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30 March 2007
Responsibility to Protect Engaging Civil Society
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In this issue: [Human Rights Council discusses High-Level Report; San Francisco Passes Resolution on R2P; Global Days of Action for Darfur]

I. Human Rights Council High Level Mission on the Situation in Darfur


II. Action on Darfur


III. New Report From UNA-Canada On R2P

I. Human Rights Council High Level Mission on the Situation in Darfur

United Nations Office in Geneva
16 March 2007

The Human Rights Council this morning discussed the report of its high-level mission on the situation of human rights in Darfur as it started its debate on the follow-up to the decisions and resolutions adopted by the Council. Several delegates cite responsibility to protect.r
Ms. Williams said critical needs for improving the situation of human rights in Darfur were numerous... Every State had the responsibility to protect its population from genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing. When a State was unable or unwilling to do so, it was the responsibility of the international community to take action to ensure effective protection.

LAZHAR SOUALEM (Algeria), speaking on behalf of the League of Arab States, that the League of Arab States was not commenting on the substance of document A/HCR/4/80 because it did not consider that the document had the requisite legitimacy In addition, the Council should take a position on the fact that the proper theme of the mission should not be to investigate with respect to Darfur the degree of application of the responsibility to protect principle; rather it should be the dual objective and reliable information assessing both the human rights situation in Darfur and the needs of Sudan.

TEHMINA JANJUA (Pakistan), speaking on behalf of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), said the OIC was unable to comment on the contents of the report on the human rights situation in Darfur, as doubts had been raised about its status: the report had not been written by the entire mission. One of the members was obliged to withdraw, and the Government had expressed concerns about another member. The mandate adopted for the mission by consensus at the fourth special session clearly stated that the mission was to assess the human rights situation in Darfur and the needs of the Sudan in this regard. At no place was the concept of the responsibility to protect reflected in the Councils decision. This concept, as the Member States of the Council knew, had multiple political and security dimensions, that went beyond the mandate given to the mission.

CHRISTOPHE GUILHOU (France) () The entire world knew that crimes among the worst had been orchestrated with the implication of the Sudanese authorities. Those who were largely responsible for these crimes had not been brought to justice, due to the climate of impunity which prevailed, and the refusal of the Government to cooperate with the International Criminal Court. It was the primary responsibility of the Government of Sudan to protect the civil population. The Government should agree to the deployment of an international force to Darfur according to the three-phase approach suggested by Secretary-General Kofi Annan in Addis Ababa on 16 November 2006. The deployment of this force was urgent. Secondly, the Government of Sudan should fully cooperate with the Council and all United Nations mechanisms. The Council should ensure the implementation of the numerous recommendations that had been formulated by the different pertinent bodies and mechanisms for the protection of human rights since the beginning of the Darfur conflict in order to put an end to these violations.

NICHOLAS THORNE (United Kingdom) () The Government of Sudan stood accused of failing in its responsibility to protect its own people from abuse, attack, insecurity and displacement. Reliable attested reports from the African Union and now the mission demonstrated that attacks on civilians, including by aerial bombing, continued, that attacks on humanitarian workers by Governmental forces, militias, and rebels continued, and that widespread and systematic rape and forced displacement continued. Concern should centre upon the plight of innocent people, about which the Government of Sudan continued to remain in denial. To debate the procedural aspects of a report was to try to blind the Council to the reality of the situation on the ground in Darfur, and this was unacceptable.

TERRY CORMIER (Canada) () Canada applauded the decision to use responsibility to protect as a framework, but said that obstacles remained to peacekeepers. The report highlighted measures that the international community and the Council could take. Canada referred to the importance of a procedure to monitor and regulate violations with a capacity to visit the region and urged the founding of an independent National Human rights Commission in Sudan. ()
the basis of consensus.

Full text is available at:

Permanent Mission of The Republic Of The Sudan To The U.N. Office, Geneva
7 March 2007

The government of Sudan issued the following response to the High-Level Mission on the Situation of Human Rights in Sudans report. In the statement, the government outlines how it demonstrated cooperation with the mission as well as its arguments against the legitimacy of the final report. The governments objection to Mr. Ramcharans participation in the mission includes a reference to R2P.

