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11 June 2007
Responsibility to Protect Engaging Civil Society
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In this issue: [R2P in the News; R2P and Darfur; IPPR Report on R2P]

I. R2P in the News
1. AFRICANS URGED TO UNDERPIN ESPONSIBILITY TO PROTECT IN THE CONTINENT
2. BLAIR ISSUES AFRICA ACTION CALL
II. R2P and Darfur
1. MEPS AND NOBEL PRIZE LAUREATES CONDEMN LACK OF INTERNATIONAL ACTION
2. GENERAL ROMEO DALLAIRE HOW MANY TIMES MUST WE SAY EVER AGAIN?
3. WHY CHINA WONT SAVE DARFUR
III. Institute for Public Policy Research Report on R2P
1. AFEGUARDING CIVILIANS: DELIVERING ON THE RESPONSIBILITY TO PROTECT IN AFRICAr

I. R2P in the News

1. AFRICANS URGED TO UNDERPIN ESPONSIBILITY TO PROTECT IN THE CONTINENT
By Yonas Abiye
Daily Monitor (Addis Ababa)
11 June 2007

Whatever the technical construction chosen to express the responsibility to protect in Africa, Africans must be the ultimate determinants of their own democratic fate by understanding the states of the right and obligations of citizenship and respect for democracy and ensuring the sustainability of peace and security in the continent, workshop explored on Friday here in Addis Ababa.

Opening the workshop entitled "The African Union and 'the responsibility to protect' From Non-Interference to Non-Indifference" here at Hilton Hotel , Dr. B.T. Costantinos, Vice President of African Humanitarian Action said Africans should act by themselves to determine their own democratic fate in spite of countless declaration and manifestos on human security.

()"Whatever the technical construction chosen to express the responsibility to protect in Africa, the sustainability of the system will depend on its understanding by states of the right and obligations of citizenship and respect for democracy," he said adding that the culture of accepting victory with modesty and defeat with honor must become entrenched in the political culture of Africans.

He also highlighted the need to take urgent measures and steps beginning the process of building the responsibility to protect political culture which "would underpin this rich cultural resource is a key to enhancing as window of opportunity for peaceful co-existence." Speaking at the workshop Mr. S. Djinit, Commissioner of Peace and Security Department with African Union, said "We have to protect peace and security in the continent by ourselves. We have to protect our neighbors also." "We have abused the concept of non-interference. But we should have a collective force in insuring peace and security." Having underlined how political commitment was 'very important' in peace building Djinit said "the issue of peace and security is the concern of ours. However, we may need continuous supports of partner. But peace and security should be up to us ()'

Full text available at:
http://allafrica.com/stories/200706110061.html


2. BLAIR ISSUES AFRICA ACTION CALL
BBC News
31 May 2007

Tony Blair has used a keynote speech in South Africa to say there is a "moral obligation" to use political action "to make the world better".

Mr. Blair, who promised more training for African peacekeeping forces and continued aid to the region, defended his interventionist foreign policy.

()In his main speech of the tour, Mr. Blair, who has sent UK troops into action in Kosovo, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan and Iraq while prime minister, said it was in countries' self interest to intervene in failing states.

He said: "I believe in the power of political action to make the world better and the moral obligation to use it.

"I do not believe that in this time - the early 21st century - that international politics can be just about nations' interests, narrowly and traditionally defined."


The following is excerpted from Mr. Blairs speech during his most recent tour of Africa:

()No conflict demonstrates the need for action more than Darfur.

()It is wrong that President Bashir, intent on bombing his way to a solution, is determined to obstruct any effort made to reinforce the AU's ability to improve security and stability.

We must offer President Bashir a choice. Engage with us on a solution. Or, if you reject responsibility for the people of Darfur, then we will table and put to a vote sanctions against the regime.

