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8 March 2007
Responsibility to Protect Engaging Civil Society
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In this issue: [R2P and Darfur; R2P and Uganda; R2P in the News]
I. R2P and Darfur


III. R2P and Uganda


III. R2P in the News


I. R2P and Darfur

UN News Centre
28 February 2007

Painting his grimmest picture yet of the humanitarian and security situation in Sudans strife-torn Darfur region, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has reiterated the urgent need for a ceasefire, calling for ialogue and negotiation from all sides, while the United Nations mission in the country today reported more abductions, hijackings and tribal fighting throughout the region.
In his latest report on Darfur to the Security Council, which was released today and covers the past three months through January, Mr. Ban in particular condemns the recent aerial bombings by the Government and the arrest and physical abuse of international humanitarian staff by local police last month.

am distressed by the deteriorating humanitarian and security situation on the ground. All parties must cease violent attacks on civilians. I particularly deplore the aerial bombings by Sudanese Government forces, which have expanded to new areas since 16 January, resulting in more civilian casualties and suffering, he writes.

appeal, in the strongest possible terms, to the Government of the Sudan and the other parties to desist from further hostilities, which destabilize the entire region and render peace an increasingly distant prospect. All parties must submit to dialogue and negotiation, and commit themselves to a non-military solution to the devastating conflict in Darfur.

Mr. Ban says the increasing violence since November last year has also stretched the capacity of the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS), and he appeals for more international assistance to the Mission and also for the UN support packages to this operation. ()

Full text available at:

Orlando Sentinel
By Justin M. Zorn
25 February 2007

What does it take to end genocide? In 1988, our government formally committed to forever stop the global scourge of state-sponsored mass-murder, ratifying the U.N. convention on its prevention and punishment. While America's abundant economic, military and pop-culture power seems more than sufficient to uphold such an ideal, slaughter in Darfur proves it's hardly easy. But why?

In the past three years, a coalition of students, church-goers and concerned citizens have built vast political will to protect civilians in Darfur. Congress has caught on, passing legislation to punish the perpetrators of genocide both economically and politically. Our U.N. representatives have sought bold, binding Security Council resolutions, and President Bush has pledged, as recently as last month, to "awaken the conscience of the world to save the people of Darfur."()

() As students, activists and concerned citizens, we can seek to renew our moral leadership by pressuring the president and members of Congress to take such steps. We can also act directly on Darfur by telling our state legislators to support a forthcoming bill by state Sen. Ted Deutch of Delray Beach to divest Florida's public pension funds, the fourth largest in the nation, from companies underwriting Sudan's genocidal government. Join this movement by visiting
What it may take to save Darfur and prevent any future genocide is an altered global system, one in which guilty governments like Sudan's cannot hide behind sovereignty, trying to justify wholesale slaughter as an internal matter. In Orlando, we should follow the lead of the city of Chicago and pass a city-council resolution affirming this principle of "Responsibility to Protect" and pass it on to key federal officials. Communities like ours can act meaningfully toward national credibility and a more compassionate world order.
Ending genocide is no easy undertaking, yet the most powerful nation can surely protect the world's most vulnerable few. To do such great things, we must prove to the world we're truly good.

Full text available at:,0,2705546.story?track=rss

Deseret Morning News
By Elaine Jarvik
3 March 2007

President Bush labeled the Darfur crisis "genocide" in the fall of 2004. The United Nations has resisted the label, although it has categorized what is happening there as "widespread and systematic abuse." In some ways the label doesn't matter: 400,000 civilian deaths due to slaughter and starvation, plus two million displaced, carries its own moral weight. On the other hand, designation of genocide does require punishment of perpetrators.

() The Responsibility to Protect (R2P) doctrine adopted by the United Nations in 2005 affirmed that every sovereign government has a responsibility to protect its citizens from genocide, mass killing and massive, sustained human-rights violations. It affirmed that if a state is unable or unwilling to protect its citizens, that right and responsibility falls to the international community.

R2P specifies a series of political, economic and judicial approaches short of military intervention, although it permits military intervention as a last resort. Long before that becomes a necessity, Darfur advocates say, the United States needs to do everything possible to stop the killing of Darfurian civilians.

