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23 December 2008
Responsibility to Protect-Engaging Civil Society
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In this issue:

I. Ban ki-Moons Year-End Remarkshe Responsibility to Deliver

II. EU includes R2P in Policy Strategy, roviding Security in a Changing World
III. Featured DRC updates: Statement by Special Advisor on Prevention of Genocide warns of massive violations of international human rights and humanitarian law

IV. Calls for action in Zimbabwe: R2P referenced

V. China, Sovereignty and R2Pn Evolving Perspective

VI. R2P in the News

I. Ban ki-moons Year-End Remarkshe Responsibility to Deliver

1. Opening Remarks at Year-End Press Conferencehe Responsibility to Deliver
Secretary General Ban ki-Moon
17 December 2008

() This has been a difficult year for all of us. I have called it he year of multiple crises. The coming year promises to be no less difficult. Our commitments and good intentions will be tested as never before.

() In the realm of human rights, we speak of the responsibility to protect. In the larger sphere of common international endeavor, we should speak of the responsibility to deliver. Looking back at 2008, I would say frankly that our record has been mixed. ()

I am pleased at how we responded to natural disasters, like in Myanmar and Haiti and in many other places. Yet I am disappointed by the unwillingness of the government of Myanmar to deliver on its promises for democratic dialogue and the release of political prisoners. UN forces have held the line in the Democratic Republic of Congo, with bravery under the difficult circumstances. Yet we have not been able to protect innocent people from violence. Our record on human rights is on trial in many places, in many ways. In this 60th anniversary year, we must stand strong for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Our deployment in Darfur has been slower than I wished, despite our best efforts. The joint UN-African Union force will be 60 percent deployed by year's end, and 85 percent by March of next year. Yet we still lack mission-critical assets, including helicopters. Meanwhile, renewed fighting and political rivalry makes a political solution difficult and does nothing to advance the security of Darfur's people. More positively, we can take pride in the quiet diplomacy that has helped preserve the vital Comprehensive Peace Agreement between north and south Sudan. We oversaw successful democratic elections in Nepal and Sierra Leone. We can be cautiously optimistic about progress in Liberia, Bangladesh and Cote d'Ivoire.

Zimbabwe :The humanitarian situation grows more alarming every day. Zimbabwe stands on the brink of economic, social and political collapse. I said so to President [Robert] Mugabe in Doha several weeks ago. I told him things needed to change, urgently, and that I and the UN stand ready to help. The president agreed to receive my envoy, Haile Menkerios. Now we are told that the timing is not right. If this is not the time, when is?

For the past eight months, the Southern African Development Community has insisted on leading international diplomatic efforts ? with little result. When the international community or a regional organization takes on a mission, it also takes on the responsibility to deliver. As I told the Security Council on Monday, we need a fair and sustainable political solution in Zimbabwe, as provided under previous agreements. And we need it fast.

Somalia: Fourth, Somalia. The danger of anarchy in Somalia is clear and present. So is the need to act. I have spoken with the leaders of 50 countries and three international organizations about organizing a Multinational Force. Not one nation has volunteered to lead. Yesterday, therefore, I proposed to the Security Council a series of steps that 1) advance the Djibouti peace process, 2) deal with piracy and issues of humanitarian access and 3) reinforce the current African Union mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and set the stage for a possible UN peacekeeping operation. ()


The following remarks are taken from Secretary General Ban ki-Moons last official press conference of the year following the delivery of his speech:
() Question: () And also, regarding the Declaration of Human Rights, you mentioned the responsibility to protect. Some Member States, in their speeches last week, they talked about this responsibility should be taken only by the national Governments. Do you agree with that view, or do you think it should be taken up by the international community, represented by the Security Council, for instance?
Secretary-General: () On the responsibility to protect, as you know, I made it quite clear that it is one of my commitments to operationalize this very important concept, which has been agreed and endorsed by the leaders of the world through their summit meeting. My Special Adviser on this issue has been working very hard to make some improvements in the concept, how to operationalize the responsibility to protect. In fact, I am going to make an interim report to the General Assembly tomorrow morning, during an informal General Assembly meeting. And we will continue to discuss and consult with the Member States. I know that there are certain Member States who are still expressing some different opinions and reservations on this issue.()
Source: Unavailable

II. EU includes R2P in Policy Strategy, roviding Security in a Changing World

1. European Union Security Strategy Reportroviding Security in a Changing Worldr Development as a Cross-Cutting Issue in Post-Conflict Situations

