02 Jun 2017
2018-2019 UN Security Council Elections and the Responsibility to Protect
Today, 2 June 2017, the United Nations General Assembly elected Côte d'Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Kuwait, Peru and Poland to the UN Security Council for 2018-2019. The Netherlands was also elected for 2018. With their election, 8 of the 15 members of the Council in 2018 are "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.
Since 2005 the Security Council has adopted 58 resolutions and 17 Presidential Statements that refer to the Responsibility to Protect. It is our hope that the Security Council will consistently uphold their commitment to R2P by taking early preventive action to avert emerging crises and halt atrocities wherever they are threatened.
To this end, the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect encourages all Security Council members to:
Request briefings from the UN Secretary General's Special Advisers on the Prevention of Genocide and the Responsibility to Protect, as well as relevant Special Rapporteurs on situations where populations are at risk. In line with the Human Rights Up Front initiative, UN officials should bring to the Security Council's attention any situation where civilians face the threat of mass atrocities.
Reaffirm the Security Council's commitment to preventing mass atrocities by establishing a Security Council Working Group on R2P. Security Council members should also convene "Arria-formula meetings" on country situations that are not on the Council's formal agenda but where civilians face the risk of mass atrocities as well as regularly use "Any Other Business" to raise emerging crises.
Adhere to the ACT Code of Conduct by which Council members commit to take timely and decisive action to protect civilians and not vote against any credible resolution aimed at preventing mass atrocities.
Support international justice mechanisms and ensure all perpetrators of mass atrocities are held to account, regardless of position or affiliation.
The Global Centre has compiled basic profiles on each of the newly-elected Security Council members. These provide an account of their engagement with R2P, including whether they have appointed an R2P Focal Point, their respective contributions to UN peacekeeping operations, and their status with relevant international legal regimes, including the Genocide Convention and Arms Trade Treaty.