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12 September 2007
Responsibility to Protect Engaging Civil Society

In this issue: [R2P in the News; Commentary on Darfur; Global Day for Darfur and Other Events]

I. R2P in the News
II. Commentary on Darfur
III. Related Events
IV. Other Reports of Interest

I. R2P in the News

Marc Perelman
The Jewish Daily Forward
5 September 2007

()With the unchecked violence in Darfur exposing the United Nations continued inability to respond quickly to unfolding crises, several members of Congress have joined an international coalition of nongovernmental organizations in calling for a standing emergency peacekeeping force.

The envisioned U.N. Emergency Peace Service would be 15,000 to 18,000 strong and include not only military and police personnel but also engineers, relief workers and judicial experts. While most member states are reluctant to create such a permanent force, it has a measure of bipartisan support and legislation recommending its creation may be taken up by the House International Relations Committee this fall.

()Backers of the U.N. Emergency Peace Service, known as Uneps, say that their main objective is not to replace the growing number of U.N. peacekeeping missions but rather to address the lag time between deciding to send a mission and actually deploying the troops. The process can take months, and it often includes time-consuming negotiations among U.N. member states and within the U.N. bureaucracy.

The concept of a standing U.N. peacekeeping force has been around since the world bodys creation in 1945; however, due to member states concerns about preserving their sovereignty, it never materialized. Now a coalition of 37 civil society organizations, including Human Rights Watch, Refugees International, Rainbow/PUSH and a variety of Christian groups, believes that conditions are conducive to the formation of such a force.

The coalition points to two developments at the U.N. as signs that the peacekeeping department, which has conducted a number of successful operations in recent years but is widely perceived to be overstretched, is ready to take on a more permanent mission. The department has quietly begun assembling a standing police capacity and a military reserve force. And two years ago, the world body adopted he responsibility to protect principle, which provides a legal basis for humanitarian intervention by the U.N. in situations where a member state is unwilling or unable to stop genocide, massive killings and other human rights violations.

()In order to allay concerns among member states that Uneps would encroach on their sovereignty, the emergency forces backers stress that it would be deployed only after an express authorization by the Security Council. Even some of Unepss strongest proponents, however, acknowledge that overcoming concerns about sovereignty may be an uphill battle. ()

Full text available at:

The Responsibility to Protect: Creating and Implementing a New International Norm
Address by Gareth Evans
13 August 2007 -- Human Rights Law Resource Centre, Melbourne
28 August 2007 -- Community Legal Centres and Lawyers for Human Rights, Sydney

It has taken the world an insanely long time, centuries in fact, to come to terms conceptually with the idea that state sovereignty is not a license to kill, that there is something fundamentally and intolerably wrong about states murdering or forcibly displacing large numbers of their own citizens, or standing by when others do so, and that it is unacceptable for the rest of the world to allow that to happen. With the emergence of the responsibility to protect concept or 'R2P' as we are now all calling it in this age of acronymphomania and in particular with its endorsement by the World Summit of 2005, and subsequently by the Security Council, we seem to have at last passed that milestone.

But there is still a big distance to go before we can be comfortable that emerging R2P situations will be understood as such; that there will be a reflex international response both among governments and publics supportive of the need to respond appropriately, both preventively before the event and reactively after it, even when no national interests can be directly called in aid; and that the necessary policy tools and mechanisms will be in place, able and ready to be quickly mobilised.

()Australia's position throughout the UN debate, it should be acknowledged, was always one of strong support for the concept, and our Permanent Representative John Dauth was personally as active and effective as any Western diplomat could have been. But, as on many other multilateral issues over the last decade, we were not particularly engaged at the political level, were hampered on this particular issue by our frontline participation in the Iraq invasion, and certainly were nothing like as effective as Canada, a country with whom we normally like to compare ourselves.

A further important conceptual development has occurred since the September 2005 Summit: the adoption by the Security Council in April last year of a thematic resolution on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict which contains, in an operative paragraph, an express reaffirmation of the World Summit conclusions relating to the responsibility to protect. And we have now begun to see that resolution in turn now being invoked in subsequent specific situations, as with Resolution 1706 of 31 August 2006 on Darfur. A General Assembly resolution may be helpful, as the World Summit's unquestionably was, in identifying relevant principles, but the Security Council is the institution that matters when it comes to executive action. And at least a toehold there has now been carved.

What is just as intriguing, and heartening, as these formal developments is the evidence that is now emerging that people around the world seem to think that we have it right in formulating the principle that there are limits to state sovereignty when it comes to the protection of people from genocide and similarly severe human rights violations. A major new opinion poll was released inn April this year by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and which found that, in each of the eleven countries surveyed, many more people favoured than were opposed to the proposition that 'the UN Security Council has the responsibility to authorise the use of military force to protect people from severe human rights violations such as genocide, even against the will of their own government'. An extraordinary 76 per cent of Chinese approved, as did 74 per cent of Americans, and for example 69 per cent of Palestinians, 64 per cent of Israelis, 54 per cent of French and Poles, and 51 per cent of Indians.

