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  • Author: Simon Adams
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  • Abstract: This year the world will celebrate the 75th anniversary of the adoption of the Charter of the United Nations. But celebrations recognizing this historical landmark will occur at a time when the entire post-1945 structure of human rights, humanitarianism and multilateral diplomacy are under threat. Not since the UN was first formed have so many people been displaced by persecution, conflict and war. Not since the peak of the Cold War has the UN Security Council appeared so bitterly divided and incapable of decisive action. And as a new decade begins, there are renewed threats to international peace and security, and fresh assaults on human dignity.
  • Topic: Genocide, Human Rights, Social Movement, Refugees, Syrian War, Responsibility to Protect (R2P), UN Security Council
  • Political Geography: China, Yemen, United Nations, Syria, Chile, Myanmar, Global Focus, Xinjiang
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  • Abstract: A letter to the UN Human Rights Council from a number of NGOs (African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies (ACDHRS); AfricanDefenders (Pan-African Human Rights Defenders Network); Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS); Center for Reproductive Rights; Central African Network of Human Rights Defenders (REDHAC) CIVICUS; Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO) – South Sudan; Crown The Woman – South Sudan; DefendDefenders (the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project); Dominicans for Justice and Peace; Geneva for Human Rights / Genève pour les Droits de l’Homme; Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect (GCR2P); Human Rights Watch; International Commission of Jurists; FIDH (International Federation for Human Rights); International Movement Against All Forms of Discrimination and Racism (IMADR); International Service for Human Rights; Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada; Legal Action Worldwide (LAW); National Alliance for Women Lawyers – South Sudan; Southern Africa Human Rights Defenders Network (SAHRDN); South Sudan Human Rights Defenders Network (SSHRDN); World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT)).
  • Topic: Civil Society, Human Rights, United Nations, NGOs
  • Political Geography: Africa, United Nations, South Sudan
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  • Abstract: Since the principle of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) was unanimously adopted at the 2005 UN World Summit, the international community has looked to the UN Security Council in New York to respond when a government has been unwilling or unable to protect its population from war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide or ethnic cleansing. Paragraphs 138-139 of the World Summit Outcome Document recognize the Security Council’s unique role with regard to upholding the international community’s responsibility to protect as the body primarily responsible for the maintenance of international peace and security. However, the Human Rights Council (HRC) and other Geneva-based mechanisms are also essential for preventing atrocity crimes. Since systematic or widespread human rights violations serve as early warning signs of possible atrocities, Geneva-based mechanisms are often the first to raise the alarm regarding situations where violations and abuses threaten to deepen or deteriorate. Such mechanisms play an important role in enabling the international community to assist states in preventing mass atrocities (R2P’s Pillar II) and respond in a timely and decisive manner to atrocity risks (Pillar III).
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Law, Responsibility to Protect (R2P), UN Security Council, Atrocities
  • Political Geography: United Nations, Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  • Abstract: Today the UN General Assembly elected Armenia, Brazil, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Libya, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Namibia, Netherlands, Poland, Republic of Korea, Sudan and Venezuela to the Human Rights Council (HRC) for the 2020-2022 term. With the elections of Germany, Japan, Marshall Islands, Netherlands and Republic of Korea, 20 of the 47 Council members during 2020 will also be members of the Group of Friends of the Responsibility to Protect in Geneva.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Ethnic Cleansing, Responsibility to Protect (R2P), Atrocities
  • Political Geography: Japan, Sudan, Indonesia, Poland, Libya, Brazil, Germany, Armenia, United Nations, Venezuela, Korea, Netherlands, Mauritania, Namibia, Marshall Islands
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  • Abstract: The 42nd regular session of the Human Rights Council (HRC) was held in Geneva between 9 and 27 September 2019. As the primary international human rights body, the HRC has the capacity to prevent and respond to mass atrocity crimes, as systematic violations and abuses of human rights can be an indicator of potential genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity or ethnic cleansing. The summary below highlights major outcomes from the 42nd session as they relate to the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) populations from such crimes. As part of the session, the Netherlands delivered a statement on behalf of 53 members of the Group of Friends of R2P.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Transitional Justice, Responsibility to Protect (R2P), Atrocities, UN Human Rights Council (HRC)
  • Political Geography: Sudan, Yemen, Democratic Republic of the Congo, United Nations, Syria, Somalia, Burundi, Bolivia, Myanmar, Central African Republic
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  • Abstract: The 41st regular session of the Human Rights Council (HRC) was held in Geneva between 24 June and 12 July 2019. As the primary international human rights body, the Human Rights Council has the capacity to prevent and respond to mass atrocity crimes, as systematic violations and abuses of human rights can be potential indicators of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity or ethnic cleansing. The summary below highlights major outcomes and relevant dialogues from the 41st session as they relate to the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) populations from such crimes. As part of the session, the Netherlands and Rwanda delivered two statements on behalf of members of the Group of Friends of R2P.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Law, Responsibility to Protect (R2P), Atrocities, UN Human Rights Council (HRC)