I believe we have a responsibility to protect. Along with the MDGs, these are two of the most important decisions the modern UN has ever made ()

Full text of article available at:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/6706623.stm

Full text of Blairs speech available at:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/6708917.stm



II. R2P and Darfur

1. MEPS AND NOBEL PRIZE LAUREATES CONDEMN LACK OF INTERNATIONAL ACTION
European Parliament website
5 June 2007

Protecting people against ethnic cleansing, crimes against humanity and genocide is an international responsibility that calls for co-ordinated international action, enforced with sanctions, said Nobel Peace Prize winners Jody Williams and Archbishop Desmond Tutu on Tuesday, at a special meeting of MEPs on the Darfur crisis.

Darfur, Archbishop Tutu said Darfur has become "shorthand for the most ghastly example of our inhumanity towards one another. [...] Though there is much that we, African leaders, should be proud of, we should hang our heads in shame when it comes to Darfur. Praising those who refused to let the crisis in Darfur go unnoticed over the last four years, the Archbishop also thanked MEPs for not giving up on Africa - and for not succumbing to what he referred to as fro-pessimism.

International responsibility to protect

International land-mine ban campaigner Jody Williams, who headed a UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) mission to Darfur in March, had little faith in the Sudanese authorities. The government, she said, is ery sophisticated in the art of promising things that never happen. It is ery difficult", therefore, "to believe Khartoum when they speak.

Her mission had concluded, she said, that a state is responsible for protecting its population against ethnic cleansing, crimes against humanity and genocide. If it fails to do so, "the responsibility to protect" becomes he responsibility of the international community, via the UN. That said, she added, ll [of us] have failed to protect the people of Darfur. I have no "Afro-pessimism but I have Darfurian pessimism".

()Darfur is not only a humanitarian disaster, but political disaster, too, said Graham Watson (ALDE, UK), citing the international community's mpotence and incompetence in protecting the world against genocide. What is needed is full African Union-United Nations force anything short of this will be insufficient, he argued, adding that Europe, meanwhile, "should be leading a Marshall Plan for Africa, starting with Darfur.r
()Jody Williams agreed with those who believe that rhetoric is meaningless without action: f youre not prepared to protect the people of Darfur," she said, "more words on paper are not relevant.

Full text available at:
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/expert/infopress_page/015-7412-156-06-23-902-20070604IPR07390-05-06-2007-2007-false/default_en.htm


2. GENERAL ROMEO DALLAIRE HOW MANY TIMES MUST WE SAY EVER AGAIN?
allAfrica.com (Public Agenda, Accra)
1 June 2007

The following is excerpted from a recent speech given by General Romeo Dallaire:

()As the head of the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Rwanda, I warned New York headquarters before the 1994 genocide began that a widespread killing spree was being methodically planned. My pleas for assistance went unanswered and the eyes of the dead still haunt me today. There was no political will, no national interest compelling enough to incite governments on the Security Council to pass a resolution demanding intervention to protect hundreds of thousands of people from certain death. Furthermore, intervening would have tread on the hallowed ground of national sovereignty. In the twentieth century, the protection of national borders more often than not trumped the protection of human lives.

The twenty-first century has already seen conflict shift even farther away from the conventional battlefield, stepping lethally on the doorstep of civilian populations. The world must adapt accordingly. In a positive first move, and largely in response to the world's failures in Rwanda, all 192 nations at the 2005 U.N. World Summit signed onto a groundbreaking new doctrine called the Responsibility to Protect.

The doctrine calls on sovereign nations to protect its civilians from atrocities. It also states that the rest of the world has a responsibility to assist governments in doing so. But if a country fails to fulfill this obligation, the international community has a duty to take timely action to save lives, including, as a last resort, the deployment of peacekeepers equipped with a strong mandate to protect civilians from harm. It is time for our governments to consistently, robustly and impartially 'operationalize' the Responsibility to Protect when the need arises. Putting the world's commitment to the test in Chad is undeniably necessary.

