Delivered by Naomi Kikoler, Director of Policy and Advocacy, at the 19th Annual Meeting of United Nations Special Procedures, 14 June 2012
Thank you for this opportunity to present a statement on behalf of the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect.
Thank you as well to the Special Procedures for the leadership that they have shown in highlighting the plight of populations at risk of mass atrocity crimes.
We believe that Special Procedures play a critical role in preventing mass atrocity crimes and advancing the Responsibility to Protect.
In 2005 at the United Nations World Summit world leaders unanimously committed to uphold the Responsibility to Protect populations from genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing. Put simply, every state committed to uphold three principles:
We wish to stress two things:
Special Procedures have a critical role to play ensuring that the international community does not reach the stage of requiring military intervention through performing four core functions:
We encourage you to, through your reports, statements and press releases, explicitly call upon states to uphold their Responsibility to Protect, provide guidance on how they can do so and where needed urge the international community to uphold their commitment to protect.
In 1993 the Special Rapporteur for Extra-Judicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions raised the potential of genocide in Rwanda and reported that, “the victims of the attacks, Tutsis in the overwhelming majority of cases, have been targeted solely because of their membership of a certain ethnic group and for no other objective reason.” This carefully crafted report was ignored both by states and the United Nations.
The Global Centre endeavors to continue to work to ensure that your warnings and calls to uphold the Responsibility to Protect do not fall on deaf ears.
This includes through appealing to supportive states to aid in facilitating your access not only to the Human Rights Council, but to the General Assembly (for those not mandated to report there) and, notably, the Security Council.
Through our collective efforts may we never find ourselves confronted with another Rwanda. Thank you again.