  • Political Geography: Philippines, Democratic Republic of the Congo, United Nations, Syria, Netherlands, Rwanda, Eritrea
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  • Abstract: The eleventh report of the UN Secretary-General on the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) emphasizes the important role of prevention. The report takes stock of a range of measures that individual states and the international community can undertake while upholding their preventive responsibilities based upon best practices since the adoption of R2P at the 2005 UN World Summit. While acknowledging a growing number of contemporary atrocity situations around the world, the Secretary-General cautions that “there is a growing gap between our words of commitment and the experience of protecting vulnerable populations.” The report offers a number of practical policy suggestions based upon experiences of the last decade and serves as a call to action for member states and international institutions.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Law, Responsibility to Protect (R2P), Atrocities
  • Political Geography: United Nations, Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  • Abstract: Today, 7 June 2019, the United Nations General Assembly elected Estonia, Niger, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Tunisia and Viet Nam to the UN Security Council for the period of 2020-2021. With their election, 6 of the 15 members of the Council in 2020 will be “Friends of the Responsibility to Protect” – having appointed an R2P Focal Point and/or joined the Group of Friends of R2P in New York and Geneva.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Human Rights, Sovereignty, Responsibility to Protect (R2P), UN Security Council, Atrocities
  • Political Geography: Vietnam, Estonia, United Nations, Tunisia, Niger, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  • Abstract: The 40th regular session of the Human Rights Council (HRC) was held in Geneva between 25 February and 22 March 2019. As the primary international human rights body, the Human Rights Council has the capacity to prevent and respond to mass atrocity crimes, as systematic violations and abuses of human rights can be potential indicators of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity or ethnic cleansing. The summary below highlights major outcomes and relevant dialogues from the 40th session as they relate to the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) populations from such crimes. As part of the session, the Netherlands delivered a statement on behalf of members of the Group of Friends of R2P.
  • Topic: International Law, State Violence, Responsibility to Protect (R2P), Atrocities, UN Human Rights Council (HRC)
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, North Korea, Palestine, United Nations, Nicaragua, Syria, Myanmar, South Sudan, Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  • Abstract: The 39th regular session of the Human Rights Council (HRC) was held in Geneva between 10 and 28 September 2018. As the primary international human rights body, the Human Rights Council has the capacity to prevent and respond to mass atrocity crimes, as systematic violations and abuses of human rights can be potential indicators of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity or ethnic cleansing. The summary below highlights major outcomes and relevant dialogues from the 39th session as they relate to the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) populations from such crimes. As part of the session, the Netherlands delivered two statements on behalf of 49 members of the Group of Friends of R2P.
  • Topic: International Law, Responsibility to Protect (R2P), Atrocities, UN Human Rights Council (HRC)
  • Political Geography: Africa, Middle East, Asia, South America, United Nations, Central America, Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  • Abstract: Today the UN General Assembly elected Argentina, Austria, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Czech Republic, Denmark, Eritrea, Fiji, India, Italy, Philippines, Somalia, Togo and Uruguay to the Human Rights Council (HRC) for the 2019-2021 term. With the elections of Argentina, Bangladesh, Czech Republic, Denmark, Italy and Uruguay, 20 of the 47 Council members during 2019 are also members of the Group of Friends of the Responsibility to Protect in Geneva.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Elections, Responsibility to Protect (R2P), Atrocities, UN Human Rights Council (HRC)
  • Political Geography: United Nations, Global Focus
  • Author: Jared Genser
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  • Abstract: When it was adopted by the United Nations (UN) system in 2005, the doctrine of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) was meant to provide an implementation mechanism for the international community to respond to governments that were perpetrating the mass atrocity crimes of genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and crimes against humanity. As R2P is now in its second decade of existence, it is important to evaluate past implementation of R2P by the UN Security Council — the UN body charged with taking collective action when all other preventive efforts have failed and atrocity crimes are being committed or are imminent. This briefing paper is a summary of a more detailed law review article recently published in the University of Chicago Journal of International Law.
  • Topic: Genocide, War Crimes, Ethnic Cleansing, International Community, Responsibility to Protect (R2P), UN Security Council, Crimes Against Humanity
  • Political Geography: United Nations, Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 08-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  • Abstract: During the 2005 United Nations World Summit, heads of state and government accepted the responsibility of every state to protect its population from four crimes: genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing. The first three crimes are legally defined in various international legal documents, such as the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, the 1949 Geneva Conventions and their 1977 Additional Protocols, and the 1998 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Their status as international crimes is based on the belief that the acts associated with them affect the core dignity of human beings, both in times of peace and in times of war.
