The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect is pleased to announce and welcome the 50th state to join the Global Network of R2P Focal Points. The addition of Rwanda to the Global Network marks a significant moment as now more than a quarter of United Nations member states, representing countries from every region of the globe, have signaled their enduring commitment to mass atrocity prevention through the appointment of a senior government official as their national Focal Point for the Responsibility to Protect (R2P). Launched in 2010, the Global Network of R2P Focal Points is the largest governmental network dedicated to preventing genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.
Partly in response to the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, in 2005 at the UN World Summit states adopted the principle of the Responsibility to Protect. In the ten years since then, the international community has improved its ability to prevent mass atrocity crimes. But there is still much to be done to build domestic resilience to mass atrocities and to enhance international efforts to protect vulnerable populations facing the threat of these crimes today.
Last year, while Rwanda was serving as an elected member of the UN Security Council, the body unanimously adopted its first resolution on the issue of genocide prevention. The resolution called upon UN member states to recommit to the fight against genocide and other mass atrocity crimes and reaffirmed the importance of the principle of the Responsibility to Protect. The resolution also called for “greater collaboration between existing early warning mechanisms for genocide prevention and other serious international crimes, in order to help to detect, assess and respond to sources of tension and points of risk or identify vulnerable populations.”
The Global Network of R2P Focal Points is dedicated to enhanced collaboration in pursuit of these objectives. Together its member states have committed themselves to strengthening domestic, regional and multilateral efforts to prevent mass atrocity crimes once and for all.
With the addition of Rwanda, the Global Network of R2P Focal Points now consists of: Albania, Angola, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Botswana, Bulgaria, Chile, Costa Rica, Cote d’Ivoire, Croatia, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Jordan, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Montenegro, Mozambique, Netherlands, New Zealand, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Uruguay, United Kingdom and United States.
Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies
The Graduate Center, CUNY
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