The European Security Strategy, secure Europe in a better world was approved by the European Council held in Brussels on 12 December 2003 and drafted under the responsibilities of the EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy. This document identifies the key threats facing the Union and defines its strategic objectives.
Most recently on 11 December 2008, a complementary document entitled Report on the Implementation of the European Security Strategy roviding Security in a Changing World was approved by the Council specifying additional threats and objectives for Europes security agenda. This time, direct references to the Responsibility to Protect were included in the European policy statement:

() asting solutions to conflict must bind together all regional players with a common stake in peace. Sovereign governments must take responsibility for the consequences of their actions and hold a shared responsibility to protect populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.

It is important that countries abide by the fundamental principles of the UN Charter and OSCE principles and commitments. We must be clear that respect for the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of states and the peaceful settlement of disputes are not negotiable. Threat or use of military force cannot be allowed to solve territorial issues - anywhere. (page 2)

Furthermore, the document identifies priority areas such as climate change and trade policies, and reminds that the EU should also ontinue the reform of the UN system, begun in 2005, and maintain the crucial role of the Security Council and its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. It prescribes that:

he International Criminal Court should grow further in effectiveness, alongside broader EU efforts to strengthen international justice and human rights. We need to mould the IMF and other financial institutions to reflect modern realities. The G8 should be transformed. And we must continue our collective efforts to meet the Millennium Development Goals.

These issues cross boundaries, touching as much on domestic as foreign policy. Indeed, they demonstrate how in the twenty-first century, more than ever, sovereignty entails responsibility. With respect to core human rights, the EU should continue to advance the agreement reached at the UN World Summit in 2005 that we hold a shared responsibility to protect. (p.12)

roviding Security in a Changing World Report:
Secure Europe in a Better World Report:
Press Release:

III. Featured DRC updates: Statement by Special Advisor on Prevention of Genocide warns of massive violations of international human rights and humanitarian law

1. Statement by the Special Adviser of the Secretary General on the Prevention of Genocide, Mr. Francis Deng, on the situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Francis Deng
12 December 2008

In the context of the recent escalation in violence in the North Kivu region of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, Mr. Francis Deng, undertook a mission to the Great Lakes region from 23 November to 4 December 2008. In the DRC and the neighboring countries of Rwanda and Uganda, he met with Government ministers, representatives of UN bodies, civil society, the Catholic Church and victims of atrocities. Members of his team also visited Burundi on 25-26 November and met with UN representatives and members of the civil society.

Considering the situation in DRC throughout 2008, the Special Adviser has examined whether the rampant violence and massive human rights abuses in North Kivu could be indicative of the ntent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group as such, in the words of the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

Having witnessed the situation first-hand, the Special Adviser found that massive violations of international human rights and humanitarian law were being committed on the basis of ethnicity and national origin in the DRC. While there are many ethnic groups in the country, the principal cleavages are on one hand, the Tutsis, represented by CNDP (National Congress for the Defense of the People), and on the other hand, a variety of ethnic groups, among whom those prominent are the Hutus represented by FDLR (Democratic Front of the Liberation of Rwanda), and the Hunde, the Nande and the Nyanga, some of whom converge in the armed groups of PARECO (Coalition of Congolese Patriotic Resistance) and Mayi Mayi.

The Special Adviser met with some of the leaders of the major armed groups and community leaders in the eastern part of DRC. They all claimed that their groups have been victims of recurrent genocides in the history of the country. Most non-Tutsi leaders with whom the Special Adviser met accused the Tutsis of perpetrating genocide and suggested that it would only be a matter of time before the victim groups turn against them with genocidal vengeance. All these allegations and counter-allegations were made with conviction and emotive fervor, that can incite followers into genocidal violence. The Special Adviser was also informed that messages fomenting ethnic hatred were being broadcast by some local radios and used by leaders of political parties. The Special Adviser recalls that while the primary responsibility to prevent genocide rests with the state, it is widely acknowledged that the governance and defense capacity of the DRC has been severely weakened. Support of the Government through MONUC can help protect civilians but cannot substitute for the state. The Special Adviser is deeply concerned by these findings.