  • Topic: Genocide, War Crimes, Ethnic Cleansing, Crimes Against Humanity
  • Political Geography: United Nations, Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  • Abstract: The 38th regular session of the Human Rights Council (HRC) was held in Geneva between 18 June and 6 July 2018. As the primary international human rights body, the Human Rights Council has the capacity to prevent and respond to potential mass atrocity crimes. The summary below highlights major outcomes and relevant dialogues from the 38th session as they relate to the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) populations from genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and ethnic cleansing. As part of the session, the Netherlands and Australia delivered two statements on behalf of the 51 members of the Group of Friends of R2P.
  • Topic: Responsibility to Protect (R2P), Atrocities, UN Human Rights Council (HRC), Crimes Against Humanity
  • Political Geography: Democratic Republic of the Congo, United Nations, Syria, Eritrea
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  • Abstract: Today, 8 June 2018, the United Nations General Assembly elected Belgium, Dominican Republic, Germany, Indonesia and South Africa to the UN Security Council for 2019-2020. With their election, 9 of the 15 members of the Council in 2019 will be “Friends of the Responsibility to Protect” – having appointed an R2P Focal Point and/or joined the Group of Friends of R2P in New York and Geneva. The global displacement of civilians due to conflict, mass atrocities and persecution is at its highest level since the end of the Second World War. As the UN body responsible for maintaining international peace and security, the Security Council must ensure that populations in every country are protected from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.
  • Topic: UN Security Council, UN Human Rights Council (HRC)
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, South Africa, Germany, Belgium, United Nations, Dominican Republic
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  • Abstract: The 37th regular session of the Human Rights Council (HRC) was held in Geneva between the 26 February and 23 March 2018. As the primary international human rights body, the Human Rights Council has the capacity to prevent and respond to mass atrocity crimes, as systematic violations and abuses of human rights can be an indicator of potential genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity or ethnic cleansing. The summary below highlights major outcomes and relevant dialogues from the 37th session as they relate to the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) populations from such crimes. As part of the session, the Netherlands and Rwanda delivered two statements on behalf of the fifty-one members of the Group of Friends of R2P.
  • Topic: International Law, Elections, Atrocities, UN Human Rights Council (HRC)
  • Political Geography: United Nations, Global Focus
  • Author: Simon Adams
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  • Abstract: When we think of the Holocaust our mind slips inexorably to dismal images of cattle cars stuffed with people, or to gas chambers, crematoria and the cruel irony of the “Arbeit Macht Frei” gate. But of the six million Jews killed during the Holocaust over a million were shot with rifles and other small arms. They were not killed in concentration camps, but were murdered in fields or forests and pitched into mass graves outside villages in Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe. Before Auschwitz, Sobibor or Treblinka, the Holocaust began with bullets. The same is true of most mass atrocities carried out since 1945. From the killing fields of Cambodia to the burnt villages of Darfur, most of the killing was done with rifles and other small arms. It is for this reason that there is an enduring connection between preventing atrocities and confronting the international arms trade. The AK-47, or Kalashnikov, is the most popular weapon in the world today, with an estimated 70 million currently in existence. Numerous countries manufacture local variants of the ubiquitous assault rifle and while a new Chinese-made AK-47 might cost you $500, you can easily purchase one in many former conflict zones for as cheap as $50. When I lived in Johannesburg during the mid-1990s, leftover AK-47s from the civil war in Mozambique were still making their way through the townships and some entrepreneurial gangs were even renting out their AK-47s to other aspiring criminals at an hourly rate.
  • Topic: Violent Extremism, Weapons , Arms Trade, Responsibility to Protect (R2P)
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Middle East, United Nations, Global Focus
  • Author: Simon Adams
  • Publication Date: 10-2016
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  • Abstract: The United Nations faces an existential crisis. The norms that bind and ‘safeguard humanity’ are currently under threat. The deliberate bombing of hospitals and the indiscriminate killing of civilians has become almost routine in Syria and several other conflicts. Numerous governments and murderous non-state actors (like isis or Boko Haram) are defying international humanitarian and human rights law. This article argues that the solution to the current global exigency and a central challenge facing the next Secretary-General is to achieve an equilibrium shift away from crisis response and towards conflict prevention. This is especially true with regard to preventing mass atrocity crimes (genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing). Historically, no single issue has done more to tarnish the reputation of the un than the failure to halt atrocities. Under a committed Secretary-General, the un has unique capacity to prevent these crimes.
