2021 was yet another undeniably difficult year for us all. As the world continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic amidst a record level of global displacement by persecution, conflict and atrocities, we at the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect continued to act on our mandate to ensure that the international community protects vulnerable populations.
This year, despite challenges, there was notable progress towards accountability for atrocity crimes. The UN Human Rights Council established investigative mechanisms for Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory and Ethiopia, as well as appointed an expert on Sudan following the October coup. Many states utilized the principle of universal jurisdiction to achieve accountability for crimes committed in Syria and Myanmar. We have also been working with partners to ensure accountability for atrocities in Yemen while supporting efforts to end impunity in Central African Republic, Venezuela and Afghanistan.
Throughout the year, the Global Centre has provided early warning to help prevent and halt atrocity crimes in over 28 countries through publications like Atrocity Alert and R2P Monitor. We’ve also continued to bring experts together to discuss how to effectively prevent atrocities, including through virtual events and the launch of our new podcast, “Expert Voices on Atrocity Prevention.”
As 2021 comes to a close, we would like to thank Dr. Simon Adams for his decade of unwavering leadership. Looking ahead to 2022, we will continue to fulfill our mandate and work to protect vulnerable populations around the globe with our new Executive Director, Ms. Savita Pawnday. The need to uphold our collective responsibility to protect has never been greater.
Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies
The Graduate Center, CUNY
365 Fifth Avenue, Suite 5203
New York, NY 10016-4309, USA