With a view to preventing genocide, the Special Adviser urges all parties to the conflict to put and end to all atrocities and work urgently towards a political solution that will bring comprehensive and sustainable peace to the DRC by addressing the root causes, in particular the legitimate concerns of all actors with respect to sharing political power and the benefits of national development and resource allocation. Furthermore, the Special Adviser urges all leaders, in the DRC and beyond, to work towards ethnic reconciliation and to put an end to all activities that result in the stigmatization of certain ethnic groups and may encourage genocide.

Considering that the problems and interests of the countries in the region are interconnected, an approach that will turn the present crisis into an opportunity for comprehensive regional cooperation must be pursued. This should be one of the principal objectives of the UN and AU Special Envoys to the DRC and the Great Lakes region. It should begin with bilateral agreements with the two immediate neighbors directly implicated in the situation in the DRC, Uganda and Rwanda, then eventually cover all the countries in the Great Lakes region towards security and economic cooperation and integration. Elements of such an arrangement are already in place, but need to be consolidated and internationally supported.


2. Related reports calling for action from ENOUGH campaign and Human Rights Watch

Enough: Beyond Crisis Management in Eastern Congo
Rebecca Feely and Colin Thomas-Jensen
December 2008

The following report addresses the urgent need to appoint experienced and seasoned envoys to accompany U.N. Special Envoy Olegesun Obasanjo and Great Lakes mediator Benjamin Mkapa to help ensure better management and resolution of the latest round of fighting in the Congo to avoid further disaster. The international community has not played an effective preventive or responsive role to the mass atrocity crimes being perpetually committed in the Congo. MONUC, the largest UN peacekeeping mission in the world has been incapable of protecting civilians because of logistical matters and insufficient soldiers to patrol a massive area with little infrastructure. Any mismanagement at this stage in the conflict could drastically increase regional instability and consequentially pull the Congo back into "Africa's World War".
Full Report:

EU ridging Force Needed to Protect Civilians
Human Rights Watch
9 December 2008

In this latest report, Human Rights Watch urgently calls for a European Union "bridging force" to assist UN peacekeepers plagued by lack of logistical support and capacity building. The report focuses on a recent episode of violence in which an estimated 150 people were killed in Kiwanja in North Kivu in the beginning of November. Despite Kiwanja being a priority protection zone, peacekeepers were unable to protect the civilians. HRWs featured letter to European Union heads of state on 9 December requested the deployment of EU forces to assist MONUC to reinforce bases in remote areas ensure better protection. Assistance by the EU could give the UN the assistance the help it so desperately needs to protect the people of Eastern Congo.

Other calls for action on R2P: See ongo's endless nightmare in the Star by Irwin Cotler, founder of the Save Darfur Parliamentary Coalition at

IV. Calls for action in Zimbabwe: R2P referenced

1. Rice: World powers frustrating efforts to remove Mugabe
The Daily Nation
Kevin Kelley
19 December 2008

Despite their denunciations of gross human rights violations in some African countries, the worlds leading powers remain both unable and unwilling to force the removal of tyrants such as Zimbabwes Robert Mugabe.
This impotence is undermining the UNs Responsibility to Protect doctrine, which states that international military force should be used to stop a governments from crushing its own citizens.
But the UN Security Council appears unlikely to respond positively to US secretary of state Condoleezza Rices expected call on Monday for eaningful action against Mugabe.

China and Russia
Two of the councils five veto-wielding members China and Russia have not endorsed demands by the other three Britain, France and the US that Mugabe step down. China and Russia both vetoed a US-sponsored Security Council resolution in July calling for an arms embargo against Zimbabwe and financial restrictions on him and 13 other top officials. And there is no indication that Moscow and Beijing have grown favourably disposed to more direct efforts to bring about regime change in Zimbabwe. The US and its allies have also not managed to convince South Africa to take action likely to lead to Mugabes downfall. An unnamed US official was quoted last week as suggesting that if South Africa were to close its border with landlocked Zimbabwe, ithin a week, it would bring the (Zimbabwe) economy to its knees.r
South Africa does have the power to bring down Mugabe, US ambassador to Zimbabwe James McGee implied last week. Describing South Africa as he big dog on the block, he said that e expect South Africa to take an active stance on everything that happens in the southern tier of Africa. We do continue to work quietly and behind the scenes with South Africa to make that happen.

