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5 December 2006
Responsibility to Protect Engaging Civil Society
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In this Edition: [R2P and Darfur; R2P in the News, R2P and North Korea, Kofi Anan and R2P]



I. R2P AND DARFUR



1) CHAD: CIVILIANS LEFT UNPROTECTED AS BRUTAL JANJAWID ATTACKS REACH 150
KILOMETRES INSIDE CHAD
2) U.N. RIGHTS BODY TO DEBATE SENDING TEAM TO DARFUR
3) SUDANESE GOVERNMENTS FAILURE TO PROTECT IS HAMEFUL
4) WORLD OT LIVING UP' TO ITS RESPONSIBILITY TO PROTECT IN DARFUR, IRAQ, GAZA:
UN AID CHIEF



II. R2P IN THE NEWS



1) THE RESPONSIBILITY TO PROTECT: FROM AN IDEA TO AN INTERNATIONAL NORM



III. R2P AND NORTH KOREA



1) SOUTH KOREA TO BACK UN INVESTIGATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS IN NORTH KOREA


IV. KOFI ANAN and R2P


1) KOFI ANNAN INTERVIEW: TEXT




I. DARFUR AND R2P

1) CHAD: CIVILIANS LEFT UNPROTECTED AS BRUTAL JANJAWID ATTACKS REACH 150 KILOMETRES INSIDE CHAD
Amnesty International
1 December 2006
Amnesty International today published new evidence of the Chadian government failing to act as Janjawid from Darfur and Chad carry out increasingly brutal and extensive attacks on civilians in eastern Chad. ()
Janjawid fighters are capitalizing on the failure of state protection -- according to the displaced, they even taunt their victims during attacks: why isnt anyone here to protect you? The lawlessness and impunity clearly encourages more and more attacks.

All parties to the conflict, including the Janjawid, must respect their obligations under international humanitarian law, in particular by refraining from any direct attacks against civilians. Chad is obliged under its national constitution and international human rights law to provide protection to its citizens. The government of Sudan must also take all effective measures to prevent further cross-border incursions into Chad by the Janjawid, and to disarm them in accordance with the obligations it has already entered into under the Darfur Peace Agreement.

The international community also bears a clear responsibility. Amnesty International urges the United Nations Security Council to consider measures to assist the government of Chad to discharge its responsibility to protect, for example through the deployment of an international force as may be necessary for the protection of civilians, including refugees and the internally displaced. Amnesty International's delegation met with Chadian Prime Minister Pascal Yoadimnadji, who clearly indicated that his government is open to and very much requires such international assistance.

Full Text:
Web: http://news.amnesty.org/index/ENGAFR200132006

2) U.N. RIGHTS BODY TO DEBATE SENDING TEAM TO DARFUR
Reuters
01 Dec 2006

The top United Nations human rights body will debate sending an "urgent assessment mission" to Sudan's Darfur region in an emergency meeting later this month, according to a draft resolution circulated on Friday.

The text offered by Finland on behalf of the European Union (EU) calls on the Human Rights Council to express grave concern over the human rights and humanitarian situation in Darfur, and demand an immediate end to "gross and systematic" violations.

It also includes an appeal to "dispatch an urgent assessment mission to Darfur headed by the special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Sudan".

The session will begin around Dec. 12, a U.N. spokesman said. Draft texts are debated and often amended before being voted on by the 47-member state forum. ()

The Darfur session will be its fourth emergency session, following two special meetings on the Palestinian territories and one on Lebanon.

Full Text:
http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/rwb.nsf/db900SID/LZEG-6W3MBW?OpenDocument&nostyle=1&HTML=02

More on the Fourth special session of the Human Rights Council on Darfur: http://www.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrcouncil/specialsession/4/docs/nv3.pdf

3) SUDANESE GOVERNMENTS FAILURE TO PROTECT IS HAMEFUL
22 November 2006
UN News
For More Than 1,000 Days, Nights, Darfurs Defenseless Civilians Fear for Lives; Sudanese Governments Failure to Protect Is hameful
Western Darfur on verge of abyss, under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian affairs, warns Security-Council in Briefing following recent visit to Darfur
Briefing the Council on his recent visits to Darfur and northern Uganda, Jan Egeland, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, said or more than a thousand days and a thousand nights, the defenceless civilians of Darfur have been in fear for their lives, and the lives of their children. The Governments failure to protect its own citizens even in areas where there are no rebels, has been shameful and continues. So does our own failure, more than a year after world leaders in this very building pledged their own responsibility to protect civilians where the Government manifestly fails to do so.r Referring to an agreement reached in Addis Ababa regarding a hybrid United Nations/African Union peacekeeping mission, he said that hopefully that agreement could mark a historic turning point, but he feared that time was now lost in talks on the intricacies of the accord, rather than focused on the immediate deployment of a more effective force with a more proactive mandate. Everyone knew that it might take months for the forces to be deployed. nd the Darfurians cannot wait another day, he stressed.
He urged those who had any influence on the Government and the rebels -- Asian, Arab, African and donor countries - to urge the parties to make concessions. There was a real disconnect between what he had seen during his visit and what had come out of meetings. The reality was that the situation had deteriorated in recent days. This time, it had to be different. People had to be made accountable for what they did or did not do. He agreed with the representative of the Russian Federation that the Government of the Sudan had a particular responsibility to protect its civilian population and that it was not living up to that.
Full Text: http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2006/sc8875.doc.htm
4) WORLD OT LIVING UP' TO ITS RESPONSIBILITY TO PROTECT IN DARFUR, IRAQ, GAZA: UN AID CHIEF
UN News
29 November 2006

