas G. Weiss.

The responsibility to protect civilians from mass atrocities has quickly evolved into a broadly accepted international norm, endorsed by the 2005 UN World Summit, but much remains to be done to entrench and effectively implement it.

The new Centre will conduct, coordinate, and publish research on refining and applying the R2P concept, and act as an information clearing house, resource base, and catalyst for ongoing activity worldwide by NGOs, governments, and international organizations. It will have from the outset a strong North-South character and be connected to Affiliated Centres in Africa, Asia and elsewhere as well as a worldwide research network.

The Global Centre is an initiative of the International Crisis Group, Human Rights Watch, WFM-Institute for Global Policy, Oxfam International, and Refugees International. It will be supported by, among others, the governments of The Netherlands, Australia, Canada, and Rwanda; its International Advisory Board is co-chaired by Gareth Evans and Mohamed Sahnoun; and its Patrons include Kofi Annan, Romo Dallaire, Joschka Fischer, Lee Hamilton, Mary Robinson, and Desmond Tutu.

To apply, please submit by 10 December 2007 a cover letter that summarizes your qualifications for the position and salary expectations, along with a detailed CV and names of three referees to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


 

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