But just as South Africa continues to resist US pressure, America itself shows no sign of moving unilaterally to apply the Responsibility to Protect doctrine in the case of Zimbabwe. With the US already engaged militarily in both Iraq and Afghanistan, the American public has no appetite for an intervention in Africa. The African Union, which has dispatched forces to both Darfur and Somalia, has likewise made clear that it will not send troops into Zimbabwe, despite calls for such a step by Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga and respected South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Fallen short
All this has led Rice to express frustration over the worlds inability to topple oppressors such as Mr Mugabe. e all undertook this notion of a responsibility to protect a couple of years ago with great fanfare, and weve, as a community, fallen short, she said in an interview last week with National Public Radio in Washington.

The failure does not result from US inaction, she added. eve put unilateral sanctions on Sudan, on Burma, on Zimbabwe. And very often, weve been joined by other states, particularly the Europeans, in several of those circumstances. But much of the world is prepared to turn a blind eye, and thats really unfortunate, and I think it really damages the credibility of the Security Council.r
The incoming Obama administration can break this global deadlock, a group led by two former top-level US officials said last week. The Genocide Prevention Task Force, co-chaired by ex-Pentagon head William Cohen and ex-secretary of state Madeleine Albright, urged Obama and his designated foreign policy chief, Hillary Clinton, to launch obust diplomatic efforts to gain consensus for action on the part of the UN Security Council. principal aim should be informal, voluntary mutual restraint in the use or threat of a veto in cases involving ongoing or imminent mass atrocities, a report by the task force said.


2. What Can be Done to Protect Zimbabweans
The Japan Times
Ramesh Thakur
18 December 2008

Ramesh Thakur is a former assistant Secretary General at the United Nations and a member of the 2001 International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty.

The responsibility to protect (R2P) norm, embraced universally at the world summit in New York in 2005, remains operationally elusive. Calls are growing for international intervention to lift the shroud of Robert Mugabe's ruinous reign from Zimbabwe's body politic. () All this because one aging tyrant would rather rule by thuggery than give up power. Mugabe gets ever more delusional, declaring the epidemic is over while blaming it as a conspiracy hatched in London to provide the pretext to invade.Neighboring Botswana expresses frustration. Kenya's Prime Minister Raila Odinga is urging the African Union to authorize emergency U.N. intervention to take control of the situation and ensure humanitarian assistance.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu calls for intervention under the R2P norm. U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is appalled at our collective inability to deal with tyrants. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown says it is time for the bloodstained regime to be ousted. R2P holds that every state has the responsibility to protect all people inside its borders. When its failure to do so results in ethnic cleansing, war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide, world leaders promised in 2005, the international community, acting through the U.N. Security Council, will take "timely and decisive action." ()

The Security Council can launch investigations on its own or receive informal briefings from nongovernment organizations in the field. Unfortunately, as the Global Center for R2P notes, "the Council can never bring itself to act before a situation becomes catastrophic." ()

The recurring cycle is to urge and follow a wait-and-see policy until the bodies pile up in the streets and waterways, are shown graphically on worldwide TV, and a general wringing of hands ensues along with repeats of "never again." The alternative is to launch preventive action that is robust and effective in averting man-made tragedies. In retrospect, in our original R2P report we blurred the salient moral difference between incapacity and perpetration. Where states have the will but lack the capacity Afghanistan, Kosovo, East Timor, Nepal prevention measures can include humanitarian relief, economic assistance, rule-of-law and security sector reforms, and democratic institutional machinery.
But when despots inflict grave harm on their people, international prevention should cross the threshold from consensual to coercive measures. In Zimbabwe it should include broad global pressure, coordinated with regional organizations like the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the African Union (AU), in the form of targeted financial, educational and travel sanctions on all high-ranking officials and their families; their removal from all positions of authority in international institutions; arms embargoes; and the threat or actual referral of officials to the International Criminal Court.

Should these measures fail, as a last resort but only at the request and with the support of SADC and the AU, an international military intervention should be authorized. Making it time-bound and benchmarking progress will prevent it from turning into an occupying force. Zimbabwe's defense force is unlikely to offer formidable resistance. By refusing to sanction international intervention, African countries reinforce outside skepticism about their capacity for good governance as the key to lifting them out of conflicts, poverty and other pathologies. But without African backing an international intervention becomes a colonial enterprise. ()


3. Ending Zimbabwes Nightmare: A Possible Way Forward
International Crisis Group
16 December 2008

The inter-party negotiations that have sought to end Zimbabwes political, economic and now full-blown humanitarian crisis following the fraudulent June 2008 presidential election run-off are hopelessly deadlocked. ()

No new power-sharing formula premised on Mugabe remaining president and Tsvangirai becoming prime minister seems likely to produce a workable outcome. Nor does it seem realistic to contemplate any non-negotiated solution to the deadlock. Additional sanctions and other forms of external pressure could be applied but seem unlikely to be productive in the absence of a new approach. Despite the calls increasingly being made for outright military intervention to resolve the crisis, this seems a wholly unrealistic option, not least because regional resistance to any such course remains intense.

