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27 April 2007
Responsibility to Protect Engaging Civil Society
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In this issue: [New U.S. Ambassador to the UN comments on R2P; R2P and Sudan; R2P in the News]

I. New U.S. Ambassador to the UN comments on R2P
1.BRIEFING AT THE SECURITY COUNCIL ON HIS FIRST DAY AT THE UNITED NATIONS
II. R2P and Sudan
1.NANAIMO WALK APRIL 29-GLOBAL DAY FOR DARFUR GENOCIDE-D4D
2.CHINA AND SUDAN
3.U.S. SEEKS TO USE RESOLUTION THAT WOULD EXTEND PEACEKEEPING MISSION IN SOUTHERN SUDAN TO PUSH DARFUR FORCE
4.ATROCITY EXHIBITION
III. R2P in the News
1.ZIMBABWEAN VICTIMS SEEK HELP FROM OTHER AFRICANS
2.SOMALIA: PRESS CONFERENCE BY UN EMERGENCY RELIEF COORDINATOR ON HUMANITARIAN SITUATION IN SOMALIA
3.THE INTERNATIONAL RESPONSIBILITY TO PROTECT: THE TASKS AHEAD



I. New U.S. Ambassador to the UN comments on R2P

1. BRIEFING AT THE SECURITY COUNCIL ON HIS FIRST DAY AT THE UNITED NATIONS
Amb. Zalmay Khalilzad, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations
New York City
April 24, 2007

Ambassador Khalilzad: Thank you, it's nice to be here. This is of course my second day. I just participated in an informal discussion on Somalia. I'm glad to be here. I've said before and the President has told me, my mission is to work with the Secretary General and with the other representatives here to achieve particular goals and my priorities will be to increase UN engagement to improve the situation in Iraq as well as some other regional conflicts. Second to work with others to deliver on the UN commitment on the responsibility to protect and particularly with regard to Sudan in the current circumstances. Of course there is the issue of the strengthening the capacity of the UN to deliver on its mission and I'll be working with the Secretary General and with my other colleagues to prioritize how best we can do that, to choose a number of reforms that we could pursue in the coming period. I know that the United Nations can be a very effective and positive force, I come from a lot of field experience, in Afghanistan and in Iraq and I've seen first hand that working with others, working with the United Nations positive results can be achieved. And so with that perspective I will engage, I will work hard, I will listen, I'll be respectful, but I also will speak for what we believe and with the experience that I have what can work and so I look forward to this assignment that the President has given me. Thank you.

Reporter: Ambassador can I just ask, Laura Trevelyan from the BBC, you said that you want to help the UN deliver on responsibility to protect, how are you going to do that short of a military invasion of Sudan?

Ambassador Khalilzad: Well, of course we would like the government of Sudan to cooperate with the hybrid force, not only to cooperate in words but in reality on the ground and in deed and what will support engagement with the government in Sudan. But also appropriate pressure as necessary to increase its incentive to do the right thing. To allow the strengthening of forces that are there. To improve the security situation as part of a comprehensive approach to deal with the problem of Darfur. The humanitarian situation, the political situation are also important and we need to work on them and we will but at the same time it is very important the security situation improves and the hybrid force is allowed to operate. ()

Full text available at:
http://www.state.gov/p/io/rls/rm/83792.htm

II. R2P and Sudan

1. NANAIMO WALK APRIL 29-GLOBAL DAY FOR DARFUR GENOCIDE-D4D
25 April 2007
CCN Matthews

Thousands to Rally World-wide to Demand UN Action in Darfur and to Urge China to Prevent the 2008 Olympics being called "Genocide Olympics"

NANAIMO, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(CCNMatthews - April 25, 2007) - Canadian Students for Darfur will begin a walk from Bowen Park on Sunday, April 29 at 11:30 AM followed by live music from VooDoo Dave, Illonois, Afreed trio and Nico Rhodes, speakers including CSFDarfur's founder Clement Apaak, Nanaimo's African Heritage Society, Amnesty International. The event ends with a volleyball tournament (pre-registration required).

()People world-wide will demand that their governments protect unarmed Darfuri civilians, press the Government of Sudan to not renege on its agreement to admit a UN force, and appeal to the Chinese (PRC) government to press Sudan, its oil supplier, to stop this genocide by guns, rape and starvation in Darfur so that the 2008 Beijing "One World, One Dream" Olympics do not become known as the "Genocide Olympics".

Across North America over 150 events ranging from walks and concerts to demonstrations at Sudanese and Chinese embassies are being held, including events in Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton, Nanaimo and Vancouver.

Events will urge governments to pressure the UN Security Council to take immediate action to protect the people of Darfur as it promised. The "Responsibility to Protect" (R2P), passed by the UN General Assembly in 2005, has yet to be implemented. It pledges to "take collective action...if national authorities manifestly fail to protect their populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity."

