Tenth Anniversary of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P)
High-level Thematic Panel Discussion: “Ten Years of the Responsibility to Protect: From Commitment to Implementation”
UNITED NATIONS, 24 February 2016 – The President of the UN General Assembly, Mr. Mogens Lykketoft, will convene a Thematic Panel Discussion to mark the 10th anniversary of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P), the political commitment unanimously endorsed by all UN member states at the 2005 World Summit to prevent genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity. For Mr. Lykketoft “The adoption of the Responsibility to Protect at the 2005 United Nations World Summit represented a historic commitment by the international community to prevent genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.”
The meeting will be attended by leaders and eminent experts involved in the creation, development and implementation of R2P. Panelists include Mr. Gareth Evans, Co-Chair of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty and of the International Advisory Board of the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, Ms. Navi Pillay, former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and Dr. Edward C. Luck, former United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Advisor on the Responsibility to Protect.
The United Nations Special Adviser on the Responsibility to Protect Special Adviser for Ms. Jennifer Welsh, who is also part of the panel stresses the importance of R2P “As an aspiration, the responsibility to protect offers us an alternative to indifference and fatalism in the face of atrocity crimes. As a framework for action, it provides us with guidance on prevention and response.”
To explore how to best contribute to future efforts to protection populations from atrocity crimes in the next decade the event will also include an interactive segment for Member States and civil society to contribute to the discussion.
The Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Jan Eliasson, will join the President of General Assembly in delivering opening remarks. The United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Advisor on the Prevention of Genocide, Mr. Adama Dieng, will moderate the discussion.
The Responsibility to Protect was unanimously endorsed by all United Nations member states in paragraphs 138 and 139 of the 2005 World Summit Outcome Document. Member states affirmed their primary responsibility to protect their own populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity and accepted a collective responsibility to assist each other in fulfilling this responsibility. They also declared their preparedness to take timely and decisive action, in accordance with the United Nations Charter, and in cooperation with relevant regional organizations as appropriate, when national authorities manifestly fail to protect their populations from these four crimes and violations.
Significant progress has been made during the past decade in elaborating this commitment. The past decade has also witnessed growing commitment to transforming the principle into practice. International engagement in cases successfully mitigated the risks of atrocity crimes, demonstrating that the collective weight of the international community can make a difference. Despite this progress, urgent challenges remain. Acts that may constitute atrocity crimes are currently occurring in far too many crises. The world has also witnessed the alarming rise of non-State armed groups that seek to spread violent extremist ideologies and are brazenly perpetrating atrocity crimes. Given the ongoing occurrence of these grave international crimes and in light of the progress made over the past decade, the responsibility to protect remains a vital and enduring commitment.
What: High-level Thematic Panel Discussion on the Responsibility to Protect
When: Friday, 26 February 2016, 10:00AM – 1:00PM EST
Where: Trusteeship Council, UN Headquarters, New York or live through webtv.un.org
Registration: For UN Media Accreditation, please visit: un.org/en/media/accreditation
Social Media: Main Hashtag is #R2P and key accounts on Twitter are @UN_PGA, @UN_GP_RtoP, and @GCR2P
For more information, please visit:
Office of the President of the General Assembly website
UN Office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect website
Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect website
Mr. Dan Thomas, Office of the President of the UN General Assembly, T: +1 917 225 1913, E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. Evan Cinq-Mars, Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, T: +1- 212 817-1931, E: email@example.com