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2 February News Update

R2PCS Listserv

2 February 2007

Responsibility to Protect Engaging Civil Society

Web: www.responsibilitytoprotect.org

Email: [email protected] .org


In this issue: [R2P and Burma; R2P and Ban Ki-moon; R2P and Darfur ; R2P in the News]





I. R2P applied in Burma


REGIONAL COUNTRIES URGED TO HELP RESOLVE BURMA ISSUES URGENTLY


II. R2P and Darfur


FORMER HEADS OF STATE, MINISTERS WANT STRONGER FORCE IN DARFUR


DARFUR'S PAIN IS THE WEST'S SHAME; THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY MUST STOP THIS 'GO SLOW' GENOCIDE


AFRICAN UNION PICKS GHANAIAN AS ITS LEADER, IN SNUB TO SUDAN
UN MUST MOVE FROM SOUND BITES TO ACTION


III. R2P in the News


STUDY SAYS U.N. SHOULD MAKE PREVENTION OF MASS ATROCITIES CORNERSTONE OF RESTRUCTURING



I. R2P and Burma



1. REGIONAL COUNTRIES URGED TO HELP RESOLVE BURMA ISSUES URGENTLY

Asian Tribune

18 January 2007


() The National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma (NCGUB) pointed out that a UN Security Council resolution under "The Responsibility to Protect" could have delivered practical protection for the people in Burma , particularly the ethnic nationalities, many of whom continue to be victimized by those in power.


The full text of the statement released by The National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma (NCGUB) is given below:


The National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma (NCGUB) is grateful to all nations that have voted in favor of a resolution by the United Nations Security Council which would have helped resolve the exacerbating political, socioeconomic, health, and narcotic problems in Burma.


The efforts to pass the resolution at the United Nations Security Council on 12 January regrettably failed because some nations chose to focus on the technicality of whether Burma's problems should be handled by the UN Security Council rather than on the intrinsic objective of the resolution which was in line with the fundamentals of the founding of the United Nations -- to resolve problems peacefully in Burma.


A UN Security Council resolution under "The Responsibility to Protect" could have delivered practical protection for the people in Burma, particularly the ethnic nationalities, many of whom continue to be victimized by those in power. The vetoes in this instance in the United Nations Security Council, even if unintended, unfortunately provide the Burmese generals to continue persecuting pro-democracy elements, violating human rights, rejecting calls by the United Nations to investigate into the Depayin massacre and rapes, and even refusing to cooperate in earnest with the UN Secretary General's Special Envoy. ()


Full text available at:



http://www.asiantribune.com /index.php?q=node/4197







II. R2P and Darfur




1. FORMER HEADS OF STATE, MINISTERS WANT STRONGER FORCE IN DARFUR

Vanguard

31 January 2007





Former Heads of State and former Ministers of Foreign Affairs of seventeen countries, have called for an effective peacekeeping force with a strong protection mandate to be allowed into Darfur . ()





They stated further in a statement compiled by Amnesty International that, "we believe that the international community has a responsibility to protect those at risk. Regional and international leaders of the African Union and United Nations have worked hard to find solutions. The soldiers of the African Union have attempted to provide protection on the ground, but they have been unable to halt killings and displacement.





''An effective peacekeeping force requires sufficient human and material resources and a strong mandate to protect civilians by all necessary means."



"The protection and human rights of the civilians must be at the centre of any peacekeeping operation in Darfur. On November 30, 2006, the AU Peace and Security Council agreed to extend the AMIS mandate for six months and endorsed the establishment of a hybrid operation of United Nations (UN) and AU peacekeepers in Darfur."





According to them, "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. ()





Full text available at:


http://www.vanguardngr.com/articles/2002/north/nt431012007.html





2. AFRICAN UNION PICKS GHANAIAN AS ITS LEADER, IN SNUB TO SUDAN

The New York Times

By The Associated Press

30 January 2007





The African Union on Monday chose President John Kufuor of Ghana to lead the 53-member bloc. Because of the worsening violence in Darfur, the group turned aside, for the second year, Sudan's effort to win the post.





() Sudanese leaders were adamant that they deserved the rotating chairmanship, but international organizations opposed it, accusing Sudan 's government of taking part in the conflict in Darfur. Rebel leaders in the region have said they would stop considering the current African Union peacekeeping mission as an honest broker there if Sudan were selected.





"By consensus vote, President Kufuor of Ghana has been elected to the presidency of the African Union," Alpha Oumar Konar, the African Union's chief executive, told reporters in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa. ()





Full text available at:


http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01 /30/world/africa/30africa.html




3. DARFUR'S PAIN IS THE WEST'S SHAME; THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY MUST STOP THIS 'GO SLOW' GENOCIDE

The Globe and Mail (Canada)

By Irwin Cotler

30 January 2007




() It is our responsibility to shatter the silence, to break down the walls of indifference, to stand with the people of Darfur . But 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 of the utmost urgency is immediate international action to stop the genocide.



What is desperately needed is a "Darfur Summit" involving leaders of the African Union, the European Union, the UN and NATO, convened for the express purpose of putting a "Save Darfur" action plan into effect and not adjourned until that plan is adopted.



