24 January 2008
Responsibility to Protect Engaging Civil Society
In this issue:
[Featured Campaign: The Elders Every Human Has Rights Campaign, Featured Article from NYT, Featured Report from One World Trust, R2P in the news]
I. Featured Campaign
1. THE ELDERS - THE EVERY HUMAN HAS RIGHTS CAMPAIGN
II. Featured Article
1. INTERVENTION, HAILED AS A CONCEPT, IS SHUNNED IN PRACTICE
III. Featured Report
1. ONE WORLD TRUST REPORT: DONT CALL ME, ILL CALL YOU? CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES TO REALIZING THE RESPONSIBILITY TO PROTECT IN REGIONAL PEACEKEEPING
IV. R2P in the News
1. RWANDA: KENYA CRISIS - A TEST TO THE COMMONWEALTH COUNTRIES
2. UK: WORLD MUST ACT TO PROTECT THREATENED PEOPLES
I. Featured Campaign
The Elders The Human Rights Campaign
Last July Nelson Mandela, Graa Machel, and Desmond Tutu announced the launch of a group of leaders to contribute their wisdom, independent leadership and integrity to tackle some of the worlds toughest problems. These three eminent personalities were joined by Kofi Annan, Jimmy Carter, Li Zhaoxing, Mary Robinson, Muhammad Yunus, Ela Bhatt, Gro Harlem Brundtland, Lakhdar Brahimi, Fernando H Cardoso and Aung San Suu Kyi to represent a group of trusted, respected worldly-wise individuals with a proven commitment and record of contributing to solving global problems.
The Elders will use their unique collective skills to catalyze peaceful resolutions to long-standing conflicts, articulate new approaches to global issues that are or may cause immense human suffering, and share wisdom by helping to connect voices all over the world. They recently completed their first public mission to Sudan and issued their first report, Bringing Hope and Forging Peace.
Moreover The Elders, while representing a small independent group of individuals, seek to partner with established groups and organizations to complement already existing efforts. For instance, Mary Robinson, Desmond Tutu and Kofi Annan have given their support as patron for the new Global Center for R2P, launching on 14 February.
The Elders will dedicate the month of February to the Responsibility to Protect, and thus we look forward to their statements and the focus they will dedicate to R2P.
The Every Human Has Rights campaign
2008 is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 60th anniversary. While for the last 60 years governments have been asked to sign the Universal Declaration, The Elders are hoping that for 2008 can be the year that individuals, not just governments, sign the declaration, and are hoping for one billion signatures from across the world.
The Every Human Has Rights campaign calls on citizens to uphold the goals of the Universal Declaration in their daily lives and to hold governments accountable for the same. A diverse group of global NGOs, civil society organizations and businesses are partnering in the Every Human Has Rights campaign to highlight UDHR principles, including the right to health, womens rights, and freedom of expression. Launch partners include ActionAid, Amnesty International, Center for Womens Global Leadership, International PEN, Witness, Realizing Rights, Save the Children and UNICEF. Through an innovative collaboration with Google and Witness, individuals and communities from around the world can tell stories of human rights abuses and human rights triumphs, which will then be brought to life on Google Earth.
For more information on The Elders please visit: www.theElders.org
Bringing Hope and Forging Peace (Report on Sudan): click here
For more on the Every Human Rights Campaign: www.theElders.org/humanrights
II. Featured Article
Intervention, Hailed as a Concept, Is Shunned in Practice
New York Times
January 20, 2008
By Warren Hoge
() The United Nations has tried to take the lead in Darfur, the crisis-ridden region in western Sudan. But it has been stymied by the failure of major member states to fulfill promises to support action and by the intransigence of the Sudanese government.
()The 2005 resolution was meant to break the impasse between those who believe the outside world has the power to intercede in countries where mass atrocities are occurring and those who believe that the sovereignty of the state, a concept created in the 17th century and recognized in the United Nations Charter, precludes any outside intervention.