Full text available at:

III. R2P and Uganda

By Adrian Bradbury
Black Star News
21 February 2007
Peace talks in northern Uganda have broken down once again. If precedent is any guide, the biggest losers in this latest development will be children.

()This lack of urgency from the international community is both surprising and irresponsible. At the UN's 2005 World Summit, the responsibility-to-protect doctrine received unanimous approval, and was subsequently endorsed by the UN Security Council. The doctrine makes clear that with sovereignty comes responsibility --a responsibility to protect civilians from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.

Yet, instead of holding the government of Uganda responsible for the humanitarian emergency in the north, the UN and other engaged international actors continue to praise local leadership for their fight against HIV/AIDS, the nation's economic development and its efforts to contain violence in neighboring countries.

The internally displaced persons (IDP) camps in northern Uganda were set up by the government over a decade ago. Abductions and killings went down, but the death rate in northern Uganda actually increased because of the abhorrent living conditions.

()No one is calling for military intervention. All we are asking for is a "commitment to prevent," which is step one of the "responsibility to protect." Those direct prevention efforts should include diplomatic and political interventions -- particularly from those key donor nations, such as Canada, which are best placed to hold Uganda to account.

At the International Conference on War-Affected Children in Winnipeg in 2000, a 14-point Agenda for War-Affected Children was adopted. With it, Canada urged "political, moral, economic and social leadership" to protect the rights of children in conflict. The closing statements were very clear: "It is time for states, institutions and individuals around the world to show leadership in word and in deed. Let us make this century a peaceful one, in which the rights of the child are respected, protected and promoted everywhere."

The Acholi children of northern Uganda are prisoners of war, within their own borders. What we are witnessing is a conscious disregard for human life. Where is our "political, moral, economic and social" leadership?
Bradbury is a Walter & Duncan Gordon Fellow and the founder of Gulu Walk, an international grassroots movement for peace in northern Uganda. On Thursday, February 22, former Canadian ambassador to the United Nations Allan Rock will host the Gulu Walk Gala at the CBC building in Toronto. For more information, visit
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III. R2P in the News
The Globe and Mail (Canada)
By Michael Valpy
28 February 2007

It's so hard to square mythology with reality. While 70 per cent of Canadians consider military peacekeeping a defining characteristic of their country, Canada has turned down so many United Nations' requests to join peacekeeping missions during the past decade that the UN has stopped asking.
In 1991, Canada contributed more than 10 per cent of all peacekeeping troops to the UN. Sixteen years later, its contribution is less than 0.1 per cent.
On this month's fifth anniversary of Canadian troops being sent to Afghanistan and one year after assuming responsibility for the counterinsurgency campaign -- a war by any other name -- in Kandahar province, one of the country's biggest unanswered questions is: What is Canadian military policy? It's certainly not to be the global leader in peacekeeping the country once was.
() Canada invented the doctrine of Responsibility to Protect that the UN accepted in 2005. Since then, successive Liberal and Conservative governments have stood by with their hands pretty much in their pockets while the doctrine glaringly failed its first test: The call for robust and, if necessary, uninvited UN military intervention to halt the genocide in the Darfur region of

() Should it reflect Canadian values and interests in advancing the concept of Responsibility to Protect - R2P, as it's abbreviated? If so, how does Canada persuade the world to embrace a doctrine that supersedes the principle of sovereignty of states, because Sudan does not want a UN force on its territory?

() The difficulty in getting R2P back on track at the UN is sizable, but experts such as Mr. Heinbecker and Prof. Hampson say it lies within Canada's capability - if the government has the will.

Many poor countries are afraid of it because they think it will be used against them. The U.S. did not help by at one point citing R2P as a rationale for invading Iraq, Mr. Heinbecker said. At the same time, several powerful countries, such as China, don't like it because it might interfere with their interests.

"R2P will be a hard sell," Prof. Hampson says. "And the selling gets harder post-Iraq. Darfur meets the test of R2P, it meets all the benchmarks, and it may make Afghanistan look like a picnic. No one wants to engage in what's becoming a regional conflict. No regional actor is willing to take the lead. It underscores the need for UN leadership." ()

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