09 Sep 2014
United Nations General Assembly Holds Successful Sixth Dialogue on the Responsibility to Protect
On 8 September 2014 the UN General Assembly held a successful sixth Interactive Dialogue on the Responsibility to Protect (R2P). The Interactive Dialogue addressed the UN Secretary-General's sixth report on R2P, entitled "Fulfilling our collective responsibility: International assistance and the responsibility to protect."
Sixty-seven member states delivered statements on behalf of eighty-three states. The 45-member Group of Friends of R2P delivered a joint statement, read by Rwanda, for the first time during a General Assembly dialogue and many members also made interventions in their own individual capacity. In addition to member states, one regional organization and four civil society organizations, including the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, made interventions.
Many interventions cited examples of effective Pillar II assistance over the past decade while a number of states used the dialogue as a forum to discuss ways in which national, regional and international capacity to assist states in upholding their protective responsibilities could continue to be improved. Eight states, including Albania and Botswana, referred to their appointment of an R2P Focal Point, an initiative of the governments of Australia, Costa Rica, Denmark and Ghana in collaboration with the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect. Furthermore, 13 individual states and the joint statement by the Group of Friends of R2P showed support for moving R2P onto the formal agenda of the UN General Assembly in 2015.
Many member states expressed concern about the dire situation facing civilians around the world, including in the Central African Republic, Iraq, South Sudan and Syria, and urged for greater collective action. Recognizing that human rights violations are often an early indicator of potential mass atrocity crimes, 13 states expressed support for the "Rights Up Front" action plan as a means of mainstreaming prevention throughout the UN. Fourteen states raised the need for there to be a restraint on the use of the veto within the UN Security Council when dealing with situations where mass atrocity crimes are occurring.
Noting the tenth anniversary of the 2005 World Summit, Dr. Simon Adams, in his statement on behalf of the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, encouraged each member state to consider how best to practically advance R2P over the next decade.
The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect will be releasing a summary of the interactive dialogue shortly. To see a summary of the Secretary-General's report and for more information about the dialogue, please see our webpage dedicated to the 2014 dialogue.