So when it comes to ensuring that never again do we have another Rwanda, I think the reality is clear that we are not going to any better, for the indefinitely foreseeable future, than the R2P principle. It touches the right bases, and the right chords, and has shown that it is capable of winning very broad international acceptance indeed. In just over five years R2P has evolved from a gleam in a rather obscure international commissions eye, to what now has the pedigree to be described as a broadly accepted international norm, and one with the potential to evolve further into a rule of customary international law. But the starting point is not the finishing point, and for all that has been achieved we still have a long way to go in bedding down complete international acceptance of the R2P principle and giving it practical effect as new cases arise. ()

For Evans five ways to strengthen R2P, please see his full speech at:

Canada Out of Africa? Disappointments around Darfur Omens for Canadas 2010 G-8 Summit?
David Black, Tim Shaw
The Human Security Bulletin
Volume 5, Issue 3
August 2007

The following article is from the August 2007 issue of the Human Security Bulletin, which is entitled arfur: Whose Responsibility to Protect? The Human Security Bulletin is a publication of the Canadian Consortium on Human Security. Among other articles, the August 2007 issue includes he United States and Darfur: Policy from the Outside In by Gayle Smith and everaging Games: Chinas Influence Over Sudan, by Alana Tiemessen and Erin Williams.

In the course of its advocacy of human security in the 1990s, Canada animated the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (ICISS) and established itself as he worlds leading proponent of the responsibility to protect (R2P). Although the R2P itself was momentarily displaced by declarations of an unwinable ar on terror in response to 9/11, the mid-decade UN Millennium Summit served to revive it and broader notions of human security in the retiring Secretary-Generals calls for comprehensive security. Yet despite lessons from Rwanda, Canada has yet to respond adequately or proportionately to the crisis in Darfur, ongoing since early 2003, where Canadas commitments to both Africa and to the R2P have been simultaneously tested by the Sudanese governments manifest failure to protect its own citizens.[ii] Indeed, regime change in Canada led to the disbanding of Paul Martins Darfur Special Advisory Team composed of Senators Romeo Dallaire and Mobina Jaffer and Ambassador Robert Fowler as Stephen Harper channeled government focus and resources towards Afghanistan.

()This essay suggests that Canadas deficient response to Darfur can be partially explained - though certainly not fully excused - by reference to other bi- and multi-lateral demands and diversions. Despite the ongoing tragedy of Darfur, Canada has continued to demonstrate a welcome degree of dirigisme in regional and multilateral diplomacy that bears, at least indirectly, on prospects for sustainable peace in the complex of regional and human insecurity of which Darfur is the starkest instance. These ongoing engagements create a foundation for sustained and renewed commitment to the protracted process of building peace.

With regard to Darfur itself, Canada has not been an insignificant player in the uneven global response to the crisis. Yet the net effect of its involvement has been to help sustain a starkly inadequate effort, especially when measured against the emerging standard of R2P. The governments humanitarian contributions through CIDA and various NGOs have been substantial though middle-of-the-road smaller than those of the Dutch and Norwegians, for example. In relation to the critical security dimension of the crisis, Canada has been one of the four largest contributors to the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS) the AUs hard-pressed but precedent-setting effort to mobilize an frican (peacekeeping) solution to an African problem having now committed $238 million in support. The forms this support has taken have been varied and practical, including the leasing of helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft and the loan of 105 armored personnel carriers to give AMIS some much-needed mobility.

()The Darfur imbroglio underscores the work to be done in terms of building a broad coalition of understanding and support for the normative aspirations embedded in The Responsibility to Protect; the need to redouble efforts to strengthen international capacities for prevention (he responsibility to prevent); and the need, more prosaically, to think in very concrete terms about the capabilities and conditions necessary for effective responses to real-world, real-time upreme humanitarian emergencies. In fairness, some of this kind of work continues to be done by Canadian government and non-governmental officials and organizations. In the run-up to the Olympics and G8 in 2010, it remains to be seen if this important work will enjoy the firm and sustained political support that Canadians and others expect given our previous advocacy on both Africa and the R2P. ()

Full text available at:

All articles from the August 2007 Issue of the Human Security Bulletin available at:

II. Commentary on Darfur

Darfur: Dont Look Away Now, IAP, SERAP Urge YarAdua
Globe for Darfur
10 September 2007

As President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua marks his first 100 days in office, two leading Nigerian non governmental organisations, Independent Advocacy Project (IAP) and Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) have called on the president to publicly declare his support for efforts aimed at bringing lasting solution to the humanitarian and human rights crisis in Darfur Sudan.

