2025-2026 UN Security Council Elections and the Responsibility to Protect

2025-2026 UN Security Council Elections and the Responsibility to Protect

6 June 2024

Today, 6 June 2024, the UN General Assembly elected Denmark, Greece, Pakistan, Panama and Somalia to the UN Security Council for the period of 2025-2026. With their election, 9 of the 15 members of the Council in 2025 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.

Despite its role as the UN body responsible for the maintenance of international peace and security, all too often the Security Council has been unable or unwilling to take timely action on mass atrocity situations due to deep political divisions and/or the veto prerogative of the permanent members. This has had a debilitating effect on the Council’s ability to respond in a comprehensive and consistent manner to atrocities in Myanmar (Burma), Gaza, Sudan, Syria and elsewhere. It is therefore more important than ever for Council members to work in creative ways to ensure that the international community takes timely, practical action to prevent atrocities and protect vulnerable populations wherever and whenever they are threatened.

Since 2005 the Security Council has adopted 93 resolutions and 17 presidential statements that refer to R2P, including with regard to situations in the Central African Republic, South Sudan, Syria and eight other country situations, as well as a number of thematic issue areas. It is our hope that the Security Council will consistently uphold their commitment to R2P by taking decisive action to avert emerging crises and halt atrocities.

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 the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and relevant Special Rapporteurs, Human Rights Council-mandated investigative mechanisms, civil society representatives and affected communities, on situations where populations are at risk of mass atrocities.
      • Reinstate monthly “horizon scanning briefings” within the working methods of the Council.
      • Host thematic meetings during your presidency on topics related to the prevention of mass atrocities.
      • Ensure transparency by encouraging open sessions of the Council when discussing crises where populations are at risk of atrocities.
      • Raise awareness and mobilize timely responses to crises, including through convening “Arria-formula meetings” or raising country situations that are not on the Council’s formal agenda under “Any Other Business,” and coordinating Security Council visiting missions to countries where mass atrocity risks are evident.
      • Initiate press statements on atrocity situations, including on countries not on the Council’s formal agenda.
      • 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 the International Criminal Court and other international justice mechanisms and ensure all perpetrators of mass atrocities are held to account, regardless of nationality, position or affiliation.
      • Ratify or accede to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

The Global Centre has compiled profiles on each of the newly elected Security Council members providing an overview of their engagement with R2P and other issues related to the prevention of mass atrocities. The profiles are available in the click-able document below and as a PDF download.


Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect


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Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect

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