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R2PCS Listserv

12 February 2007

Responsibility to Protect Engaging Civil Society

Web: www.responsibilitytoprotect.org

Email: [email protected] .org





In this issue: [R2P in the News; Darfur and R2P]





I. R2P in the News


1. HEARING OF THE U.S. SENATE JUDICIARY SUBCOMMITTEE ON HUMAN RIGHTS AND THE LAW



2. CONFLICT PREVENTION: TEN LESSONS WE HAVE LEARNED





II. Darfur and R2P


1. POSITION STATEMENT AND SUGGESTED STRATEGIES FOR NGO ACTION ON DARFUR


2. SECURITY COUNCIL FRUSTRATED BY SUDANESE LEADERS FAILURE TO GIVE A GREEN LIGHT TO U.N. AFRICAN UNION FORCE


3. MELTDOWN IN DARFUR - WHAT HAPPENED TO 'NEVER AGAIN'?


4. FORMER STATE LEADERS: FFECTIVE PEACEKEEPING IN DARFUR IS NEEDED NOW







I. R2P in the News





1. HEARING OF THE U.S. SENATE JUDICIARY SUBCOMMITTEE ON HUMAN RIGHTS AND THE LAW
Federal News Service


5 February 2007





The Judiciary Subcommittee on Human Rights and the Law held a hearing on enocide and the Rule of Law on 5 February 2007, specifically discussing the situation in Darfur. Some of the testimonies included references to R2P. Here are excerpts with direct reference to the R2P:





SEN. DURBIN:


() The legal prohibition against genocide is obviously an unfulfilled promise. We see this most clearly today in Darfur in western Sudan. In this region of 6 million people, hundreds of thousands have been killed, 2 million have been driven from their homes. For them, the commitment of "Never again" rings hollow.



We must ask ourselves why. Is this a failure of law or of will or both? What are the legal obligations of states to prevent genocide before it has begun? Do debates about the legal definition of genocide serve as an excuse for governments not to act? What is our responsibility to protect victims of atrocities that do not meet the legal definition of genocide? And we must
explore the legal options for preventing genocide, as in the worst-case scenario, stopping the genocide like the one in Darfur.




GEN. DALLAIRE:


() So what is this massive abuse of human rights, and the stoppage thereof? In September of 2005, the General Assembly agreed to one of the few reforms that was -- Kofi Annan was able to bring in at that time, and one of them was called Responsibility to Protect -- exactly what we've just described responsibility to Protect, an instrument by which sovereignty is more an absolute, that when there is massive abuse of human rights in any country or when a government is not able to stop, then we have not the right, but we have, the international community, the responsibility to go in and protect those people. ()





SEN. COBURN: So it's your testimony that you think that we are part of the
obstructing force at the U.N. for this to go forward?


GEN. DALLAIRE: Any nation that has the capability of committing itself to protecting under responsibility to protect has demonstrated an unwillingness to go --


SEN. COBURN: Big difference. I asked you a very specific question: We are part of that contingent of communities that is obstructing the ability for this to move forward --




GEN. DALLAIRE: Only to reinforce the fact on the political decisions to, in fact, use force ultimately under responsibility to protect after you've exhausted all the other means, including really giving the Sudanese government a run for its money, which has not really happened so far, is the fear of casualties -- the fear of casualties in a country that doesn't count, in an area that doesn't count. You know, sovereign states are having a terrible time since, in fact, Mogadishu to survive any such operations when, one, there's no self-interest; and secondly, it is a place where it has no impact, really, on your security. Do we want to take casualties? And most of the developed countries have refused that.




() What legitimate and effective tools does the international community have to respond to the on-going crisis in Darfur, and others to come? To begin with, in September 2005, world leaders overwhelmingly embraced the concept of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) in the UN Summit Outcome Document. This principle provides that, if a state proves unable or unwilling to protect its own citizens from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and other crimes against humanity, then the international community has the responsibility not the right or the option - to provide that protection. ()




Full text available at: http://judiciary.senate.gov/hearing.cfm?id=2521





2. CONFLICT PREVENTION: TEN LESSONS WE HAVE LEARNED
International Crisis Group


By Gareth Evans


4 February 2007





The following are excerpts from a Closing Keynote Address by Gareth Evans, President of the International Crisis Group, to the University of Toronto Peace and Conflict Society Conference.