Giving an overview of the global humanitarian situation before he steps down at the end of this year, the top United Nations aid official today warned that the world is not living up to its responsibilities to protect people in Sudan's strife-torn Darfur region, Iraq, Gaza and other hotspots.
Highlighting in particular the killings in Darfur, along with those in neighbouring Chad and the Central African Republic (CAR), Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Jan Egeland regretted that the "world woke up too late," having failed to stop the violence when there was still time in 2003 or 2004.
"We as an international community have solemnly sworn a responsibility to protect. And we are not living up to that responsibility to protect in this part of the world, nor in the other areas, like Iraq ... or in Gaza - which I called a ticking time bomb earlier this year", Mr. Egeland told reporters in his last press conference to be held in Geneva. ()
Mr. Egeland also said that the mortality rates of Darfurians displaced by the violence and who are now living in camps had gone down because it was the best-organized humanitarian operation on earth despite all the difficulties involved, although it was still only a temporary solution. ()
Full Text: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=20781&Cr=global&Cr1=

II. R2P IN THE NEWS

1) THE RESPONSIBILITY TO PROTECT: FROM AN IDEA TO AN INTERNATIONAL NORM
International Crisis Group
By Gareth Evans
15 November 2006

The following excerpts are part of the Keynote Opening Address on the responsibility to protect by Gareth Evans, President of International Crisis Group and Co-Chair of International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty. The speech, made to the Chicago Council on Global Affairs et al Conference on The responsibility to protect: Engaging America, in Chicago on 15 November 2006, covers the background and evolution of the R2P norm, as well as challenges that remain it its application internationally.
() If the responsibility to protect is a new international norm, setting new standards to guide international behaviour, it is one that has a long way to go before it is effectively operationalised in practice. ()
On any view, the evolution in just five years of the responsibility to protect concept, from literally an idea under the shower (as I can testify), to a gleam in a commission's eye, to what now has the pedigree to be described as a broadly accepted international norm (and one with the potential to evolve into a rule of customary international law) is an extremely encouraging story, and we ought to be encouraged by it.
But we also have to be frank with ourselves that this is pretty much where the good news ends. We simply cannot be at all confident that the world will respond quickly, effectively and appropriately to new human catastrophes as they arise, as the current case of Darfur is all too unhappily demonstrating. There is much unfinished business to attend to, and this conference is could not be a more timely vehicle for identifying and getting started on it.
From my perspective, that unfinished business falls into three main categories. The first is completing the task of norm-setting, by persuading the Security Council to embrace specific guidelines for the legitimate use of military force, at least in the specific context of R2P, but desirably more generally. The concept of R2P is of course about much more than the use of force - the responsibility to protect begins, and in an ideal world would end, with the responsibility to prevent - but the issue of when, where and how to apply military force is unquestionably the most divisive issue in the whole continuing debate. No criteria of the kind the Commission argued for, even if agreed as guidelines by the Security Council, will ever end argument on how they should be applied in particular instances: Darfur is a case in point. But I cannot believe they would not be more helpful than the present totally ad hoc system in focusing attention on the relevant issues, revealing weaknesses in argument, and generally encouraging consensus.
And it is not only the ultimate policymakers who need to have their heads clear on these issues: those of us in the advocacy business are likely to be taken much more seriously by those in the decision making business if we are able to intelligently distinguish between different cases in the way R2P principles are implied, understanding which are suitable cases for military treatment and those which are better advanced by less extreme measures. That way, when a case comes along - and Rwanda, Srebrenica and Kosovo were all clear examples - that can only be resolved by tough military action, our argument for taking it will be much more clearly heard.
The second piece of unfinished business, if R2P is not to remain more theoretical than real, is to somehow solve the problem of capacity, ensuring that the right civilian and, as necessary, military resources are always there in the right amounts and with the appropriate capability. The experience of the current AU mission in Darfur is a classic demonstration of the problem - too few troops, too poorly equipped, and too immobile to perform effectively even the limited civilian protection task required by their present mandate.() Again it's important for those of us in the advocacy business to be conscious of these issues, to know ourselves what kind of resources, both military and civilian, need to be available, when, where and how, and to campaign for change accordingly.
And the third piece of unfinished business, the biggest of all as always, is the ever-recurring problem of generating the political will to act. We just have to get to the point where, when the next conscience-shocking mass human rights violation comes along, as it inexorably will, the reflex response of both governments and publics around the world, will be to talk immediately about the responsibility to protect, and find reasons to act, not to pretend that it is none of our business. ()
What this country needs, and what all the polling evidence suggests its public will support, is a foreign policy based on a principled and judicious mixture of both idealism and realism. And that's a foreign policy, for the US as everywhere else, in which the new international norm of R2P can sit both comfortably and proudly.
At the end of the day the case for R2P rests simply on our common humanity: the impossibility of ignoring the cries of pain and distress of our fellow human beings. For any of us in the international community - from individuals to NGOs to national governments to international organizations - to yet again ignore that distress and agony, to once again make 'never again' a cry that rings totally emptily, is to diminish that common humanity to the point of despair. All of us here are determined to not let that happen, and there is no greater or nobler cause on which any of us could be embarked.
Full Text: http://www.crisisgroup.org/home/index.cfm?id=4515&l=1

