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18 May 2007
Responsibility to Protect Engaging Civil Society
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In this issue: [Operationalizing R2P a Priority for Ban; R2P in the News; Events]

I. Secretary General Ban identifies R2P as priority for UN
1. UN SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON OUTLINES PRIORITIES & CHALLENGES FOR UNITED NATIONS
II. R2P and Darfur
1. SAVE THE DARFUR PUPPY
III. R2P in the News
1. BURMA: MILITARY OFFENSIVE DISPLACING THOUSANDS OF CIVILIANS
2. U.N. EXTENDS CONGO PEACEKEEPING MISSION
3. UN ENVOY CUTS SHORT SOMALIA TRIP
IV. Events
1. IMPLICATIONS OF THE ICJS ENOCIDE RULING
2. UNITAR SEMINAR ON REVENTING GENOCIDEr
I. Secretary General Ban identifies R2P as priority for UN

1. UN SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON OUTLINES PRIORITIES & CHALLENGES FOR UNITED NATIONS
United Nations
16 May 2007

Following is the U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moons address to the dinner celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the Korea Society that was held in New York City on 15 May:

()Since taking office, I have been committed to a range of pressing priorities, from alleviating suffering in Darfur and working for a durable peace in the Middle East to addressing climate change and strengthening the capacity of our Organization. The challenges fall into three broad categories -- the geopolitical, those related to long-term vision and goals, and those of putting our house in order.

The most acute of these challenges is, of course, Darfur. Not only are innocent lives at stake, but also the authority of the Security Council, the image of the United Nations in the Arab world and the credibility of the United Nations.

I have been working with the Government of Sudan, regional actors and the Security Council to put a credible force of the United Nations and the African Union on the ground. I am encouraged that the Government has accepted the second package of UN support to the African Union.

But the Government of Sudan will have to honour its commitment to the implementation of this crucial support, and cooperate with the AU and UN as it is deployed. The package will also lay the groundwork for the eventual establishment of an AU-UN hybrid peacekeeping operation, the planning of which is being finalized with the African Union.

Enduring peace in Darfur, however, can only be achieved on the basis of a political solution. I have worked closely with AU Chairperson [Alpha Oumar] Konar and the Special Envoys of the UN and the AU to accelerate the peace process and agree on a common strategy. We are currently finalizing a road map for the political process.

The international community must also continue to provide support and focus on the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, even as it exerts its full efforts to bring lasting peace to Darfur.

()In human rights too, we have an ambitious agenda. I intend to strengthen our mechanisms for the prevention of human rights violations and to work for steps to make operational the concept of the responsibility to protect.

To address effectively any of the global challenges before us, we must make the UN system more coherent in the areas of peacekeeping, development, humanitarian affairs and the environment. ()

Full text is available at:

http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2007/sgsm10996.doc.htm



II. R2P and Darfur

1. PERHAPS A DARFUR PUPPY WOULD PRICK CONSCIENCES
By Nicolas D. Kristof
The New York Times
12 May 2007

Finally, we're beginning to understand what it would take to galvanize President Bush, other leaders and the American public to respond to the genocide in Sudan: a suffering puppy with big eyes and floppy ears.

That's the implication of a series of studies by psychologists trying to understand why people good, conscientious people aren't moved by genocide or famines. Time and again, we've seen that the human conscience just isn't pricked by mass suffering, while an individual child (or puppy) in distress causes our hearts to flutter.

()Evidence is overwhelming that humans respond to the suffering of individuals rather than groups. Think of the toddler Jessica McClure falling down a well in 1987, or the Lindbergh baby kidnapping in 1932 (which Mencken described as "the biggest story since the Resurrection").

Even the right animal evokes a similar sympathy. A dog stranded on a ship aroused so much pity that $48,000 in private money was spent trying to rescue it and that was before the Coast Guard stepped in. And after I began visiting Darfur in 2004, I was flummoxed by the public's passion to save a red-tailed hawk, Pale Male that had been evicted from his nest on Fifth Avenue in New York City. A single homeless hawk aroused more indignation than 2 million homeless Sudanese.

()So, yes, we should develop early-warning systems for genocide, prepare an African Union, U.N. and NATO rapid-response capability, and polish the "responsibility to protect" as a legal basis to stop atrocities. (The Genocide Intervention Network and the Enough project are working on these things.)

But, frankly, after four years of watching the U.N. Security Council, the International Criminal Court and the Genocide Convention accomplish little in Darfur, I'm skeptical that either human rationality or international law can achieve much unless backed by a public outcry.

