A vital and enduring commitment: implementing the responsibility to protect, 2015

11 August 2015

The seventh report of the UN Secretary-General on the Responsibility to Protect takes stock of 10 years of efforts to advance the responsibility to protect. It reaffirms the enduring relevance of the principle, both as an expression of political commitment and as a guide for action to prevent and halt genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity. It also outlines the consensus that has developed on the three-pillar framework for implementation established in 2009 (see A/63/677) need link and elaborated through annual dialogues in the General Assembly.

The report assesses the range and impact of implementation efforts under each of the three pillars of the principle, including actions by States to ratify relevant legal instruments and build national resilience to atrocity crimes; international initiatives to assist States in fulfilling their primary responsibility to protect; and efforts by the international community to respond to protection crises, using a variety of tools. The following section identifies key changes in the international landscape since 2005 that will affect future actions to advance the responsibility to protect.

The report concludes with six core priorities for the responsibility to protect over the next decade, namely:

  1. signaling political commitment at the national, regional and global levels to protect populations from atrocity crimes;
  2. elevating prevention as a core aspect of the responsibility to protect;
  3. clarifying and expanding options for timely and decisive response;
  4. addressing the risk of recurrence;
  5. enhancing regional action to prevent and respond to atrocity crimes; and
  6. strengthening international networks dedicated to genocide prevention and the responsibility to protect.

The Global Centre’s summary of the report is available here. (needs link)

United Nations Secretary-General


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