There is a possible negotiated way forward that could avoid Zimbabwes complete collapse. But it will need a radical shift in negotiating objectives by the countrys leaders and regional states, and the standing aside of Thabo Mbeki as mediator in favour of someone perceived as more neutral. The core idea is to establish a transitional administration, run by non-partisan experts, in which neither Mugabe nor Tsvangirai would have any position. ()


Full Report:

4. Please do Somethingut What?
The Economist
11 December 2008

THE Zimbabwe crisis has reached a new level that is both hideous and, paradoxically, hopeful. The hideous part is that people are dyingndeed, Zimbabwe as a country is dyingt an even faster rate than before, as cholera sweeps across the country. ()

The hopeful angle in this horror is that cracks are widening both in Mr Mugabes regime and among his backers elsewhere in Africa. Riots by unpaid junior soldiers have yet to spread to the middle ranks but may do so. South Africa and the Southern African Development Community, the 15-country regional club, continue to wobble and waffle, with South Africas ousted president, Thabo Mbeki, as feeble as ever in his mandated role as mediator. But the spread of cholera across the Limpopo river into South Africa has intensified the debate there. Talk in high places about removing Mr Mugabe, perhaps even by force, is no longer deemed outlandish. Archbishop Desmond Tutu, an icon of the anti-apartheid movement, has called for just that. Voices elsewhere in Africa, such as those of Botswanas president, Ian Khama, and Kenyas prime minister, Raila Odinga, have become louder in calling for Mr Mugabes demise.

Botswanas foreign minister wants sanctions against Zimbabwe to include stopping oil supplies.
In July a UN Security Council resolution to impose targeted sanctions (travel bans and asset freezes) against Mr Mugabe and his acolytes was blocked by China and Russia, with South Africa also dissenting, on the ground that Zimbabwe posed no threat to international stability. The blocking duo can hardly still argue that case with a straight face. Moreover, Zimbabwe is close to meeting the criteria for invoking the declaration endorsed at the UN in 2005 that there is an international responsibility to protect people facing, among other things, crimes against humanity. ()

Calling for military intervention before wider sanctions have been applied is premature, even though it may come to force in the end. And economic sanctions are themselves a blunt instrument that sometimes harm the people more than the rulers. Stopping oil supplies may have just that effect. But UN sanctions focused tightly on Mr Mugabe and his coterie, and supported by South Africa, could have a big impact. The leader of South Africas ruling party, Jacob Zuma, likely to be the countrys president next year, must surely respond to the crescendo of outrage. The power-sharing deal is being overtaken by events. Mr Tsvangirai is right to reject the one-sided conditions under which Mr Mugabe says he will implement it. As cholera and refugees threaten to destabilise South Africa itself, its rulers must start to consider drastic measures to rescue the benighted country that Zimbabwe has now become.


5. As Cholera Rages in Zimbabwe, Mugabe Wont Budge
TIME Magazine
Alex Perry
11 December

The growing cholera crisis in Zimbabwe, which the U.N. estimates has killed 783 people and has infected more than 16,000, simply doesn't exist in the mind of Robert Mugabe. "I am happy to say," the nation's president of 28 years announced on Thursday, "there is no cholera." And, he added, "now that there is no cholera, there is no cause for war."