III. R2P AND NORTH KOREA

1) SOUTH KOREA TO BACK UN INVESTIGATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS IN NORTH KOREA
Voice of America
By Kurt Achin
16 November 2006
South Korea is reversing three years of looking the other way on North Korean human rights abuses, saying it will back a United Nations resolution that calls on Pyongyang in strong terms to improve its human rights record. The change of policy comes after North Korea flouted warnings from Seoul and other governments not to conduct nuclear and missile tests - and as a South Korean prepares to assume the U.N.'s top job.
()Like the last two resolutions on the subject, this week's statement is based on reporting by a special U.N. rapporteur on human rights in North Korea. A draft text of the resolution calls on Pyongyang to halt abuses, and lists torture, arbitrary imprisonment and the use of forced labor along with many other suspected human rights violations.
The draft resolution describes the North's restriction of basic freedoms as "severe and all-pervasive." Unlike previous resolutions, this measure would require the U.N. Secretary-General to personally submit a report on North Korea's human rights situation to the General Assembly.
Ban Ki-moon, the former South Korean foreign minister, is due to assume the secretary-general's post later this year, and he would be responsible for delivering the report.
Ban recently urged his home country to take what he called a more "positive" approach toward the North Korea human rights issue.
Kay Seok is a researcher for the U.S.-based rights group Human Rights Watch. She welcomes South Korea's decision to support the resolution, and the influence Ban Ki-moon apparently had on that decision.
She says once Seoul adds its voice to international concerns about human rights in the North, it will not be able to return to silence in the future - because the international community will expect more.
South Korea's decision to support the resolution comes two days after Seoul announced it would not take any new steps to enforce a U.N. Security Council measure punishing North Korea for its nuclear test. ()
Full Text:
http://www.voanews.com/english/2006-11-16-voa18.cfm
More information: Access to the GA Resolution passes on North Korea by the Third Committee on 17 November 2006: http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2006/gashc3874.doc.htm

IV. KOFI ANAN and R2P
1) KOFI ANNAN INTERVIEW: TEXT
BBC
4 December 2006
The outgoing UN secretary general Kofi Annan gave his last BBC interview to Lyse Doucet. He is due to step down on 31 December when he will be succeeded by South Korea's foreign minister Ban Ki-moon. Below is an excerpt from the interview:
BBC: Another big challenge for you: the situation in Darfur. Many say that Darfur has proven that the United Nations cannot stop genocide.
Kofi Annan: Who and what is the United Nations? The United Nations are the member states.
BBC: The Security Council.
Kofi Annan: Your government and mine.
BBC: It's been going on for three years, more than 200,000 people have died, two to three million have been displaced.
Kofi Annan: I'm not disputing the gravity of the situation. We've been pushing very hard to get peacekeepers in.
BBC: One of the big successes of UN reform was this Responsibility to Protect. But you're not protecting - it's been three years.
Kofi Annan: I myself have made that point, that member states made a solemn pledge to protect. Sudan has made it quite clear to the whole world that it will not accept UN peacekeepers. The resolution says we should deploy the troops with the cooperation and consent of the Sudanese. If the Sudanese do not give their consent, no government, not yours or mine, is going to give troops for a peacekeeping operation in Darfur.
BBC: So, people said after Rwanda, after Srebrenica, "never again". But it's happening again.
Kofi Annan: It is deeply, deeply disappointing and it's tragic but we do not have the resources or the will to confront the situation - as in, If you did it, would you make the situation worse, or would it be better? I mean, I have gone out and indicated to the Sudanese that if they cannot protect their people, and they are refusing to let the international community come in and assist, they will be held individually and collectively responsible for what is happening and what happens.
BBC: We're told that you're going to make this one of your priorities to the day that you leave, on 31 December.
Full Text: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/6205056.stm

 

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