  • Topic: International Law, Displacement, Conflict, Violence, Responsibility to Protect (R2P)
  • Political Geography: United Nations, Syria, Global Focus
  • Author: George A. Lopez
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  • Abstract: The cases where sanctions have been applied to protect populations experiencing on-going or impending mass atrocities are few and have produced mixed results. The UN Security Council imposed various targeted sanctions in 2005 in the case of Darfur, and in Côte d'Ivoire and Libya in 2011.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Human Rights, Human Welfare, Humanitarian Aid, War, Sanctions
  • Political Geography: Libya, United Nations
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  • Abstract: In 2005 at the United Nations World Summit, states unanimously committed to protect populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity by adopting the Responsibility to Protect (R2P). R2P affirms an individual state's primary responsibility to protect its population from these four crimes along with the collective international responsibility to take appropriate measures to help protect populations at risk.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Conflict Prevention, Political Violence, Arms Control and Proliferation, Human Rights, Human Welfare, Humanitarian Aid, War
  • Political Geography: United Nations
  • Author: Simon Adams
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  • Abstract: For those concerned with the international community's Responsibility to Protect (R2P), the implementation of United Nations (UN) Security Council Resolution 1973, which authorized a military intervention in Libya, has caused much controversy and dissension. From the start of Muammar al-Qaddafi's violent crackdown against protesters in February 2011, R2P informed the Security Council's response. Adopted at the UN World Summit in 2005 and intended as an antidote to the inaction that had plagued the UN during the genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda and Srebrenica, R2P represents a solemn commitment by the international community to never again be passive spectators to genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing or crimes against humanity. While R2P played some role in preventing an escalation of deadly ethnic conflict in Kenya during 2007, it had never been utilized to mobilize the Security Council to take coercive action against a UN member state before.
  • Topic: Civil War, Human Rights, Human Welfare, Regime Change, Insurgency
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Arabia, Cambodia, United Nations, North Africa, Rwanda
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  • Abstract: On June 29th 2012, the United Nations Security Coun¬cil welcomed the Secretary General's 'Regional Strat¬egy to address the threat and impact of the activities of the Lord's Resistance Army' ('UN Regional Strategy' or 'Strategy').1 The Strategy was well received by lo¬cal and international civil society organizations as an ambitious framework with the elements of a compre¬hensive response. Then, as now, the message was clear – if fully implemented, the Strategy could resolve this devastating 26-year conflict and pave the way for the long-term recovery of the affected region and its people.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Human Welfare, Religion, Armed Struggle, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Africa, United Nations
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  • Abstract: The „Regional Policy Forum on the Responsibility to Protect‟ (R2P) was held from 11-12 June 2012 in Abuja, Federal Republic of Nigeria. It was jointly organized by the ECOWAS Commission and the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect (GCR2P). The main objective of the Forum was to raise awareness on the concept of R2P within the region and to critically examine existing ECOWAS policies and institutions for protecting populations against mass atrocities. The Forum also aimed at identifying frameworks, institutions, and practices within ECOWAS for prevention and effective response to mass atrocities. The Regional Forum brought together about 60 international, regional and national participants from the public and private sectors, UN, regional organisations, the diplomatic community as well as international and national civil society organisations.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Political Violence, Genocide, Human Rights, Human Welfare, War
  • Political Geography: Africa, United Nations
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  • Abstract: The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) holds an open debate on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict (POC) twice yearly. Following the UNSC's reaffirmation of the World Summit agreement on the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) populations from genocide, ethnic cleansing, war crimes and crimes against humanity in Resolutions 1674 (2006) and 1894 (2009) on POC, discussion of R2P has been an important component of these debates. This is reflected in government statements, presentations by the Emergency Relief Coordinator, and in the Secretary-General's 2007 report on POC where he referred to the agreement on R2P as a "cardinal achievement."
  • Topic: Political Violence, Genocide, Human Rights, Human Welfare, War, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: United Nations
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  • Abstract: This brief seeks to clarify how the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) applies to the threat posed by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) and examines the measures that should be taken by regional governments, the African Union (AU), donor governments and the UN Security Council in order to protect populations under threat.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Ethnic Conflict, Human Rights, Armed Struggle, Insurgency
  • Political Geography: Africa, United Nations
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  • Abstract: R2P, like all norms, is bound to see its capacity to deliver on its intended goals tested by real experience. Ever since R2P was endorsed by member states at the United Nations General Assembly in 2005, a number of cases have helped define the boundaries of its application. Well before Libya, R2P had already made a discrete difference in a number of cases: from the most cited example of the political and diplomatic response to the outbreak of ethnic violence in Kenya in early 2008; to the patchy response to signs of ethnic cleansing in Kyrgyzstan in the summer of 2010; to the more forceful regional and international efforts in Guinea at the end of that year.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Regime Change, Insurgency
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa, Asia, Kyrgyzstan, Libya, United Nations, Guinea