‘All atrocity crimes are preventable’ and can never be justified – UN chief

UN Photo/Loey Felipe
Secretary-General António Guterres (left) addresses the UN General Assembly meeting on the responsibility to protect and the prevention of genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and crimes against humanity.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.

Atrocity crimes – genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and ethnic cleansing – are not “inevitable”, the United Nations Secretary-General said on Monday, stressing that the international community must do more to end violence against innocent people.

Speaking at a General Assembly debate on the ‘responsibility to protect’ on Monday, Secretary-General António Guterres highlighted that upholding the obligation, when it is most needed, is critical.

“At this time of extreme challenges, we must not abandon the responsibility to protect or leave it in a state of suspended animation, finely articulated in words but breached time and again in practice,” he said.

“Lofty principles mean little if they cannot be applied when they matter most.”

The responsibility to protect, widely known as R2P, refers to the obligation of States toward their populations and toward all populations at risk of genocide and other mass war crimes.

After years of discussion in the wake of the atrocities committed Bosnia and Rwanda during the1990s, UN Member States committed to the principle by including R2P in the outcome document of the 2005 high-level UN World Summit in New York.

Today, Mr. Guterres reminded Member States of their duty to protect their own people and proposed steps they could take to strengthen their capacities, including conducting national risk assessments and designing policies to address any vulnerabilities.

In addition, increasing the participation of civil society would help enhance early warning and ensure the effectiveness of national human rights institutions and ombudspersons, he added.

“Our over-arching challenge is to uphold the principle while preventing its mis-use,” said Mr. Guterres: “That means acting promptly, preventively, diplomatically, before situations escalate and spiral out of control.”

The Secretary-General also urged all Member States to “ratify and domesticate” instruments of international law relating to the prohibition and prevention of the atrocity crimes.

Of the 193 UN Member States, 45 are yet to ratify the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, which was adopted in 1948 and entered into force in early 1951. The Convention defines genocide in legal terms and underlines the need to hold those responsible for the reprehensible act to justice.

Prevention at the core of the responsibility to protect – General Assembly President

Also addressing the meeting, General Assembly President Miroslav Lajčák recalled that in the years since the 2005 World Summit and the adoption by the Assembly of a resolution on the issue in 2009, today’s gathering was the body’s first formal meeting on the principle.

“So, I think it is a good time to remind ourselves of the weight on our shoulders,” he said.

The Assembly President also stressed that prevention lies the core of the responsibility to protect.

“[It means] to do everything we can to avoid reaching the point where humanity is lost,” he said, noting that while prevention may be “hard work; but it is worth it.”

He also highlighted the link between the responsibility to protect and the UN Charter.

“We have all committed, through the Charter’s first line, to save future generations from the scourge of war. And the responsibility to protect is based on this very objective,” he said.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Featured Stings

“Working together to make a change at the COP 21 in Paris”, an article by Ambassador Yang of the Chinese Mission to EU

The Schengen area is at a crossroads

Will GDPR block Blockchain?

COP21 Breaking News: Conference of Youth Focuses on Hard Skills to Drive Greater Climate Action

State of the Union 2017: Juncker’s optimism about EU growth and Brexit’s impact

Emergency meeting called as Ebola spreads to Congolese city – UN health agency

Do academia and banks favour a new Middle Ages period?

China is the first non-EU country to invest in Europe’s €315 billion Plan

UN chief welcomes Taliban’s temporary truce announcement, encourages all parties to embrace ‘Afghan-owned peace’

These companies can recycle nearly anything, from cigarette butts to fax machines

A Trumpist squad shook Davos and the world

Contact the Sting

Does the EU want GMOs and meat with hormones from the US?

Is the EU’s enlargement over-stretched?

Why the 33,000 staff European Commission did not have a real contingency plan for the refugee crisis?

Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson: who forced the two ‘brave’ Brexiteers to quit?

Modern humanitarian aid at times of global crises

Is South Korea set to lose from its FTA with the EU?

Starbucks and FIAT again under Commission’s microscope: is Europe ready to kick multinationals out of the house?

Trump doesn’t only target Germany, aims to crack the entire EU

Breaking news: Juncker’s Commission mutant trojan horse is on the loose in Strasbourg

EU finally to extend sanctions on Russia despite arguments; Greece again in Europe’s spotlight

Investment, not debt, can kick-start an entrepreneurial Europe

It’s a week dedicated to all EU budgets; seven days that can make or break the Union

TTIP 9th Round marked by American disappointment: Will some optimism save this trade agreement?

The revenge of the fallen

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: “Chinese economy has great potential, resilience and ample space for policy adjustment”, China’s Vice President Li Yuanchao reassures from Davos

Banks promise easing of credit conditions in support of the real economy

What living abroad does to your self-awareness

MWC 2016 LIVE: Ericsson/Cisco partnership on track, insist execs

A Sting Exclusive: “Leading by example! EU must push for UN deal to avoid dangerous climate change”, European Parliament Vice-President Ulrike Lunacek cries out from Brussels

Why banks escape from competition rules but not pharmaceutical firms

Intergenerational, intercultural, interactive – The 2015 edition of JADE’s Generations Club: Transforming Europe into an entrepreneurial society

Access to healthcare: what do we lack?

For Youth Rights: steps forward for better protection.

Why embracing human rights will ensure Artificial Intelligence works for all

The German banks first to profit from public subsidies of trillions

How the EU sees its own and Russia’s role in Ukraine

Syria: Why did the US-Russia brokered ceasefire collapse? What does the duo care for?

Ukrainian civil war: Is this the beginning of the end or the end of the beginning?

Latest tragedy in the Mediterranean claims over 100 lives – UN refugee agency

Historical success for the First ever European Presidential Debate

Early signs of growth in Eurozone?

ECB: A revolutionary idea to revitalize the European economy with cheap loans to SMEs

EU-Turkey deal on migrants kicked off but to who’s interest?

Europe enters uncharted waters with Kiev-Moscow standoff

EU: Tax evasion and fraud flourish under political protection

Jade Spring Meeting 2017 – day 2: Coporate workshops, general assembly and magna moment

Commission deepens criticism on German economic policies

Antitrust: Commission imposes binding obligations on Gazprom to enable free flow of gas at competitive prices in Central and Eastern European gas markets

MWC 2016 Live: Industrial world prepares to reap digital benefits

Community Manager – 1289

‘Free state aid’ for imprudent banks

G20 LIVE: G20 Antalya Summit in Numbers, 15-16 November 2015

Lagarde’s metamorphoses, not a laughing matter

Energy: new target of 32% from renewables by 2030 agreed by MEPs and ministers

Draghi’s 2018 compromise: enough money printing to revive inflation and check euro ascent

Youth employment crisis easing but far from over

Industry 4.0: Championing Europe’s fourth industrial revolution

Why do medical students have to emigrate to become doctors in 2017?

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s