One experiment underscored the limits of rationality. People prepared to donate to the needy were first asked either to talk about babies (to prime the emotions) or to perform math calculations (to prime their rational side). Those who did math donated less.

So maybe what we need isn't better laws but more troubled consciences pricked, perhaps, by a Darfur puppy with big eyes and floppy ears. Once we find such a soulful dog in peril, we should call ABC News. ABC's news judgment can be assessed by the 11 minutes of evening news coverage it gave to Darfur's genocide during all of last year compared with 23 minutes for the false confession in the JonBenet Ramsey case.

If President Bush and the global public alike are unmoved by the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of fellow humans, maybe our last, best hope is that we can be galvanized by a puppy in distress.

Full text is available at:

http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F6081EF73C550C738DDDAC0894DF404482&n=Top%2fOpinion%2fEditorials%20and%20Op%2dEd%2fOp%2dEd%2fColumnists%2fNicholas%20D%20Kristof



III. R2P in the News

1. BURMA: MILITARY OFFENSIVE DISPLACING THOUSANDS OF CIVILIANS
Refugees International
17 May 2007

The worst Burmese military offensive in 10 years has displaced at least 27,000 people in eastern Burma's Karen State since November 2005. The displaced are civilians who have been targeted by the army and are living in exceptionally vulnerable conditions. An estimated three million people have been forced to migrate in Burma as a result of conflict, persecution, human rights abuses, and repressive government measures that prevent people from earning a livelihood. Instead of fulfilling its responsibility to protect its citizens, the Government of Burma, known as the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), is the biggest perpetrator of violations in the country.

Ethnic groups, comprising one-third of Burma's 52 million people, have borne the brunt of the government's repressive policies. The pattern of the Burmese military or the Tatmadaw has been to eliminate all opposition and take full control of ethnic areas. As part of its strategy to curb the support of ethnic insurgent armies, it targets civilians it perceives as backers of the insurgent groups.

() The Burmese internal displacement and refugee crises are linked to the regime's policy of targeting civilians. All regional and local initiatives to urge the SPDC to stop attacking civilians and protect its people have failed. The non-binding Security Council resolution introduced by the U.S. in January 2007, which included a call to the SPDC to cease attacks on the country's ethnic minorities, was vetoed by China and Russia. Until such time that all members of the UN Security Council acknowledge that the SPDC must be held accountable, and develop a united approach to address the government's failure to protect its people, the worst internal displacement crisis in Asia will persist.

Refugees International recommends:

- The Burmese military immediately halt all attacks on civilians.

- The UN Security Council members reach consensus on a strategy to pressure the SPDC to stop its abuse of civilians and hold it accountable for its failure to protect Burma's people.

- Donors support initiatives to assist internally displaced people by agencies doing cross-border work and agencies operating inside Burma, with funding directed to the most vulnerable.

- Donors support initiatives to enhance IDP protection through early warning systems.

- Agencies based inside Burma and organizations operating out of Thailand continue to improve coordination and collaboration through regular meetings and information sharing forums.

- The Government of Thailand allow new asylum seekers from Burma official access to all camps and ensure that the Provincial Admission Boards are functioning consistently so the new arrivals can be processed.

Full text is available at:

http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/RWB.NSF/db900SID/TKAI-73A4ED?OpenDocument


2. UN EXTENDS CONGO PEACEKEEPING MISSION
By Edith M. Lederer
Associated Press
16 May 2007

The Security Council voted unanimously Tuesday to extend the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Congo until the end of the year while calling for a timetable to gradually withdraw the nearly 18,000-member force.

The resolution extending the force's mandate deplored outbreaks of violence earlier this year and urged the government and opposition to remain committed to reconciliation and democracy. It demanded that all militias and armed groups in volatile eastern Congo lay down their arms.

()The council stressed the Congolese government's primary responsibility for ensuring security and protecting civilians, and urged that state to extend its authority throughout the country.

It authorized the U.N. force to help the government protect civilians, report on the movement of armed groups, deter any attempt by armed groups to threaten the political process and train law enforcement authorities.

The U.N. mission was also authorized to support efforts to strengthen democratic institutions and promote national reconciliation and human rights.

The resolution authorized the force "to use all necessary means within the limits of its capacity" to carry out its mandate, extended until Dec. 31. ()

Full text available at:

http://www.nola.com/newsflash/international/index.ssf?/base/international/1179275348131260.xml&storylist=international


3. UN ENVOY CUTS SHORT SOMALIA TRIP
BBC News
13 May 2007

The UN's emergency relief coordinator has cut short a visit to Somalia's capital amid fresh security concerns.