The Permanent Mission of the Republic of the Sudan to the United Nations Office and other International Organizations in Geneva presents its compliments to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and has the honour to enclose herewith a Memo concerning the Human Rights Council High-Level Mission to assess the human rights situation in Darfur and the needs of Sudan in this regard. ()

The Sudan Governments Legal Objections

() The Sudan Government has every reason to fear the involvement of Mr. Ramcharan in the mission and has every excuse to fear that the forthcoming report of the Mission may refer to the false and unfounded allegations of Mr. Ramcharan used to raise against the government of Sudan of committing genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur. An expected contributions from him could be an unrelated report based on prejudgment and politicization which emphasizes the responsibility to protect. This is a theme he kept advocated which is based on the above mentioned crimes.

Full text is available at:

II. Take Action on Darfur

30 March 2007

That the Board of Supervisors of the City and County of San Francisco recently passed a resolution in support of Responsibility to Protect, showing West Coast Leadership for the promotion of the doctrine. The following is an excerpt from the resolution:

Resolution Endorsing the United Nations Principle of the Responsibility to Protect.

WHEREAS, On September 16, 2005 at the World Summit of the United Nations General Assembly, the United States of America and the other Members of the United Nations embraced the principle of the responsibility to protect according to which, "[e]ach individual State has the responsibility to protect its populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity. This responsibility entails the prevention of such crimes, including their incitement, through appropriate and necessary means. We accept that responsibility and will act in accordance with it. The international community should, as appropriate, encourage and help States to exercise this responsibility and support the United Nations in establishing an early warning capability" (U.N. Document A/RES/60/1, par. 138 (2005)); and

() WHEREAS, On April 28, 2006, the United Nations Security Council reaffirmed the provisions of paragraphs 138 and 139 of the 2005 World Summit Outcome Document regarding the responsibility to protect populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity (U.N. Document S/RES/1674 (2006), par. 4); and

WHEREAS, The principle of the responsibility to protect now reflects the commitment of all the Members of the United Nations to determine means to protect populations from the deadly and devastating consequences of genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity (hereinafter "atrocity crimes"); and

() WHEREAS, In the 2005 World Summit Outcome Document, the United States of America has accepted its responsibility to protect its own population from atrocity crimes and should continue acting in accordance with this principle; and

WHEREAS, The moral imperative of the responsibility to protect is inescapable and it reflects the highest American values of freedom, humanitarian care, and the preservation of the lives of innocent non combatant men, women, and children; and

RESOLVED, That the Board of Supervisors of the City and County of San Francisco strongly urges the President and Congress to commit the leadership of the United States Government to effective implementation of the World Summit Outcome declaration on the responsibility to protect, and to do so in part through strengthening the preventive early warning capabilities of the federal government and the United Nations, and to develop strategies and policies as outlined in the 2005 World Summit Outcome Document (U.N. Document A/RES/60/1) and in the Security Council Resolution 1674 (2006) to ensure that the responsibility to protect populations has both credible meaning and effect, and that the United States is in the forefront of its domestic and global application; and be it

FURTHER RESOLVED, That the Board of Supervisors of the City and County of San Francisco urges the President of the United States to initiate discussions with the permanent and non permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, the members of the United Nations General Assembly and in separate forums with the governments of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the European Union, the African Union, the Organization of American States, and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations respectively, to develop coordinated strategies for regional efforts to implement the responsibility to protect, and that Congress should express its full support for these discussions by joint resolution; ()

Full text not available.

2. Save Darfur Coalition: Global Days For Darfur
Save Darfur Coalition
April 23rd 30th

Activists across the world have come together to plan "Global Days for Darfur" - a week of rallies, marches, vigils and other events designed to make it clear that "time has run out" for the people of Darfur. The week will take place between 23rd - 30th. The purpose of this event is to call attention to the escalating violence and the continued failure of the international community to adequately respond to this crisis. The Global Days for Darfur week of action offers a perfect forum to help raise awareness of the crisis and to call for the immediate deployment of an international peacekeeping force to Darfur.

Click here to find an event taking place near you.

For more information, visit:

3. International Crisis Group: ENOUGH Campaign

ENOUGH is a joint initiative of the International Crisis Group and the Center for American Progress to resolve and prevent genocide and mass atrocities. For more information on the initiative, visit ENOUGH Campaign website:

By John Prendergast
The International Crisis Group
28 March 2007

The following is an excerpt from a press release announcing, "The Answer to Darfur", the first in a series of strategy papers to be released by ENOUGH, which presents a comprehensive plan for resolving the ongoing crisis in Darfur. Authored by Senior Advisor to the International Crisis Group John Prendergast, the paper calls for intensified U.S. and international engagement to resolve the ongoing crisis in Darfur, backed by a series of punitive measures that go beyond the Bush administrations vague and as-yet toothless "Plan B" threats.

