ICRtoP and FEMNET organize press conference in Mali to introduce SG report Print
Wednesday, 15 April 2009 06:59
ICRtoP and FEMNET organize press conference in Mali to introduce report of the Secretary General on RtoP
15 April 2009

Wednesday April 15, 2009, the African Women's Development and Communication Network (FEMNET) in cooperation with the People’s Movement for Human Rights Education (PDHRE/PDEDH) and the International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect (ICRtoP) organized a press conference in Bamako, Mali on the RtoP norm. This press conference included the participation of the Defense Ministry and the National Security and Civil Protection Ministry, Mali non-government organization and the media. The objective of the Mali press conference was to inform the media and civil society about the RtoP and to press decision-makers and public opinion in Mali to support the implementation of the norm based on Secretary-General Ban Ki moon’s January 2009 report entitled Implementing the Responsibility to Protect. This initiative is part of ICRtoP’s efforts to raise awareness of the report, and was part of a series of press conferences organized in Tanzania, Ghana and Mali.

Mrs. Mama Koité Doumbia, President of FEMNET/Mali introduced FEMNET’s efforts in promoting and protecting human rights for the last 21 years, including for the past five years support and activities to further the Responsibility to Protect (RtoP). She also introduced the launch of the International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect last January.

PDRHE’s Secretary-General, Mr Mohamed El Moctar Mahamar gave an introduction to the RtoP as a new international paradigm to address the occurrence of genocide, crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansing and war crimes after the failure of the UN to prevent and halt atrocities in situations such as Cambodia, Rwanda and Bosnia.

Mrs. Doumbia distributed a summary of the January 2009 report of the Secretary General on the RtoP and presented its content. She underlined that RtoP applied specifically to genocide, ethnic cleansing, war crimes and crimes against humanity and that the norm lies on three pillars, namely 1) the protection responsibilities of the state, 2) international assistance and capacity building, and 3) timely and decisive response to prevent and halt genocide, ethnic cleansing, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Mrs. Doumbia emphasized for member states to muster political will to see that this important new tool is operationalized. She reminded of the important role of civil society in pushing states to do so and ensuring that Member States embraces their responsibilities. She called on the Mali government to embrace the SG’s report in the upcoming debate in the General Assembly.

Twenty representatives of the media attended this very successful event. Please see newspaper articles here or see the following articles online (in French):

- La Quotidien, Mise en œuvre de la « responsabilité de protéger » : La société civile s’implique

- Mali Actu, La responsabilite de proteger : Comment engager la societe civile?

- L’essor, "La responsabilité de protéger": de la parole aux actes