Ahead of the 16 September 2007 Save Darfur Day being marked by several organisations - including IAP and SERAP - in different parts of the world, the organisations in a joint statement said the president has a unique opportunity to make a difference in the lives of the suffering people of Darfur by working with other African leaders to raise the profile of Darfur thereby giving it the attention it deserves.

()Following the passing of Resolution 1769, the African Union and the UN must work closely and swiftly to deploy the AU-UN hybrid peacekeeping force. Nigeria as a leading UN member state in Africa must support a prompt and sufficient deployment of the hybrid force by generating the necessary military, police and civilian personnel, as well as essential financial and material resources.

Adds SERAP's Adetokunbo Mumuni: he government of Sudan has a track record of shifting under pressure only to break its promises when the international community looks elsewhere. Until the attacks on civilian's cease and the full peacekeeping force is deployed the international community must not look away.'

The two organisations reminded the federal government that this September's meeting of 192 world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly in New York is another opportunity to address the Darfur issue.

()In September 2005 world leaders made a historic commitment at the UN General Assembly World Summit to acknowledge their responsibility to protect their citizens, and a joint commitment to act if a government is unwilling to fulfill this primary responsibility through the UN. This commitment was termed the Responsibility to Protect.' Two years on, despite the adoption of the Responsibility to Protect, the Sudanese government and the international community have failed to protect the people of Darfur. ()
Full text available at:

The Boston Globe - Opinion
7 September 2007

This is the fifth year of the Darfur genocide. The protracted failure of the international community to rescue the victims has made a mockery of the UN's 2005 resolution declaring a responsibility to protect civilians who are being killed by their governments. Given the UN's sad record of allowing Sudan's National Islamic Front regime to thwart efforts to halt the murdering and raping of villagers in Darfur, it is hard not to be skeptical about the outcome of Secretary General Ban Ki Moon's visit this week to Sudan.

()Ban and Security Council members must be prepared to resist fresh attempts by Sudan's president, Omar al-Bashir, to obstruct the work of the peacekeepers. The regime in Khartoum can be expected to sabotage their mission. There is also a growing danger that the peacekeepers will be further deflected by the Arab militias known as the Janjaweed, who have served as proxies for the central government, and also by rebel African factions. All these groups are now fighting one another.

The task of the hybrid peacekeeping force is much more daunting today than it would have been if the UN had acted in 2003, when the raids on Darfur's African villagers began. There must be no more hesitation, no more yielding to Bashir's stalling tactics and broken promises. As the record has shown, the longer his regime is permitted to rebuff any serious UN effort to enforce a cessation of the killing, the harder it becomes to establish a peace in Darfur that peacekeepers can preserve.

Full text available at:

Eric Reeves
Boston Globe
6 September 2007

Does genocide continue in Darfur? Do we still see "acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, [Darfur's African ethnic groups] as such," the high standard set by the 1948 UN Genocide Convention? The question acquires urgency as skepticism grows in some quarters about the intentions of Khartoum's Islamist regime. Genocide is a crime of intent, not motive; if the intention of Khartoum is no longer genocidal, their moral and negotiating equities change considerably in any peace talks with fractious rebel groups.

Some skepticism about genocide in Darfur is politically motivated: much of the British left regards Darfur advocacy as a diversion from Iraq. The Bush administration, embarrassed by its weak actions following a September 2004 genocide determination, has attempted to "walk back" the g-word. Yet others argue - to diminish the urgency of deploying military protection - that Darfur's terrible realities are much improved and no longer deserve such strenuous characterization.

()What works in part to justify skepticism about continuing "genocide" is that following the ill-conceived Darfur Peace Agreement (May 2006), violence and threats to the civilian population became much more chaotic. Rebel groups fractured, warlordism became rampant, and ethnic violence among Arab tribal groups emerged in deadly fashion. Violent threats to humanitarian relief come from all armed groups in Darfur.

()Often ignored in the debate about genocide is the nature of antecedent violence that produced the staggering population of 4.2 million conflict-affected persons in Darfur, including more than 2.5 million people uprooted from their homes. A key passage in the Genocide Convention specifies acts "deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part."

When Khartoum's regular forces and brutal Arab militia allies destroyed African villages, the effort was typically comprehensive: demolishing or poisoning precious water wells and irrigation systems; destroying food- and seed-stocks, cutting down mature fruit trees; looting or killing livestock. Such deliberately destructive violence, the mass executions of African men and boys, and the racialized use of rape as a weapon produced the desperate humanitarian crisis. The worst violence may be past; but the consequences of livelihoods destroyed remain.