None of this means that we should swing to the opposite extreme and foreswear military responses in situations where this is both legal, as a matter of international law, and legitimate, as a matter of morality and decency: there are in fact two big problems with military force, not just using it when we shouldnt, but not using it when we should (as was obviously the case in Rwanda and Srebrenica). The responsibility to protect doctrine to which the world is at least now paying lipservice does now clearly acknowledge the legitimacy of coercive military force, if only in the most extreme cases. That said, one of the many pieces of unfinished business in relation to R2P, is the absence of an agreed set of guidelines for when the most extreme of all forms of reactive measures should, and should not, be mobilized. A model set of guidelines were set out in the ICISS Commission report, and both the High Level Panel and Secretary-Generals reports in the lead up to the 2005 World Summit, but the Security Council has so far remained unmoved.





()What the U.S, like every other, needs, and what all the polling evidence suggests all our publics will support, is a foreign policy based on a principled and judicious mixture of both idealism and realism. And one crucial element in that mix is a willingness to accept and embrace, without ifs, buts and maybes, the principle of he responsibility to protect, which have been referred to many times during this conference. The concept - which had its birth in the Canadian-sponsored Commission I co-chaired in 2001 is a simple one: that while the primary responsibility to protect its own people from genocide and other such man-made catastrophes is that of the state itself, when a state fails to meet that responsibility, either through incapacity or ill-will, then the responsibility to protect shifts to the international community to be exercised by measures all the way up to, if absolutely necessary, military force.





The kind of leadership Im talking about doesnt always have to be delivered in a spectacular way to be effective, and it doesnt always have to be delivered by the biggest figures or the greatest powers. Im thinking of the kind of leadership that was shown by Canada, for example, and its Prime Minister Paul Martin, who worked away diligently behind the scenes for months in the run-up to the 2005 World Summit to ensure that the esponsibility to protect norm would be embraced: an example which, if followed by a few more leaders in a few more capitals, would have saved a good deal more of the outcome we hoped for from that summit, which turned out a huge missed opportunity for the international community.





At the end of the day of course an S-G can only deliver what the member states allow him to deliver. But he must never stop making clear what they should be delivering, not least when it comes to their responsibility to protect the worlds most vulnerable people ()





Full text available at:


http://judiciary.senate.gov/hearing.cfm?id=2521





II. Darfur and R2P




1. A POSITION STATEMENT AND SUGGESTED STRATEGIES FOR NGO ACTION ON DARFUR


NGO Committee on Human Rights


8 February 2007




The following excerpt is from a position statement for strategies on Darfur generated at a January 10, 2007 meeting of the NGO Committee on Human Rights and its Sub-Committee for the Elimination of Racism, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance. Over 60 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) participated in the meeting at the United Nations in New York City to provide a briefing on the status of the crisis in Darfur and to develop strategies for assisting in bringing it to an end.





()We recognize that the UN NGO community has an obligation to seek, find and use every opportunity to expand global awareness of the Darfur crisis, and to hold those who choose culpable silence and egregious indifference publicly accountable for the persistence of the crisis.





The genocide in Dafur must be condemned without reservation. To withhold condemnation is to support by complicity and to condone the injustice being perpetrated.





()Proposed Strategies





() Send a letter to the Security Council urging them to take immediate action on Darfur to protect civilians, reverse ethnic cleansing and ensure full humanitarian access to all people in need throughout the region. Remind the Security Council of the responsibility to protect populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity agreed upon at the World Summit in 2005.





Full text unavailable





2. SECURITY COUNCIL FRUSTRATED BY SUDANESE LEADERS FAILURE TO GIVE GREEN LIGHT TO U.N.-AFRICAN UNION FORCE


The Associated Press


By Edith M. Lederer


7 February 2007




Security Council members expressed frustration and skepticism Tuesday at Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir's failure to give a green light to a joint United Nations-African Union force to help bring peace to conflict-wracked Darfur.





() Acting U.S. Ambassador Alejandro Wolff said Tuesday the secretary-general told the council during the closed-door briefing that al-Bashir may still have questions that he wants answered.





