On 21 September, the Kingdom of the Netherlands and Italy, together with the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, co-hosted the 10th Annual Ministerial Roundtable Discussion on the Responsibility to Protect (R2P). This year’s meeting focused on the role of the ten elected members of the UN Security Council in upholding R2P and preventing mass atrocities.
A cross-regional group of ministers as well as the UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, Mr. Adama Dieng, and the Special Adviser on the Responsibility to Protect, Mr. Ivan Simonovic, contributed to today’s discussion.
The purpose of this year’s meeting was to facilitate discussion amongst previous, current and incoming elected members of the UN Security Council on their efforts to prevent and respond to mass atrocity crimes during their tenure on the Council. Participants discussed important initiatives undertaken by members of the “Elected Ten” (E10) in order to improve the response of the Security Council where ever and when ever civilians face the threat of war crimes, ethnic cleansing, genocide or crimes against humanity.
Dr. Simon Adams, Executive Director of the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, noted that “we have witnessed the Security Council hopelessly divided and often paralyzed when faced with evidence of mass atrocity crimes in Syria, Yemen, South Sudan and elsewhere, but today’s meeting showed that the E10 can be a potential force for creative diplomacy, accountability and change.”
Since its inception in 2008 the annual Ministerial Meeting on R2P has become an established feature within the UN General Assembly’s High Level Week. Over the past ten years the meeting has provided governments who are committed to ending mass atrocity crimes an important venue to affirm their commitment to R2P and discuss its practical implementation.