() 'Responsibility to citizens'

Earlier, Mr Holmes called on the Somali government to look after its civilians, who have borne the brunt of years of fighting.

"It is their responsibility to look after civilians, to protect civilians and at the very least not to obstruct aid," he said.

He said the African Union could not boost its peacekeeping forces in the capital until the government improved security.

The capital has been mostly calm since the government declared victory over the insurgents and many residents are starting to return to their homes.

Some 1,600 people were killed in six weeks of clashes between Ethiopian government-backed troops and Islamist and clan fighters, local aid groups say.

Up to 400,000 of Mogadishu's 2m residents fled to squalid camps or makeshift bush shelters.
Somalia has not had a working government since a civil war erupted 16 years ago.


Full text available at:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/6651531.stm



IV. EVENTS

1. IMPLICATIONS OF THE ICJS ENOCIDE RULING
22 May 2007
World Federalist Movement Institute for Global Policy

When: May 22, 2007, from 9.30 am to 12.30 pm
Where: 777 UN Plaza, 8th Floor Boss Conference Room (Church Center)
New York, NY 10017

mplications of the ICJ's 'genocide' ruling in the case Bosnia and Herzegovina v. Serbia and Montenegro for international law

On 26 February 2007, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) issued a mixed and controversial verdict in a suit filed by Bosnia and Herzegovina against Serbia and Montenegro, in which Bosnia accused Serbia of violating the Genocide Convention. By 13 votes to two, the judges ruled that Serbia had not committed or conspired to commit genocide, but found that Serbia had violated the obligation under the Genocide Convention to prevent the genocide that occurred at Srebrenica. By 14 votes to one, the Court ruled that Serbia continues to violate the Genocide Convention as long as it does not hand over Mladic, and the same majority ordered Serbia to immediately transfer individuals, suspected of having committed crimes listed in the Genocide Convention, to the UN International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).

The World Federalist Movement - Institute for Global Policy, a 60-year old international citizens' movement calling for an end to the rule of force through a world governed by law, based on strengthened and democratized world institutions, is the organizer of this conference, which will examine the implications of this ICJ ruling. The ruling is important and precedent-setting not only for the future development of international law, but also for the rule of law and political developments in Southeastern Europe. The conference will be an initial concerted effort at a more thoughtful, comprehensive analysis of the verdict and its implications. The conclusions of the conference will be published.

Each expert has been asked to contribute a statement on a particular question in advance of the panel, which he or she will present during the symposium. The presentations will be followed by a question-and-answer session with the audience. The conference is open to the general public. Because of limited seating, we ask that guests please respond to this email ([email protected]) by May 18 to indicate attendance.

Participants include (in person or by having submitted written statements):

Phon van den Biesen, Deputy Agent for BiH before ICJ
Tibor Varady, Defense Counsel for Serbia-Montenegro before ICJ
Slavko Kruljevic, Deputy Permanent Representative of Serbia to the UN
Damir Arnaut, Adviser for Legal-Constitutional Affairs in the cabinet of Haris Silajdzic, member of the Bosnian Presidency
Muhamed Sacirbey, former Agent for BiH before ICJ, former Foreign Minister of BiH, ex-Signatory to Dayton Accords
Felice Gaer, Director, Jacob Blaustein Institute for Advancement of Human Rights
Ante Cuvalo, President of the Alliance of Croats from BiH in the US and Canada, professor of history at Joliet Jr. College
Diego Arria, former Ambassador of Venezuela to the UN and Head of the UN Security Council Delegation to Srebrenica
Ruth Wedgwood, Professor of international law and diplomacy, Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies
Joyce Neu, Executive Director of the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice at the University of San Diego
Introduction by:
William R. Pace
, Executive Director, World Federalist Movement - Institute for Global Policy

2. UNITAR SEMINAR ON PREVENTING GENOCIDE
2 April 2007

The following is a link to the Summary Report of the Seminar on "Preventing Genocide" that was held on the 2nd 3rd April 2007 at UN Headquarters. This seminar was held in the context of the Peace and Security Series being organized by UNITAR in 2007. R2P was featured prominently in several of the presentations. For more information on the Series, presentations from the Seminar on Preventing Genocide, and other documentation, please visit UNITAR's website at: www.unitarny.org/en/peacesecseries.html

Full Summary Report of the Seminar on reventing Genocide:

http://www.responsibilitytoprotect.org/index.php?module=uploads&func=download&fileId=395

 

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