"I think we certainly are frustrated," Wolff said. "I think there's a sense of frustration and the coalescence within the council that the time is running out and we need to move forward."



Wolff said the United States is going to try to get the secretary-general and the AU to accelerate agreement on the next steps ahead.





Britain's deputy U.N. ambassador Karen Pierce said "there was a lot of skepticism in the council that Bashir was really trying hard to make this work, and the secretary-general said he'd had a number of difficult conversations with Bashir where Bashir had been defensive."





() China's U.N. Ambassador Wang Guangya briefed the council on the visit by Chinese President Hu Jintao to Sudan and other African nations. China has been under pressure to force Sudan, one of its biggest suppliers of oil, to accept U.N. peacekeepers in Darfur.





Ban told reporters he had been told that Hu had "a very good and successful visit to Sudan."





"It was very encouraging that the Chinese president had engaged in very serious discussions to let the Sudanese government know the urgency and the importance of resolving this issue as soon as possible," he said.





Full text not available





3. MELTDOWN IN DARFUR - WHAT HAPPENED TO 'NEVER AGAIN'?


The Jerusalem Post


By Irwin Cotler


6 February 2007




"The genocide by attrition in Darfur is being accelerated." It is painful - almost incredulous - to have to repeat these words, which I first spoke at the Save Darfur rally on September 17, 2006, the first anniversary of the adoption by the UN General Assembly of the "Responsibility to Protect" doctrine (the "R2P doctrine").





Yet tragically, incrementally, the genocide in Darfur has moved into high gear, a standing repudiation of the R2P doctrine, both mocking the lessons of history while betraying the people of Darfur.





() IT IS our responsibility, as I first said three years ago as Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada at the Stockholm Conference on the Prevention of Genocide - to shatter the silence, to break down the walls of indifference, to sound the alarm, to stand with the people of Darfur. Tragically, I feel like I am hitting the rewind button of that speech three years ago, and have repeated many times since.





()AND WHILE words are important, while UN Security Council resolutions are necessary, while the normative adoption by the UN of the Responsibility to Protect doctrine is crucial, words, resolutions and doctrines are not enough. What is so necessary now - and of the utmost urgency - is immediate international action to stop the genocide.





What is desperately needed is a Darfur Summit involving the leadership of the African Union (AU), the European Union, the UN, and NATO, that will be convened for the express purpose of putting a Save Darfur action plan into effect - and will not adjourn until such action plan is adopted.





What follows is a recommended 10-point action plan whereby the international community, can exercise the necessary moral, political and diplomatic leadership to save Darfur ().





()The resolve of the international community must be clear: to put the UN force on the ground with the consent of the Sudanese government if possible, but without its consent if necessary. Stopping genocide cannot be held hostage to the perpetrators of genocide.





()As the student posters continue to cry out at the Save Darfur rallies: "If not us who, if not now, when"?





The writer is the Member of Parliament for Mount Royal and former minister of justice and attorney general of Canada. He is the founder of the Save Darfur Parliamentary Coalition.





Full text available at:


http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1170359788111&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull





4. FORMER STATE LEADERS: FFECTIVE PEACEKEEPING IN DARFUR IS NEEDED NOWr Amnesty International


29 January 2007




The following is an excerpt from a statement by nineteen former heads of state, made on the eve of the meeting of the General Assembly of the African Union (AU) summit in Addis Ababa, calling for a redoubling of efforts to ensure effective peacekeeping in Darfur.





We, the undersigned former Heads of State or Government and former Ministers of Foreign Affairs, add our voices to the global call for an effective peacekeeping force with a strong protection mandate to be allowed into Darfur. This call has become very urgent, as we are convinced that for hundreds of thousands of civilians in Darfur, time is running out.





() We believe that the international community has a responsibility to protect those at risk.





()The peacekeeping force should have the resources, logistical support and personnel to protect the population and eventually support and protect displaced and refugees to return voluntarily and in safety to their homes. The situation is urgent and dangerous. The Government of Sudan, which is responsible for so much suffering in Darfur, must allow the swift deployment of an effective peacekeeping force.





Full text available at:


http://www.amnesty.dk/log/D2531-da.pdf


Many thanks to Spring 07 intern Kyle Valenti for compiling this listserv
 

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