() With the world facing in Darfur a situation that many have identified as genocide, the advocates of international intervention should, in theory, have answered those questions. First, there is Security Council approval for the largest peacekeeping force in history, which, at full strength, should have the capacity to halt the killing.
Second, there is a vocal, organized and worldwide campaign backing intervention.
As for the legal basis, there is the 2005 General Assembly resolution embodying the concept of a states responsibility to protect, which has become so much a part of the United Nations vocabulary of resolving conflict that it even has its own abbreviation, R2P. ()
[Secretary General Ban Ki-moon] has upgraded and broadened the post of special adviser for the prevention of genocide and mass atrocities and created a new assistant secretary general position specifically on the responsibility to protect. ()
...Samantha Power, a professor at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, said, 'We have more than 150 countries on the books saying they believe this responsibility exists, but what advocates have begun to understand is that governments will never exercise this responsibility naturally or eagerly, they will only exercise it if they feel they are going to pay a price for not exercising it.'
Next month, a research and advocacy center dedicated to moving the principle of responsibility to protect into practice is being inaugurated at the Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Similar offices are being set up in Australia, Sri Lanka and Thailand. ()
Note: The article above refers to the inauguration of the new Global Center on the Responsibility to Protect. Please refer to its website for more information concerning its activities: http://www.globalcentrer2p.org/about.html
III. Featured Report
One World Trust report: Dont call me, Ill call you? Challenges and opportunities to realizing the Responsibility to Protect in regional peacekeeping
One World Trust
By Maeve Bateman and Michael Hammer
Over the past decade regional peacekeeping has been enthusiastically promoted by the UN and others. In this briefing paper the One World Trust seeks to explore the challenge of realizing the Responsibility to Protect in Regional Peacekeeping, under Chapter VIII of the UN Charter. There are few appropriate governance arrangements in place that ensure the accountability and effectiveness of regionally led responses to conflict; such issues need to be considered in order that the world can effectively maintain its commitment to global security.
Link to briefing paper: http://www.oneworldtrust.org/pages/download3.cfm?did=554
IV. R2P in the News
1. Rwanda: Kenya Crisis - a Test to the Commonwealth Countries
The New Times (Kigali)
24 January 2008
by Victor Mugambe
Just a month ago, Uganda hosted the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Kampala . It took place between November 23-25 and all 48 countries attended this meeting which also brought the Queen of England, Elizabeth II, who is the club's overall head. ()
The climax of this Kampala event was reached when the presidents came up with 96 resolutions, which they put in their 'Kampala Communiqu'. [On] resolution number 4 and 5 of this 20-page communiqu (): "Heads of Governments reiterated their commitment to the Commonwealth's fundamental political values of: tolerance, respect, international peace and security, democracy, good governance, human rights, gender equality, rule of law, independence of the judiciary, parliament, and executive, freedom of expression, a political culture that promotes transparency and accountability and sustainable development."
Resolution No. 5 goes: "They reaffirmed that the responsibility to protect populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity is a fundamental commonwealth value." ()
The ongoing Kenyan crisis which some of us now think has turned genocidal indicates how such meetings and resolutions seem to serve diplomatic purposes especially by those in power, but not the people on the ground. ()
In view of this, I keep wondering whether Mr Kibaki and his government accepted that they are part of the resolutions, which were passed during the Kampala Chogm meeting, or such reasons were meant to serve diplomatic purposes such that the governments in power can still access aid from the queen.
2. UK: world must act to protect threatened peoples
21 January 2008
In a keynote speech Monday during his official visit to India, Britains Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, called for the shaping of a ew world order in which the international community intervenes where populations are being threatened by "genocide, ethnic cleansing, war crimes or crimes against humanity, and the state is unwilling or unable to halt or prevent it." The world has "a responsibility to protect" Mr. Brown said. ()
Recently British officials raised the theme of responsibility to protect in the context of Sri Lanka, where the UK has been strongly backing the establishment of a UN human rights monitoring mission.