Full text available at:
http://www.ccnmatthews.com/news/releases/show.jsp?action=showRelease&searchText=false&showText=all&actionFor=648016


2. CHINA AND SUDAN
By Lee Feinstein
24 April 2007

As the one-year anniversary of the failed Darfur Peace Agreement approaches, a key question is whether China will continue to offer strong support to the government of Sudan, despite its role in the four-year old conflict. Or, will China increase pressure on Khartoum to accept an international peacekeeping force out of concern about damage to its international reputation.

A partial answer is that China's policy toward Sudan is driven by more than its growing appetite for oil and natural gas. Beijing also has a stake in positioning itself in Africa and globally as an alternative to western "meddling" on issues of human rights and governance.

Beijing is weighing these issues against against concerns about damage to its international position, reputational and otherwise, especially as it prepares to host the Summer Olympics next year, as I outline in the research note, below.

() The Political Relationship. Although oil and other natural resources are the main attraction for China, Beijings political relationship with Sudan is also important.

Beijings sensitivity about interference in its domestic affairs is well known, and on this point there is some overlapping interest with some African countries. Many African states rallied to Beijings defense after western nations criticized and imposed sanctions on China in the wake of the Tiananmen Square crackdown in 1989. More recently, China has been concerned about efforts to redefine the UN Charters principle of noninterference into the omestic jurisdiction of states. In September 2005, the General Assembly endorsed the responsibility to protect, a principle which establishes an international responsibility to take action to prevent or stop enocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and crimes against humanity. While China and Sudan joined the General Assembly consensus to endorse this principle, China is concerned about the precedent it sets, and its potential use as a political weapon.

Some African states share Chinas historical mistrust of western motivations in pursuing a human rights agenda, although the sub-Saharan democracies are strong backers of the responsibility to protect. Beijing sees Sudan and other African states as natural allies in the effort to push back against efforts to condition state sovereignty on the behavior of states. Chinas continued support of Sudan also enhances its position in Africa as an alternative source of support for governments that have chafed under western pressure to reform.

() The impact of Chinas successful efforts to block strong action have been significant as they are seen by Khartoum and others as an indication of continuing Security Council division on whether and if so how to pressure the Sudanese government to take action to end the conflict.

() The degree to which China will push Sudan on Darfur remains an open question. There are strong reasons why China may not pressure Khartoum in a meaningful way. For Beijing, a decision to pressure Sudan would have consequences beyond the bilateral relationship, which is important in its own right. Chinas quest for control of and access to natural resources is presently predicated on its ability to negotiate arrangements with governments who promise it exclusivity or preferential treatment. Chinas comparative advantage is that it is willing to do business with governments that others spurn, and with no strings attached. A decision to pressure Sudan would erode Chinas reputation as a genuine alternative, which could have broader economic consequences in Africa. It would also weaken Chinas claim to be a standard bearer against unwanted western meddling, including international criticism of its own human rights practices.

On the other hand, Chinas relationship with Sudan is worrisome to officials in Beijing, especially as Beijing prepares to host the Summer Olympics in 2008. Beijings interest in improving its international standing may shift its position towards more strongly pressuring Khartoum.

Full text available at:
http://americaabroad.tpmcafe.com/blog/americaabroad/2007/apr/24/china_and_sudan

3. U.S. SEEKS TO USE RESOLUTION THAT WOULD EXTEND PEACEKEEPING MISSION IN SOUTHERN SUDAN TO PUSH DARFUR FORCE
By Edith M. Lederer
Associated Press Worldstream
24 April 2007


The United States is seeking to use a U.N. resolution that would extend the 12,700-strong U.N. peacekeeping mission in southern Sudan to press for a joint new U.N.-African Union peacekeeping force in conflict-wracked Darfur.

But the U.S. draft is likely to face difficulties from Security Council members who want to keep the peacekeeping operation in the south separate from efforts to create a joint U.N.-AU force in Darfur.

The draft Security Council resolution circulated by the U.S. on Monday would extend the U.N. force monitoring a 2005 peace deal that ended a 21-year civil war between Sudan's mostly Muslim north and the Christian and animist south for just three months until July 31.

U.S. diplomats said the proposed short extension of the mandate was designed to keep up pressure on Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir to approve a U.N.-AU "hybrid" force to help end the four-year conflict in Darfur, a vast western region about the size of France.

() The U.S. draft calls on all parties to implement a "heavy support package" with 3,000 U.N. troops, police and civilian personnel along with six attack helicopters which al-Bashir recently agreed to deploy to Darfur to beef up the beleaguered 7,000-strong AU force on the ground.

