About the R2PCS Project at WFM-IGP (2003-2009)
Project Background: The Responsibility to Protect-Engaging Civil Society (R2PCS) project was housed within the Institute for Global Policy (IGP) in New York. IGP is associated with the World Federalist Movement (WFM).
I. Responsibility to Protect-Engaging Civil Society (R2PCS)
In 2002, the World Federalist Movement-Institute for Global Policy (WFM-IGP) conducted preliminary consultations with non-government organizations (NGOs) from all regions to discuss the Canadian-sponsored independent International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (ICISS) report entitled Responsibility to Protect, and the potential role of civil society in its promotion and/or operationalization. The response to The Responsibility to Protect, described in WFM-IGP's final report of the consultation process, was very positive. Civil society groups were interested in promoting some of its key concepts, and more importantly working towards the implementation of the reports recommendations. In particular, there was a strong desire to ensure that governments and the international community take seriously the responsibility to respond to emerging crises, and that they do so at an early stage when non-military options are available.
See WFM-IGP's Summary of the ICISS Report
Following the consultation stage, WFM-IGP established the Responsibility to Protect-Engaging Civil Society (R2PCS) project in 2003 to engage civil society in the advancement of the Responsibility to Protect in order to achieve early and effective responses by governments and the international community to protect populations from genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing.
Since the launch of the project in 2003, the following areas of activity have been priorities for R2PCS:
1. Awareness raising and building civil society advocacy capacity.
- Increase awareness of the Responsibility to Protect through meetings, conferences, information services and publications;
- Build capacity for NGOs to advance the RtoP norm by partnering with national, regional and international NGOs in organizing meetings and other events to ensure sustained dialogue and action on RtoP.
2. Strengthening the acceptance of the Responsibility to Protect norm.
- At the international level, promote strong RtoP language to be included in UN statements and resolutions;
- Work at the regional level to gain endorsement and support of RtoP by regional organizations and regional parliaments;
- At the national level, ensure understanding and support for RtoP within governments and seek parliamentary resolutions.
3. Promoting the implementation of R2P by UN, regional and national actors.
- Work with a core group of NGOs and build partnerships with governments to advance implementing RtoP at the UN;
- Encourage NGOs to evaluate challenges and strategies to implement RtoP in their regions and sub-regions;
- Work with national NGOs from key countries to enhance their national strategies and capacity to implement RtoP;
- Advance discussions of how RtoP applies to country-specific cases
II. 2007: Building an NGO Coalition on R2P
Beginning in September 2007, the Responsibility to Protect-Engaging Civil Society (R2PCS) project at the World Federalist Movement-Institute for Global Policy (WFM-IGP) embarked on a new initiative: to build a global civil society coalition for the responsibility to protect. There remained a need to increase activity and collaboration between NGOs working to promote the RtoP agenda, drawing on NGOs detailed knowledge of internal developments in countries facing potential or current atrocities, expertise in the conceptual aspects of RtoP, and ability to mobilize the public and press. This initiative -- supported by Oxfam International, Human Rights Watch, International Crisis Group, and Refugees International -- complements the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect launched at the Ralph Bunche Institute at the City University of New York in February 2008.
To facilitate building a global coalition with representation from both Northern and Southern NGOs, R2PCS first organized a series of consultative roundtables with NGOs worldwide, to 1) increase understanding of RtoP and how it applies to conflicts in the region and 2) explore how to strengthen regional and international mechanisms to support RtoP 3) forge partnerships with NGOs who are interested in joining in a core group in building an NGO coalition.
To see more on the process of building the Coalition and the outcomes of the global roundtables, Click here
III. Since 2009: WFM-IGP as Secretariat for the International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect
On 28 January 2009, WFM-IGP, along with seven other Steering Committee members launched the International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect (ICRtoP). The founding Steering Committee met to discuss principles, purposes, and structure of the Coalition, as well as some objectives for the first year.
The International Secretariat of the Coalition is currently hosted by the World Federalist Movement-Institute for Global Policy (WFM-IGP) in New York and WFM-IGP has integrated its five year old R2PCS project into the Coalition initiative.
Launch of the Coalition Press Release
UN Press Briefing Webcast on the Launch of the Coalition
More Information on the Coalition
The R2PCS project has received the generous support of the Governments of Sweden and the United Kingdom, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Oak Foundation, the Arsenault Family Foundation and individual donations.