Mugabe claims that the outbreak of a disease contracted by ingesting fecal matter in water in a country whose economy has collapsed and whose government barely functions, and where hunger stalks the land is all part of a fiendish Western plot to justify an invasion of Zimbabwe. To be sure, the idea of overthrowing Mugabe has growing support. French President Nicolas Sarkozy, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and U.S. President George Bush have all called for Mugabe to step down. Nobel laureate Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, Archbishop of York Dr. John Sentamu and Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga are among those who have gone even further, advocating international military intervention to overthrow Mugabe. They argue that the U.N. has a responsibility to take action under the Responsibility to Protect, an open-ended justification for humanitarian intervention that the U.N. adopted in 2005. ()

"You can have governments under threat from a few days of protest in Thailand or Greece, or food riots destabilizing regimes around the world," says Alex Vines, head of the Africa Program at the London think tank Chatham House, "but Zimbabwe is different. Zimbabwe always surprises you with how little changes." ()

And the autocratic leader has good reason to assume that armed intervention to topple him remains unlikely. The U.N. is already overstretched in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Darfur, and it isn't ready to enact a regime change. And even if the U.S. and the U.K. weren't also tied down in Iraq and Afghanistan, they long ago expended whatever political capital and influence they had over the situation in Zimbabwe, says Anthony Holmes, head of the Africa Program at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City. ()

If the West and Zimbabweans are unable to muster the power to depose Mugabe, what of his African neighbors? The two main African organizations with leverage over events in Zimbabwe are the African Union, which has peacekeepers in Darfur and Somalia, and the Southern African Development Community, which has overseen the stalled power-sharing talks between Mugabe and the MDC. The African country with the most power to affect change in Zimbabwe is South Africa, which supplies Zimbabwe's electricity and is the landlocked country's main link with the outside world. But political infighting in the ruling African National Congress has left South Africa without a clear policy on Zimbabwe, a situation unlikely to change before next spring's general election. And there's no consensus among other African governments, many of which share Mugabe's appetite for power, that Mugabe should have to go willingly or be forced out. "I think we are deluding ourselves if we believe that," says Holmes. "And that's the issue; that's the problem. It's a litmus test of African seriousness."

Holmes believes the aging Mugabe is in denial and that efforts to change the regime be they targeted sanctions, threats of prosecution at the Hague, negotiations or even the use of force should be targeted at his lieutenants, to "separate them from him, and from each other." As for Mugabe, Holmes says, "His reality rarely intersects with that of the 12 million people in his country. There is a zero-percent chance of a pragmatic response from him." Even the fact that scores of Zimbabweans are dying every day from a disease contracted by ingesting fecal matter in water which can be cured at a cost of a few cents per dose of medication won't produce a tipping point. "This is actually a slow process of degradation," says Vines. "And it can drag on for a very long time. Cholera just draws attention to it again. The story has not changed." Until it does, Zimbabwe's future will come down to a question of longevity. Who will die first Mugabe or his country?


V. China, Sovereignty and R2Pn Evolving Perspective

1. China and the Responsibility to Protect
The Asia-Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
19 December 2008

Executive Summary:
This report explores in detail Chinas position on the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) and a range of policy issues relating to R2P to highlight Chinas firm, but cautious, support for the principle. China has twice endorsed R2P at the UN, first at the World Summit in 2005 and later in Security Council Resolution 1674. Since then, China has clearly and consistently affirmed the R2P principle and issued corresponding
statements in favor of bolstering the UNs capacity to avert mass atrocity. It is important to note, however, that China remains persistently averse to non-consensual force and is reticent to apply sanctions, particularly when these measures are not fully backed by relevant regional organisations. Despite these reservations, China is not altogether opposed to the use of force with a civilian protection mandate. China acknowledges that force may be a necessary last resort to protect populations from mass atrocities, provided that the Security Council is the authorising body and troops are deployed after the consent of the host state has been secured. () This report locates Chinas policy preferences on R2PR2P related initiatives within the four programmatic dimensions for translating R2P from principle to practice identified by the UN Secretary-Generals Special Adviser apacity-building and rebuilding, early warning and assessment, timely and decisive response, and collaboration with regional and subregional arrangements. ()


2. Constructive Involvement and Harmonious World: Chinas Evolving Outlook on Sovereignty in the 21st Century
Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Briefing Paper 13
Gao Zugui
13 December 2008

The world order of the 21st century will much depend on Chin's willingness to join efforts of the international community to tackle state failure and internal violent conflict. Traditionally, China has valued a traditional definition of sovereignty. Gao Zugui analyses more recent developments in Chinese foreign policy that led to a more flexible and pragmatic approach. He outlines four preconditions under which China is prepared to take part in "constructive involvement", e.g. to engage more effectively in UN peacekeeping, peacebuilding, and the prevention of mass atrocities.