() Prendergast highlights three cases in which the regime in Khartoum was persuaded to change its course of action as a result of international pressure: its transformation from a state sponsor of terrorism in the early 1990s to a partner in the Bush administrations war against terrorism; its acceptance of a peace agreement with rebels in Southern Sudan in 2005; and its almost total abolition of slave-raiding in the 1990s.

() Prendergast outlines a policy "Rubiks Cube," all six sides of which must be aligned in order to resolve the crisis. The U.S. and the international community, he argues, must:

  • Support rebel unity so that a common rebel negotiating position is achieved, without which no peace agreement can be brokered or sustained.

  • Build an effective peace process focused on resolving the unaddressed issues driving the conflict led by high-level U.S., UN, EU and AU officials and supported by coordinated, multilateral diplomatic efforts, that would necessarily address issues of wealth and power-sharing, individual compensation and janjaweed militia disarmament.

  • Secure full-time, high-level U.S. diplomacy to support the peace process, modeled on the diplomatic effort that successfully negotiated a peace agreement in Southern Sudan.

  • Accelerate military planning and action for protection to provide much needed diplomatic leverage now, and the means to exercise these options later, if warranted. Much more pressure must be placed on Khartoum to accept a larger force with a civilian protection mandate, and simultaneously planning should accelerate for coercive military options such as a no-fly zone and non-consensual force deployment.

  • Impose punitive measures now, including implementation of targeted sanctions against key leaders and companies, support for ICC investigations and indictments and pressure on international financial institutions to cease doing business with the government of Sudan.

  • Ramp up global citizen activism to advocate for specific, focused measures that governments can take to reach a solution to the crisis.

  • Ultimately, ENOUGH concludes, with the right policies and increased levels of engagement on the issue, there is potential for Darfur to be stabilized within a year. "If not," Prendergast said, "it is almost a foregone conclusion that hundreds of thousands more will be killed on our watch in 2007."

    For more information about the report, contact: Anita Sharma at [email protected] or (202) 481-8120; or

    Full text of the report is available at:


    National Post
    29 March 2007

    The ongoing crisis in Sudan's Darfur region raises a profound question: How does the world community respond to the spectre of genocide? One Canadian group -- STAND Canada (Students Taking Action Now: Darfur) -- believes it is time for Ottawa to take a leadership role in addressing Khartoum's crimes against humanity. STAND has asked a selection of prominent thinkers to write in support of the group's mission. In an ongoing series, the National Post is printing their essays, with future entries appearing on Tuesdays and Thursdays. In today's installments, Allan Rock, Lloyd Axworthy and Gerald Caplan explain how Canada can help pressure Khartoum to stop the killing.

    Canada is failing the test of leadership in Darfur. As the sponsor and principal advocate of "Responsibility to Protect" -- the doctrine that recognizes an international responsibility to protect populations from genocide and other mass atrocities --Canada should be leading a sustained diplomatic and political push to stop the fighting, protect the population and broker a peace pact in Darfur.

    () So how can Canada help? Here are steps we can take immediately.

    1. We should bring together a "contact group" of countries that share our concern, drawing from different regions and political interests, including the League of Arab States. Canada should chair the group, investing political capital and diplomatic energy at the highest levels of our government. The contact group should work closely with the Secretary-General's envoy to Sudan, Jan Eliasson, in reaching out to important regional actors such as Egypt and Libya, while focusing on two key goals: first, to persuade the Sudanese government to accept a "hybrid" (African Union-United Nations) protective force in Darfur of at least 20,000 troops; and second, to achieve a ceasefire in Darfur, thereby permitting safe access by humanitarian workers and paving the way for a durable peace agreement.

    2. So far as the first goal is concerned, the process of persuasion should involve both "carrots and sticks." On the positive side, the contact group should start with intensive diplomatic efforts in Khartoum and at the United Nations in New York. It should enlist the help of countries with influence in Khartoum, including China. Sudan's agreement should be linked to offers of international assistance, and reminders that once it begins to act with decency, it can rejoin the community of nations in which it is now a pariah.

