The Mandate and Role of the Office
Mandate for the Prevention of Genocide
In a 2004 letter (S/2004/567) to the President of the Security Council, the Secretary-General listed the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide’s responsibilities as follows:
- Collecting existing information, in particular from within the United Nations system, on massive and serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law of ethnic and racial origin that, if not prevented or halted, might lead to genocide;
- Acting as a mechanism of early warning to the Secretary-General, and through him to the Security Council, by bringing to their attention situations that could potentially result in genocide;
- Making recommendations to the Security Council, through the Secretary-General, on actions to prevent or halt genocide; and
- Liaising with the United Nations system on activities for the prevention of genocide and work to enhance the United Nations’ capacity to analyze and manage information regarding genocide or related crimes.
Mandate for the Responsibility to Protect
In a 2007 letter (S/2007/721) to the President of the Security Council and a 2010 report (A/64/864) on “Early Warning, Assessment and the Responsibility to Protect”, the Secretary-General recognized the need to further operationalize the Responsibility to Protect concept. In this context, the primary roles of the Special Adviser on the Responsibility to Protect is the conceptual, political and institutional development and further refinement of the Responsibility to Protect concept as well as consensus-building to assist the General Assembly to continue consideration of this issue.
In addition to the mandate, the legal framework for the work of the Office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect is drawn from:
- The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide;
- The wider body of international human rights law, international humanitarian law, and international criminal law;
- Relevant resolutions of the General Assembly, the Security Council and the Human Rights Council, including the 2005 World Summit Outcome Document.