Full Report:

VI.R2P in the News

1. Never Again, for Real
The New York Times
Madeleine Albright and William Cohen
20 December 2008

Madeleine Albright and William Cohen are the former U.S. Secretaries of State and Defense, respectively, and co-chairs of the Genocide Prevention Task Force. This New York Times op-ed comes on the heels of the Genocide Prevention Task Force report, which was released on 8 December. Its goals were: (1) To spotlight genocide prevention as a national priority; and; (2) To develop practical policy recommendations to enhance the capacity of the U.S. government to respond to emerging threats of genocide and mass atrocities.

Some we see; others remain invisible to us. Some have names and faces; others we do not know. They are the victims of genocide and mass atrocities, their numbers too staggering to count.

This month was the 60th anniversary of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. It has been 20 years since the United States became a party to the treaty. Despite six decades of efforts to prevent and halt systematic campaigns of massacres, forced displacements and mass rapes, such atrocities persist. Why are we still lacking the necessary institutions, policies and strategies?

It is not because the public doesnt care. We have seen a surge in interest in this country, galvanized by the crisis in Darfur and driven in large part by students and faith-based organizations. And it is not because our leaders do not care. Over the years, many champions in Congress and successive administrations have demanded more action to stop genocide. ()

Barack Obama should demonstrate at the outset of his presidency that preventing genocide is a national priority. No matter how one calculates American interests, national borders today provide little sanctuary from international problems. Left unchecked, genocide will undermine American security.

First, genocide fuels instability usually in weak, undemocratic, corrupt states. It is in these states that we find terrorist recruitment and training, human trafficking and civil strife.

Second, genocide and mass atrocities have long-lasting consequences that go far beyond the states in which they occur. Refugees flow into bordering countries and then across the globe. The need for humanitarian aid can quickly exceed the capacities and resources of a generous world. The international community, including the United States, is called on to absorb displaced people and to undertake relief efforts. And the longer we wait to act, the higher the price tag.

Third, Americas standing in the world is eroded when we are perceived as bystanders to genocide. Yes, we must understand that preventing mass killings may eventually require military intervention, but this is always at the end of the list of intervention options, not the beginning. We must learn to recognize the early warning signs of genocide and move quickly to marshal international cooperation, to bring diplomatic and economic pressure to bear against those who violate the norms of civilized behavior. ()

We are keenly aware that the incoming presidents agenda will be daunting from Day One. But preventing genocide and mass atrocities is not an idealistic addition to our core foreign policy agenda. It is a moral and strategic imperative.


2. Fighting Wars of Peace
Jonathon Tepperman
13 December 2008

Civil wars rage in Congo, Somalia and Sudan. Thousands of civilians have been killed and hundreds of thousands more driven from their homes. The prime minister of Kenya just called for foreign troops to be sent to Zimbabwe. But U.N. and African Union peacekeepers are already hopelessly outmatched elsewhere in Africa, and European promises to send troops have so far yielded nothing. There was a time when the United States might have stepped inmerica launched multiple humanitarian interventions in the 1990sut its ardor for such missions seems to have been extinguished by Iraq. Even former secretary of state Madeleine Albright, who helped orchestrate interventions in Haiti, Bosnia and Kosovo during the Clinton years, now says such missions "would seem impossible in today's climate."

Unless Obama's foreign-policy team has its way, that is. His choice for U.N. ambassador, Susan Rice, served on the National Security Council during the Rwanda genocide and has vowed that if she ever faces a similar crisis, she will "come down on the side of dramatic action." Vice President-elect Joe Biden called during the campaign for imposing a no-fly zone in Darfur and, a year earlier, advocated committing "U.S. troops on the ground" if necessary. And Hillary Clinton, the incoming secretary of state, was a forceful advocate of the interventions in Bosnia and Kosovo during her husband's administration.
Of course, campaign rhetoric is one thing. Many analysts warn that to commit troops to a future humanitarian crisis, Team Obama would have to either pull weary forces away from Iraq and Afghanistan or cut back even further on home rest and retraining between missions. It would have to overcome the trepidation of foreign nations, which now tend to see U.S. troops as "the spearhead of regime change," says James Traub, a writer and the director of policy for the Global Center for the Responsibility to Protect. ()

Meanwhile, much of the international opposition to U.S. military action is specific to George W. Bush and will dissolve come January. That's especially true for interventions to stop mass killings, which have grown much more palatable to the international community since Kosovo, Rwanda and Darfur. The United Nations recently unanimously approved the "Responsibility to Protect" doctrine that gives such missions international imprimatur. And as Ivo Daalder, another prominent Obama adviser, and Robert Kagan have pointed out, between 1989 and 2001 America dispatched significant military force to foreign hot spots so oftennce every 18 monthshat intervention became something of a standard weapon of U.S. foreign policy, and one with bipartisan support. ()

