Our Work

The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect has established itself as the leading authority on the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) and since its inception in 2008 has led efforts to broaden and deepen global support for the norm.

Through timely and authoritative publications like the R2P Monitor and strategic policy initiatives such as the R2P Focal Points Network, annual Ministerial meetings and policy forums on R2P with regional organizations and regional powers, the Global Centre advances the implementation of R2P.

R2P Focal Points

Third Annual Meeting of the Global Network of R2P Focal Points, held in Accra, Ghana in June 2013.
An important step that governments can take to improve intra-governmental and inter-governmental efforts to prevent and halt mass atrocities is the appointment of a national R2P Focal Point. This senior level official is responsible for the promotion of R2P at the national level and will support international cooperation by participating in a global network. Appointment of a national R2P Focal Point is a step that can be implemented by governments with differing levels of capacity in mass atrocity prevention to demonstrate their commitment to R2P.
Continue reading

R2P Monitor

The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect launched the R2P Monitor on 10 January 2012. The R2P Monitor is a bimonthly publication applying an R2P lens to situations where populations are at risk of, or are currently facing, mass atrocity crimes.
Continue reading

Rwanda 20

Special Event:
On 7 April 2014 the international community commemorated the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide. Over the course of a 100 day period in 1994 at least 800,000 Rwandans were murdered in the fastest genocide of the 20th Century. To honor this tragedy, the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect calls upon the United Nations and its Member States to rededicate their commitment to ending the commission of mass atrocity crimes once and for all.
Continue reading

UN Security Council Veto Restraint

There have been increasing calls by UN member states and civil society for voluntary restraint on the use of the veto by the Permanent Members of the Security Council, known as the "P5," in mass atrocity situations.

The government of France, alongside the 22-member Accountability, Coherence and Transparency (ACT) group at the UN, has been at the forefront in pushing this initiative. In his address at the general debate of the 68th Session of the UN General Assembly in 2013, the President of France, H.E. Mr. François Hollande, called upon the P5 to "collectively renounce their veto powers" in mass atrocity situations. France's Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, H.E. Laurent Fabius, echoed this call in an article in the New York Times, "A Call for Self-Restraint at the UN," which proposed a "code of conduct" whereby the P5 would voluntarily restrain from using their veto in a mass atrocity situation.

The Global Centre has participated in a number of high-level events and engaged in sustained advocacy on this issue. The Global Centre has urged that in keeping with the Responsibility to Protect, it is incumbent upon the P5 not to veto a draft Security Council resolution aimed at halting the perpetration of mass atrocity crimes.

September 2014 Ministerial Side-Event on regulating the veto in the event of mass atrocities.

On 25 September 2014 the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development of France, H.E. Mr. Laurent Fabius, and the Mexican Secretary of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Mr. José Antonio Meade Kuribreña, co-convened a Ministerial-level side event on the margins of the Opening Session of the UN General Assembly, entitled "Regulating the veto in the event of mass atrocities."

Veto event panel

The event aimed to help inform the member states and civil society of the progress of the French initiative on the veto and to seek their observations and opinions. In addition to the two co-conveners the panelists included the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, H.E. Mr. Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, and the Executive Director of the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, Dr. Simon Adams. Dr. Adams delivered a joint civil society statement on behalf of the Global Centre, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, International Federation for Human Rights and the World Federalist Movement.

During the meeting 32 member states delivered statements, including remarks from one President (Switzerland) and twenty-three Foreign Ministers (Algeria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Bulgaria, Central African Republic, Chile, Cote d'Ivoire, Croatia, Czech Republic, Egypt, Finland, France, Guatemala, Indonesia, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway and Senegal). Four additional member states delivered statements at the ministerial-level (Belgium, Saudi Arabia, Spain and the United States) while two Permanent Representatives (Germany and United Kingdom) and two Deputy Permanent Representatives (China and Russia) also spoke. All five permanent members of the Security Council made interventions. Over 100 member states reportedly attended the meeting.

For Social Media coverage of the event see the following Storify link: Ministerial Side-Event on regulating the veto in the event of mass atrocities

The unabridged statement delivered by Dr. Simon Adams is available here.

The Abuse of the Veto in relation to Syria's civil war
Since the start of the Syrian conflict in March 2011, over 190,000 people have been killed. A Human Rights Council-mandated Commission of Inquiry has found that government forces and some armed opposition groups have committed war crimes and crimes against humanity. Despite this, the veto has been used four times by Russia and China, preventing action that could have helped stemmed the violence and hold perpetrators accountable.

Between October 2011 and July 2012 the Security Council voted on three resolutions aimed at holding the government responsible for mass atrocity crimes; all three were vetoed by Russia and China. The Council passed its first resolution regarding Syria on 27 September 2013, more than two years after the start of the conflict, regarding the destruction of chemical weapons. Since then it has passed two more resolutions demanding increased humanitarian access. However, on 22 May Russia and China vetoed another resolution that would have referred the situation to the ICC.

The Global Centre and other civil society organizations have actively advocated for the P5 to restrain from using the veto with regards to the situation in Syria.
Continue reading

United Nations Engagement

Informal Interactive Dialogue on the Report of the Secretary-General:
Building support amongst policy makers for the Responsibility to Protect and its implementation lies at the core of the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect's advocacy efforts. Central to that work is engagement with United Nations member states through their missions in New York, their missions in Geneva and their governments in capital, as well as with the United Nations system more broadly.
Continue reading

Policy Forums

ECOWAS Group Photo
The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect has identified working with emerging powers and regional bodies as an essential part of clarifying, institutionalizing and advancing R2P. The Global Centre believes that engagement with United Nations member states through regional forums is an important part of bridging the knowledge gap between the United Nations and national capitals with regard to deepening understanding of R2P. By building regional support on all continents we aim to strengthen international capacity to prevent and halt mass atrocity crimes.
Continue reading

Annual R2P Ministerial Meeting

The UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, delivers a statement at the 2011 Ministerial Meeting
Since its inception in 2008 the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect has co-hosted an annual Ministerial Meeting on R2P during the opening of the General Assembly session. The R2P Ministerial Meeting is co-hosted by different governmental partners each year in association with the Global Centre. Past co-hosts include the foreign ministers of Australia, Botswana, Brazil, Denmark, Ghana, Guatemala, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Rwanda and Timor–Leste.
Continue reading