Responsibility to protect: State responsibility and prevention, 2013

9 July 2013

United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon published his fifth annual report on the Responsibility to Protect (R2P), entitled “State Responsibility and Prevention,” in 2013. The report emphasizes measures that individual states can undertake to strengthen their capacity to prevent mass atrocity crimes.

The report identifies six risk factors for mass atrocity crimes and lists preventive policy options that states can adopt in order to uphold their Responsibility to Protect. These policy options are described within four broad categories:

  1. building national resilience
  2. promoting and protecting human rights
  3. adopting targeted measures to prevent atrocity crimes and
  4. building partnerships for prevention.

While highlighting that there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to atrocity prevention, the Secretary-General’s report provides numerous examples of steps that various UN Member States have undertaken within each of these categories. The report concludes with seven measures that states can implement in order to prevent atrocity crimes, including conducting a national assessment of risk and resilience and appointing a senior-level R2P Focal Point.

The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect provides a comprehensive summary of the report here (add link).

United Nations Secretary-General


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Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect

Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies
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