Actualizing the Responsibility to Protect
October 22, 2008
On September 16, 2005, the World Summit at the United Nations unanimously affirmed the “responsibility to protect populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.” That action was a politically important step in establishing the significance of the doctrinal Responsibility to Protect (R2P). Putting R2P into practice presents a separate and even more difficult set of challenges.
Because R2P addresses issues of sovereignty, developing countries are particularly sensitive to the way in which the idea is implemented. In many parts of the world, there is wariness if not outright resistance. However, at the Stanley Foundation’s 43rd conference on the United Nations of the Next Decade, held in the Convento do Espinheiro in Évora, Portugal, between June 20 and June 25, 2008, there were clear indications that many developing countries - some living with quite recent atrocities at home or in neighboring countries - are embracing R2P in the spirit of “never again.”
The Stanley Foundation’s Evera conference provided an important forum for representatives of UN member states, Secretariat officials, and experts from think tanks and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to reflect on ways of putting the idea into action. The conference was held ahead of consideration of this topic by the UN General Assembly and a few weeks before UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon’s speech about R2P in Berlin. This report highlights the primary findings, conclusions, and recommendations that surfaced in the course of five days of substantive dialogue.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 56
Keywords: Responsibility to Protect, Genocide, War Crimes, Crimes Against Humanity, Ethnic Cleansing, United Nations, Conflict Preventionworking papers series
Date posted: March 24, 2010 ; Last revised: August 22, 2010
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