Summary of the United Nations Secretary- General’s 2014 Report on the Responsibility to Protect: Fulfilling our collective responsibility: International assistance and the responsibility to protect

13 August 2014

The sixth report of the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General on the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) focuses on Pillar II assistance and capacity-building measures by national, regional and international actors. The report identifies the main forms of Pillar II support to assist states in upholding their primary responsibility to protect. It also addresses the major challenges and recommendations to improve the implementation of Pillar II assistance and capacity building.

The Secretary-General produced the report following extensive consultations with member states, regional organizations and civil society. This briefing provides a summary of the report, focusing on the spirit of Pillar II assistance, the main forms of international assistance and the challenges in upholding Pillar II responsibilities.


The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect would like to highlight the following key points from the report:

    • Pillar II assistance and capacity building to assist states in upholding their responsibilities reaffirms that R2P reinforces state sovereignty and is preventive at its core.
    • Assistance and capacity building should be based on a clear understanding of the nature of genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity to ensure that factors that contribute to the perpetration of atrocity crimes are not exacerbated.
    • A wide array of actors can provide Pillar II assistance to states, including international organizations, regional and sub-regional bodies, states, civil society actors and the private sector.
    • Assistance and capacity building can help foster national resilience to atrocities, while also including a wide range of economic, political, humanitarian, and, in some cases, military tools to assist states in upholding their protective responsibilities.
    • Effective capacity-building support can buttress efforts already being undertaken by states and may prevent the outbreak of atrocities, thereby reducing the need for collective response by the international community under Pillar III.
    • With the tenth anniversary of the 2005 World Summit approaching, states have an opportunity to take stock of R2P implementation and renew global commitment to the collective responsibility to protect populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.

The full summary is available for download below.

Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect


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Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect

Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies
The Graduate Center, CUNY
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