But post-Cold War U.S. history shows that humanitarian intervention cuts across party and ideological lines. As Kagan argues, "when there is a perceived intersection between a failed state, a potential humanitarian catastrophe and a possible risk to regional or U.S. security," the hard decision for a U.S. president isn't whether to go in, it's whether to stay out. "As a theoretical matter it's easy to say we're not going to get involved," says Kagan. "But as a practical matter, because everything has implications beyond itself, it's not so easy avoid." In fact, it's not just difficult; if history's any guide, you might even call it un-American.


3. To Intervene or Not to Intervene, That is the Question
CBC Canada
Thomas Rose
9 December 2008

The following article offers analysis of the Munk Debates which took place on 1 December 2008, featuring Rick Hillier and John Bolton arguing against humanitarian intervention and Mia Farrow and Gareth Evans arguing in favor of it. More information on the Munk Debates can be found at

The economy isn't the only human endeavour taking a beating these days. The pursuit of universal human rights is also under assault. And it's not a stretch to say that the two are connected () Prior to 9/11 and its aftermath, there had been a half-century of nearly uninterrupted acceptance of the idea that there are certain core rights to which all humans are entitled. But that support seems to be shifting and nowhere is this more evident than in the world's attitude toward the concept of humanitarian intervention. Remember Bosnia? Remember Kosovo? Remember then President Bill Clinton saying "enough is enough" to former Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic?

() These were the actions of world leaders who were cognizant of values thought to be at the very core of the community of nations, not to mention the human condition, stuff like the right to be free from state oppression, the right not to be exterminated, the right to justice.

Times change
Back then, the pillars of the international community accepted their responsibility to prevent ethnic cleansing and genocide, to arrest war criminals, to restore democracy and to provide disaster relief when national governments were either unable or unwilling to do so. () The reluctance of the Western world to go where it once boldly went was at the heart of a recent debate in Toronto before a well-heeled crowd who had gathered to witness a publicized clash over the value of humanitarian intervention. The tension between narrow national interests and global humanitarian values promised to heat up an otherwise frigid late-fall evening at what are known as the Munk Debates, sponsored by the University of Toronto. It was a promise largely unkept. ()

The right to protect
() In support of the right to protect, actress and activist Mia Farrow, delivered a largely listless defence of humanitarian intervention while the event's obligatory dark knight, (George W. Bush's) former ambassador to the UN John Bolton, fired off well aimed rounds of crisp rhetoric wrapped in impeccable logic. What's more, if Bolton dominated the debate, it was his intellectual partner in the night's event, Gen. Rick Hillier, Canada's former chief of defence staff, who came in a close second. Hillier cautioned people not to confuse national interest with an appeal to global values. ()

For or against
() Prior to the start of the debate, the audience voted either for or against humanitarian intervention. Pre-debate results were 79/21 in favour. In the end, few changed their position. Post-debate, the results were 68/32 in favour. Still, while most of the audience seemed sympathetic to the right to protect and humanitarian intervention, one couldn't help but wonder just how deep that support went. Consider Zimbabwe's almost criminally neglectful response to the plight of its people or Sudan's equally criminal actions against the people of Darfur, or the European Union's reluctance to intervene in the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo. ()

Universal declaration
This month, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Magna Carta of our times, marks its 60th anniversary. With national interests seemingly nudging out global values, it's as good a time as any to re-assess our notion of what the international system is meant to be. Is it just a collection of legal nuts and bolts cobbled together by governments to protect other governments? Or is it a living framework of rules designed to internationalize the human conscience? ()


WITNESS Call for Videos

WITNESS is an organization that documents and exposes human rights violations through media and video. The following call for contributions is posted here, along with more information.

In honor of the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, WITNESS, an organization that documents and exposes human rights violations using media and video, has created a video montage with different WITNESS staff members speaking about images that illuminated different human rights abuses around the world. They are looking for videos and photos to be posted on their website, whether it ave you hope, inspired you to take action, or showed you how far we still have to go. You may either upload your videoagged UDHR60r respond with text on the WITNESS hub. To see the project and for more information, please visit

Thanks to Emily Cody for compiling this listserv

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