Meanwhile, Canada , in concert with the international community, can exercise the moral, political and diplomatic leadership to save Darfur . Here's how:


1) The robust UN peacekeeping force authorized by the UN Security Council must be deployed quickly to take over from the underfunded, undermanned African Union mission in Sudan (AMIS);


2) Sudanese President Omar al-Beshir has called the UN peacekeeping force a "colonialist" initiative and "Zionist plot," denies atrocities are occurring and threatens to withhold consent for the force's deployment. 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 it if necessary. Stopping genocide cannot be held hostage to the perpetrators of genocide;


3) The mandate of the AU mission has been extended to March. But plans, announced four months ago, for sending 1,200 more troops to join the 7,200-member force and broadening the mandate, have yet to be realized. This mission has courageously stood as the only line of defence for millions of Darfurians. But it has neither the numbers nor the mandate to stop the killing, and is itself increasingly under attack. Until such time as the UN peacekeeping force is deployed and operational, the international community must immediately reinforce - and fund - an expanded AU mission;


4) The demand by the UN Security Council in 2005 that the Sudanese government cease offensive military flights must be enforced by the immediate establishment of a "no-fly" zone, supported in particular by France and Germany;


5) The Security Council, the EU, and their individual members must also enforce and enhance the sanctions adopted by the UN Sanctions Committee against the named Sudanese violators;


6) Sudanese officials responsible for the perpetration of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide must be brought before the International Criminal Court;


7) The Darfur Peace Agreement, which only a robust UN force can enforce, must not be allowed to unravel;


8) Human security is more desperate, and humanitarian assistance more urgent, than ever. Attacks on NGOs doubled in 2006 from 2005; attacks against members of the AU peacekeeping force are up by 1,000 per cent. There is no humanitarian access for the more than 60 per cent of people who desperately need it, with the deadly threat of starvation and disease;


9. Individual Security Council members must pressure Sudan directly to accept the UN peacekeeping force and end its military offensive. China has particular leverage as Sudan 's paymaster and largest trading partner;


10. As the International Crisis Group and Human Rights Watch recently recommended, the Security Council, with European support, must move quickly to establish a new UN peacekeeping mission with a strong civilian-protection mandate in Chad and the Central African Republic , aimed at deterring the movement of insurgent armed groups across the borders. The NATO-ready rapid deployment force of some 30,000 might be an expeditious way of both augmenting the African mission and underpinning the UN peacekeeping force. ()


Irwin Cotler, a former justice minister of Canada, is the founder of the Save Darfur Parliamentary Coalition.





Full text available at: http://www.theglobeandmail.com /servlet/story/LAC.20070130 .CODARFUR30/TPStory/Comment





4. UN MUST MOVE FROM SOUND BITES TO ACTION

International Herald Tribune

By Steve Crawshaw

25 January 2007





()With the continued killing in Darfur, real pressure is needed on Khartoum including from the secretary general himself. Even now, despite Sudan's resumption of indiscriminate bombing, and the spillover of violence into eastern Chad , there has been too little pressure for Khartoum to end its abusive polices. Instead, shamelessly, Sudan is even seeking to be elected as chair of the African Union at the meeting next week.





Some of the necessary diplomatic skills will come easily to Ban, who was South Korea 's foreign minister before taking on the UN post. But gentle words only go so far. Outspokenness is needed, too above all from the secretary general, with his international authority. Sudan continues to resist efforts to strengthen the African Union force in Darfur with UN troops. That must change. For huge numbers of civilians across the region, caution has already proved deadly.





()On his return to New York , Ban must emphasize that human rights cannot be sidelined. So far, his much-repeated mantra has been on the importance of UN reform. Few would disagree that management and structural reform is needed. But what price better management if Ban does not provide a voice for the unheard victims of abuse around the world?





()Above all, Ban must help move things from fine words to tangible reality. World leaders agreed in 2005 on their shared responsibility to protect civilians from war crimes and genocide. So far, that policy remains mere rhetoric, as the nightmare in Darfur vividly reminds us. With determination, Ban could move the policy toward reality for the first time. He can also help reinvigorate the new Human Rights Council, which during the past year has been entangled in politicking of the most self-defeating kind.





Human rights are not a fringe issue, to be dealt with only once the ''grown-up'' issues of peace and security are out of the way. On the contrary, the protection of human rights promotes peace and security. In theory, Ban accepts the linkage, which his predecessor frequently emphasized. But in practice that means that boldness will sometimes have to trump caution. If Ban wants to be favorably remembered by history, he will do well to bear that simple truth in mind.





Steve Crawshaw is United Nations advocacy director at Human Rights Watch.





Full text available at:


http://hrw.org/english/docs /2007/01/24/global15175.htm





III. R2P in the News





1. STUDY SAYS U.N. SHOULD MAKE PREVENTION OF MASS ATROCITIES CORNERSTONE OF RESTRUCTURING

Associated Press Worldstream

25 January 2007





With Darfur 's terror raging unabated, the new U.N. secretary-general should make implementation of the universally adopted "responsibility to protect" a cornerstone of the reorganization of the United Nations, says a new Council on Foreign Relations report.



By adopting the "responsibility to protect" at the 2005 U.N. World Summit, the world accepted the principle that genocide or other mass atrocities in one state are offenses against all states.



Considered a major achievement of the summit, the decision created a Peacebuilding Commission and agreed that there exists a collective responsibility to protect people from genocide, war crimes and ethnic cleansing.



Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has been working to restructure the U.N. Secretariat in the early weeks of his tenure. The report, by council senior fellow Lee Feinstein, said Ban "should begin to bridge the gap between these words and the institution's deeds" by considering the adoption a mandate and a mission statement for the United Nations.



() As yet, however, the report said, "If Darfur is the first `test case' of the responsibility to protect, there is no point in denying that the world has failed the entry exam."



() " Darfur illustrates the difficulties in converting the principle of the responsibility to protect into a program of action," the report said. "The difficulty is acute when, as in this case, the international response is slow and inadequate."



The report, called "Darfur and Beyond: What Is Needed to Prevent Mass Atrocities," suggested that to counter future Darfurs, the United Nations, the United States and other "economic and militarily capable states and organizations ... must also take steps to bolster U.N. action and to be available when the U.N. is not."





Full text not available


 

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