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International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect
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Important Update
8 March 2007

Dear Colleagues,
We are writing in regards to recent developments on the position of the Special Adviser to the Secretary General for the Prevention of Genocide. From consultations with several governments, international NGOs, and UN offices in the past 48 hours, WFM-IGP has learned that Secretary General has been considering a proposal to "upgrade" the position and to change its institutional placement. We understand that the following changes are under serious consideration and decisions could be made very soon:

1. Changing the name from the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide to the Special Adviser on the Responsibility to Protect.

2. This position would also reportedly be an Assistant Secretary General for Human Rights, thus it would be a dual position of SA"R2P" and head of the office of OHCHR in New York.

These two changes have potential implications for the development of the responsibility to protect norm and its implementation.

With respect to the title:

Given the political climate where R2P remains controversial, does a post within the Secretariat with this label help with the promotion of R2P and forward the work of the Special Adviser?
Would changing the title from genocide to R2P improve access to the Security Council?
Have consultation with key supporting North and South governments taken place?
With respect to linking the SA"R2P" to OHCHR New York office:
Will one UN department as the lead voice on R2P in the UN system be able to effectively deliver on R2P?
Does it risk downgrading the specific security concerns that are associated with the R2P crimes by folding them into a broader human rights framework?
If you think that these changes require further analysis, we encourage you to contact the SG's office, OHCHR and your government.

Best regards,

The R2PCS project

Sapna Chhatpar
Program Associate
Responsibility to Protect - Engaging Civil Society Project
Institute for Global Policy
708 Third Avenue, 24th Floor
New York, NY 10017
212.599.1320 x32
fax 212.599.1332
www.responsibilitytoprotect.org
 

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