()We all bear witness to the tragedies that unfold in our global village. We therefore also bear the responsibility to take action, whether we write to our politicians demanding they uphold their Responsibility to Protect, or we sit on the U.N. Security Council and have the power to do so ()

General Dallaires full speech is available at:
http://allafrica.com/stories/200706041468.html


3. WHY CHINA WONT SAVE DARFUR
By Morton Abramowitz, Jonathan Kolieb
June 2007

After four years of tireless efforts, Darfur advocacy groups have had little success in pressuring the Bush administration or any other Western government to move decisively against the Sudanese government for its atrocities in Darfur. These groups are right to dismiss the Bush administrations latest sanctions initiative as mere posturing; like all of the presidents efforts to date, its too limited in scope and lacks a wider, more holistic diplomatic strategy. These groups are focusing instead on the two Cs of humanitarian advocacyhina and celebritiess a remedy for a crisis that has killed over 200,000 people and displaced more than 2.5 million. But in pointing the finger at China, proponents of stronger action on Darfur are merely helping the White House evade moral responsibility for a humanitarian disaster that it labels a enocide.

With its oil ties to the Sudanese regime and its resistance to U.N. Security Council resolutions condemning Khartoum, China is a convenient whipping boy, and a cast of celebrities has signed on eagerly to lead the whipping. Hollywood heavyweights Steven Spielberg, Mia Farrow, and George Clooney have come out in recent weeks to criticize the Chinese government for not responding to the cries of Darfurs people, zeroing in on the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Earnest editorial writers have joined them enthusiastically.

The campaign has had some results. Beijings usual foreign policy approachon-interference in Sudans domestic affairsas been evolving under the pressure. China has become more active in trying to persuade the Khartoum regime to cooperate with the international community. China is willing to pursue a peace settlement, and indeed President Hu Jintao pressured Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir on this issue and duly urged cooperation with the United Nations on his visit to Khartoum in February. Beijing has also appointed a full-time envoy tasked with assisting in resolving the Darfur crisis.
But threatening a enocide Olympics alone will not bring peace (or peacekeepers) to that troubled region. No amount of criticism will convince Beijing to pursue a coercive strategy and a nonconsensual deployment of U.N. peacekeepers that Khartoum rejects. Yes, China has the economic leverage to gain the ear of President Bashir, but that hardly means it has the abilityr, more to the point, the willo bully him into accepting a large U.N. peacekeeping contingent in Darfur. Chinas multibillion dollar investments in Sudans petroleum industry are a much-needed source of energy for its mushrooming economy. Beijing may make tactical moves to pressure Sudan, but it will not choose human rights over oil, a matter of paramount national interest.

And, even if China were capable of delivering Bashir, the Sudanese government is not the only impediment to an effective peace process.

()Nor is China a good choice to be our moral compass. The West embraces human rights and international humanitarian law, but China emphatically does not. The continuing crisis not only threatens the lives of millions, but the weak Western response undermines those grandiose principles such as the responsibility to protectallmarks of our international moral code. Moreover, it is the U.S. government, not Beijing (nor the U.N., for that matter), that has invoked the label enocide to describe the Darfur crisis. Morally and legally, the responsibility to lead is Americas.

Ending the Darfur conflict requires much more than what China alone can offer. Rhetorical flourishes from world leaders, limited Western unilateral sanctions, and promises of firmer action at some indeterminate time in the future are also patently insufficient. Only a top-level, sustained, and aggressive multilateral mediation effort backed by the United States, the European Union, and African, Arab, and Chinese governments can stop the violence and reverse the massive displacement of people.

Advocacy groups deserve praise for bringing Darfur into the worlds collective consciousness and generating funds to care for millions of dislocated civilians. But their latest campaign lets the U.S. and others off the hook. Highlighting Chinas woeful human rights record is important, but does little to resolve the conflict in Darfur. China is not going to do what the United States and Europe have been unwilling to do for the past four years.

Full text available at:
http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/cms.php?story_id=3847



III. Institute for Public Policy Research Report

1. SAFEGUARDING CIVILIANS: DELIVERING ON THE RESPONSIBILITY TO PROTECT IN AFRICA

afeguarding Civilians: Delivering on the Responsibility to Protect in Africa was published by the Institute for Public Policy Research in May 2007. The report gives recommendations as to how the concept of the Responsibility to Protect should be implemented. Recommendations are made regarding the use of legal instruments, sanctions, diplomacy, and military force.

The full IPPR report is available at:
http://www.responsibilitytoprotect.org/index.php/eupdate/1021
 

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