UN Security Council Elections for 2015-2016 and the Responsibility to Protect

16 October 2014

The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect welcomes the election of Angola, Malaysia, New Zealand, Spain and Venezuela to the United Nations Security Council for 2015-2016. With the election of these members, 7 of the 15 members of the Security Council are members of the Group of Friends of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P). It is our hope that the Security Council will uphold their commitment to R2P and take early preventive action to avert emerging crises. The Council should also work to halt atrocities in Central African Republic, Iraq, South Sudan and Syria.

Security Council members have a responsibility to maintain international peace and security and ensure that populations are protected in every country from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity. To this end, the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect urges all Security Council members to:

    • Hold a UN Department of Political Affairs Horizon Scanning briefing during their presidency to inform council members of developing situations where there is a serious risk of mass atrocity crimes;
    • Request briefings from the UN Special Advisers on the Prevention of Genocide and the Responsibility to Protect, as well as relevant Special Rapporteurs on situations where populations are at risk;
    • Refrain from using a veto or blocking Council action aimed at preventing or halting mass atrocity crimes;
    • Reaffirm the Security Council’s commitment to the Responsibility to Protect by passing a stand-alone resolution to mark the tenth anniversary of the 2005 World Summit.

The Global Centre has compiled basic profiles on each of the newly-elected Security Council members. These provide an account of their engagement with R2P, including whether they have appointed a national R2P Focal Point, their respective contributions to UN peacekeeping operations and their status with relevant international legal regimes, including the Genocide Convention, Rome Statute and Arms Trade Treaty.

Following the election Dr. Simon Adams, Executive Director of the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, remarked: “We welcome the election of these new UN Security Council members. The Council has a critical role in upholding the international community’s responsibility to protect. As we approach the 20th anniversary of Srebrenica in 2015 it would be timely for the Council to reflect upon past tragedies and what it means to prevent mass atrocities in the 21st century.”

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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