    3. At the same time, it must also be made clear that Sudan's failure to accept a protective force will have consequences. The contact group must be ready to persuade the Security Council to impose and enforce meaningful measures to show that the world means business. These can include a no-fly zone in the Darfur region, asset freezes aimed at bank accounts held by the ruling party, travel bans limiting international movement by government leaders, and handing over to the International Criminal Court evidence of additional war crimes and the names of suspects. There have been recent signs that an increasingly frustrated Security Council may be open to persuasion that the time for such measures has arrived.

    4. Taking a lesson from the failure of the Darfur Peace Agreement, which was signed by only one rebel faction, the contact group should encourage civil society and all rebel groups in an increasingly splintered Darfur to develop a unified bargaining position in anticipation of eventual peace negotiations. The contact group should offer to convene and facilitate a Darfur Stakeholder Conference to create a setting in which the varied interests can work towards a shared agenda on their side of the table on issues such as power and revenue sharing, disarmament/ demobilization and compensation.

    5. The contact group should encourage support for the deployment to Chad of a UN protective force. Violence in Darfur is undermining regional peace and stability, as refugees stream into Chad, and as related conflicts there and in the Central African Republic threaten to bring down those governments. The deployment of a UN force to Chad can protect the increasingly vulnerable population there while forestalling the descent into lawlessness that has produced the killing fields of Darfur.

    6. In the interim until a protection force is available in Darfur, the contact group must encourage the international community to provide greater support in money, personnel, airlift and logistics for the current African Union force. While insufficient, it is all that exists at present to protect the population of Darfur. Stephen Harper's government should lead by example by pledging a meaningful contribution of resources now.

    Darfur is a crucial test of the responsibility to protect. With Canada's leadership, the world can show that those words are not just an empty slogan, but are a solemn commitment that we intend to respect. - Lloyd Axworthy served as minister of foreign affairs from 1995-2000. Allan Rock served as Canada's ambassador to the United Nations from 2004 to 2006. In this capacity, he acted as Canada's representative during the negotiation of the May 2006 Darfur Peace Agreement.

    III. New Report From UNA-Canada On R2P

    March 2007
    by Maria Banda

    The following is an excerpt from a press release announcing a new UNA-Canada Report on responsibility to protect:

    Even as the international community commemorates the 50th anniversary of the deployment of the first UN peacekeeping mission, the world is facing a crisis of protection. Inter-state warfare is becoming a thing of the past, protracted civil wars are coming to an end, yet massive displacement, human insecurity, and civilian casualties are on the rise The new normative principle and operative doctrine which is attracting increasing attention, enthusiasm, and, in some quarters, alarm, is the notion of a responsibility to protecthat the international community has a duty to protect civilians from massive human rights violations where their governments are unable or willing to provide security.
    R2P is the present-day response to a problem every bit as big, and urgent, as peacekeeping had been 50 years ago. The debate over R2P s not some abstract, academic exercise of hypothetical simulations, Lloyd Axworthy observed to a university audience, his is real, because the issue of interventionf how, when and who goes in to influence the affairs of another states probably the most critical and difficult conundrumin this new century of ours.

    () The question before us is how we can now turn this normative principle into an operative doctrine that will bring security to vulnerable civilians around the world. The responsibility to protect, to be sure, is first and foremost a responsibility to prevent conflicts from breaking out. It is also a responsibility to rebuild, reconcile, and reconstruct a post-conflict environment. This triple notion of R2P calls for a comprehensive approach to human security and sustainable development. But our focus here is on finding ways to protect civilians from large-scale violence when it is already too late to prevent yet too soon to rebuild. How can we ensure an effective and timely response to a grave crisis?
    In Part I, we provide a holistic overview of the scope and significance of the developing norm of protection. We survey the key doctrinal developments, transnational advocacy, codification, and international practice that have together turned overeignty on its head since the early 1990s and contributed to the gradual evolution of R2P and, in particular, those factors that have enabled its re-emergence since 2001.

    In Part II, we consider the strategies to take the norm of protection forward. We propose the creation of a national R2P agenda and the construction of an international protection regime through the joint efforts of a transnational R2P coalition.

    In Part III, we present a series of pragmatic guidelines on operationalizing the norm of protection in the field, with a specific focus on Darfur.

    For Full Report (PDF):

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