Joint Letter to the S5 on their Initiative to call upon P5 States to Refrain from Using the Veto in Mass Atrocity Situations

21 May 2012

Your Excellency,

The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect (GCR2P) and the International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect (ICRtoP) would like to thank you, as a member of the S5, for your initiative calling upon permanent members of the Security Council to refrain from using their veto to block action aimed at preventing or ending genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes.

The Secretary-General, in his 2009 report on Implementing the Responsibility to Protect, urged the P5 to refrain from employing or threatening to employ the veto in such situations. We see your efforts as a positive example of states putting R2P in practice and giving life to the Secretary-General’s recommendations.

Noting Ambassador Seger’s comment that P5 states’ veto restraint is in keeping with their obligations under paragraph 139 of the 2005 World Summit Outcome Document, we share your disappointment that opposition within the General Assembly led to the withdrawal of the resolution. The Security Council continues to face challenges to act in a unified way as it responds to mass atrocity crimes. You have our enduring support for your efforts to ensure that the Security Council never again fails to act in the face of genocide, ethnic cleansing, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.

Grateful for your work towards halting mass atrocity crimes and building a stronger United Nations, we take this opportunity to send you our best regards.

Yours truly,

Dr. Simon Adams, Executive Director of the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect

Dr. Andrés Serbin, Chair of ICRtoP and Executive Director of the Coordinadora Regional de Investigaciones Económicas y Sociales

Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect and other NGOs


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Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect

Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies
The Graduate Center, CUNY
365 Fifth Avenue, Suite 5203
New York, NY 10016-4309, USA

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