It would urge the transition from an AU to a joint U.N.-AU force and express the council's "intention" to establish the hybrid force. It would authorize the force "to protect effectively civilians under threat of physical violence and prevent attacks against civilians" and to help ensure delivery of humanitarian aid and authorize U.N. "command and control structures" and financial management of the hybrid force. ()

Full text available at:
http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/04/24/news/UN-GEN-UN-Sudan.php


4. ATROCITY EXHIBITION
Clive Bates
21 April 2007

There is something stunning in the brilliance of Google Earth - a streaming map of the world in the form of satellite photography with the mean to zoom from planet to street level in scale. 'Layers' are overlaid on the map images showing an ever expanding range of surface features: national boundaries, roads, video stores, government offices, monuments - with 3D buildings, flights through the Grand Canyon etc. Each year the images increase in resolution and the coverage of higher resolution photography increases.

But potentially interesting political uses are also emerging. The recently announced (CNN / BBC) layer by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum documenting atrocities in Darfur (an image grab shown to the left) is a pivotal development that would have been impossible just five years ago. When actually using the Google Earth program, you click on the icons showing destroyed villages and can see details about the location, population and what happened. The layer blends information about villages destroyed with testimony, photographs and statistics - essentially allowing the world to 'bear witness' while keeping a live record of what is happening on the ground. Also, providing a live record or the failure to accept our common responsibility to protect ().

Follow this link to see and download the Darfur layers for Google Earth:
http://www.ushmm.org/googleearth/

Full text is available at:
http://baconbutty.blogspot.com/2007/04/atrocity-exhibition.html

III. R2P in the News


1. ZIMBABWEAN VICTIMS SEEK HELP FROM OTHER AFRICANS
By Evelyn Leopold
Reuters
26 April 2007

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Opposition Zimbabweans, some victims of police torture, sought to convince other African nations on Wednesday that it was time to call for an end to the suppression in their country that has left a trail of broken bodies.

Lawyer Tawanda Mutasah, one of four Zimbabwean human rights campaigners, said African delegates at the United Nations had to be persuaded that Zimbabwe's actions need reprimands in the Security Council and the U.N. Human Rights Council.

"The United Nations has a responsibility to protect citizens who are suffering from state terror," Mutasah told a U.N. news conference, sponsored by philanthropist George Soros' Open Society Institute.

South Africa, among other nations, say President Robert Mugabe's brutal crackdown on his critics, is an African problem and does not endanger international peace and security.
Otto Saki, acting director of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, noted that criticism of Mugabe's policy had been voiced by leaders in Senegal, Zambia, Tanzania, and Botswana, which refuted the charge by Mugabe's government that only the United States and former colonial power Britain had protested. ()

Full text available at:
http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/N25347331.htm


2. SOMALIA: PRESS CONFERENCE BY UN EMERGENCY RELIEF COORDINATOR ON HUMANITARIAN SITUATION IN SOMALIA
UN
25 April 2007

Calling the recent violence in Mogadishu ome of the worst thats been seen in that city for the last 16 years, John Holmes, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, said the countrys Transitional Federal Government must give humanitarian aid workers access to the capital, so they could distribute desperately needed food and water to the estimated 320,000 people forced to flee the fighting -- about one-third of the countrys population.

() Mr. Holmes, who had briefed the Security Council on the situation earlier in the day, said the international community had delivered approximately one third of the $262 million sought by the consolidated appeal for Somalia for displaced civilians. But more funds were needed, not only for food and water, but also for health care and protection, which had received little funding thus far. The Emergency Relief Coordinator called on all parties to the conflict to respect international humanitarian law.

He noted that Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had urged an immediate ceasefire on the ground, while the Security Council sought to beef up the African Union peacekeeping presence in Somalia to 6,000 troops, up from the approximately 1,000 Ugandan soldiers already monitoring the situation.

Responding to a question about plans for the possible evacuation of civilians to safe havens in Yemen, or other practical applications under the responsibility to protect civilians caught in the crossfire, he reaffirmed that Governments had retained the primary responsibility to ensure the protection of civilian populations. The humanitarian priority was to gain access to those in need, in order to deliver assistance to them.

Full text available at:
http://www.allamericanpatriots.com/48721912_world_somalia_press_conference_un_emergency_relief_coordinator_humanitarian_situation_somal

3. THE INTERNATIONAL RESPONSIBILITY TO PROTECT: THE TASKS AHEAD
By Gareth Evans
International Crisis Group
23 April 2007

The following are excerpts from an address by Gareth Evans, President, International Crisis Group and Co-Chair of International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty, to Seminar Africas Responsibility to Protect, The Centre for Conflict Resolution, Cape Town, 23 April 2007.

Full text is available at:
http://www.crisisgroup.org/home/index.cfm?id=4801&l=1

 

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