Moreover, to ignore these features of the Darfur genocide, to emphasize temporary declines in mortality and violence, risks missing the most ominous threat: accelerating violence against camps of African populations. Ongoing violence also threatens the viability of humanitarian operations. According to Jan Egeland, former UN humanitarian chief, hundreds of thousands would die in the event of humanitarian collapse.

But most consequentially, to ignore ongoing genocidal realities in Darfur confers upon the Khartoum regime "moral equivalence" with the rebel groups - and emboldens the regime to cleave to the disastrous Darfur Peace Agreement as the only basis for further negotiations.

Since the rebels - and the majority of Darfuris - emphatically reject the peace agreement, a diplomatic standoff looms, which will continue until Khartoum is held accountable by the international community. So long as the regime's gnocidaires are simply another party at the negotiating table - not orchestrators of the ultimate human crime - there will be no diplomatic progress toward a just peace.

Full text available at:

III. Related Events

16 September, 2007

arfur activists from around the world have marked September 16 as the day to "send off" their respective world leaders to the U.N. General Assembly with a call to "not look away" from the Darfur atrocities. Advocates in dozens of countries will host local events urging their leaders to help end the ongoing crisis in the western region of Sudan.

September 16th marks the formal opening of the UN General Assembly and the second anniversary of the responsibility to protect agreement,' when governments agreed to act to stop genocide and mass atrocities. Two years following that declaration, campaigners will draw attention to the international community's failure to fulfill their promises in Darfur where over 200,000 have been killed.

()The organizations are calling for the full and swift deployment of the UNAMID force to help protect civilians and calling for pressure on all sides until attacks on civilians stop. Specifically, the groups will urge leaders meeting at the UN General Assembly to press the Sudanese government, armed groups and Janjaweed militia in Darfur and eastern Chad to halt attacks against civilians and humanitarian agencies.

Globe for Darfur groups around the world will also urge all relevant actors - including the United Nations, African Union, European Union, Arab League, and U.N. member states - to, contribute to the solution whether by offering troops, police, funding, equipment, logistical support, or diplomatic and economic pressure to the mission.r
Full text and information available at:

Montreal Quebec
11th-13th October 2007

he McGill University Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism is privileged to host the first major international conference of its kind on the prevention of genocide. From October 11th to 13th, 2007, in Montreal, Canada, The Global Conference on the Prevention of Genocide will bring together from around the world survivors, witnesses, legislators, diplomats, activists and others whose lives have been forever changed by humanitys most horrific invention. It represents the first major non-governmental conference on genocide since the United Nations, in 1948, first moved to label and criminalize what Winston Churchill once called he crime that has no name. The Conference will open a dialogue between decision-makers and genocide survivors, between the leaders of this generation and those of the next, with the goal of exploring means of preventing genocidal violence, rather than focusing on ad hoc intervention. ()r
Information about the Conference available at:

10-11 September 2007

The seminar included discussions on gender-based violence in Darfur, political players influencing the protection of civilians, and field-based experiences from Darfur, among many other topics.

he international seminar rotection of Civilians Learning from Darfur will be held in Copenhagen, September 10th 11th 2007. The seminar is hosted by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and DanChurchAid. ()Based on an examination of practical experiences with protection of civilians the seminar will focus on the following aims: Clarify roles, responsibilities, mandates and capacities of humanitarian, political and military actors in protection work; discuss obstacles, weaknesses and strengths to come up with recommendations on strengthening implementation of protection measures, improve cooperation between actors and strengthen protection strategies.r

Full list of speakers and seminar program available at:

Complete information available at:

The Carter Center, Atlanta
6th-7th September 2007

n September 5, 2007, human rights defenders came to Atlanta from 20 countries to discuss the challenges they face in addressing mass atrocities and to make recommendations to the international community. On September 6 and 7, former President Jimmy Carter and U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour chaired discussion between the activists and governments representatives, multilateral institutions, and faith-based organizations.

Participants identified challenges and recommendations in preventing, reacting to, and rebuilding after mass atrocities, recognizing that these efforts may take place in overlapping ways. ()

The Human Rights Defenders Policy Forum project grew out of a November 2003 conference convened by the Carter Center, and has been co-hosted with Human Rights First each year since 2005. In 2006 the event focused on democratic development and in 2005 on the impact of counterterrorism measures on human rights.r
Outcomes Document available at:

More information about the Human Rights Defenders Policy Forum available at:

IV. Other Reports of Interest

uman Security at the United Nations Issue 1
Fall 2007

The fall 2007 issue is the first issue of uman Security at the United Nations, a quarterly newsletter produced by the Human Security Unit of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. The aim of the newsletter is to share information with interested civil society members on human security and related topics at the UN, and promote partnerships to advance human security amongst civil society, the UN and the wider international community.

The newsletter is available at:


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