While I am working on my next blog post, here are a few things that I found on the internet and in the press today
– UN Security Council members visit Kigali Memorial
15 ambassadors of the United Nations Security Council visited the Kigali Genocide Memorial in Rwanda today. The delegation was led by UN Security Council President Agshin Mehdiyev (Azerbaijan’s) and Samantha Power (U.S.). Power got particularly emotional: “Nobody who comes to this memorial site is ever the same when they leave. People who come through this site dedicate themselves with new passion and new commitment to the Rwandan people, to the cause of reconciliation and peace in the region, and to the broader cause of preventing genocide forevermore.”
– Building Peace Forum: Preventing conflict
The Building Peace Forum published their second issue of Building Peace, “Preventing Deadly Conflict”. This time, the writers and editors focused on genocide, conflict and mass atrocity prevention, including the Responsibility to Protect. What is interesting is the variety of actors and initiatives presented in this issue, from local initiatives in Kenya to the Atrocities Prevention Board in the United States, and the variety of actors, from local peacebuilders and trainers to private sector companies. As the editor in Chief states “just as one medication cannot cure every illness, there is no one size fits all approach to conflict and violence prevention.” This issue an interview with Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations Jan Eliasson.
– France’s Foreign Affairs Minister calls for UN reform
An interesting article in the New York Times written by French Foreign Affairs Minister Laurent Fabius.This article follows President Hollande’s speech at the United Nations General Assembly Meeting and the need for UN reform. Hollande proposed a code of conduct for the UN’s Security Council Members “that in the event of a mass crime they can decide to collectively renounce their veto powers.”
The full article available on NYT.com
– Germany and the Responsibility to Protect
For those of you who understand German, here is a great piece by Gregor Hofmann. In “Politische Bekenntnisses ohne Folgen” he looks at the Responsibility to Protect in German politics and the lack of a clear strategy . He argues that German politicians often forget that R2P envisages a large number of preventive and peaceful measures. Military intervention and military measures are the last resort. Hoffman calls for a pro-active role for Germany in the operationalization of R2P. Not only has Germany a responsibility to do so but it also has the necessary influence to strengthen the norm internationally.
– Sudan Rises?
Mark Fathi Massoud write a good analysis of the situation in Sudan today, which should be analyzed as part of a decades-long struggle for peace.
In this analysis, Islam Ahmed Al-Tayeb says the current protests in Sudan are a clear sign of the need for political reform. The Sudanese regime headed by Al-Bashir has become an expert in crushing dissent, labeling protesters as terrorists and muzzling the media: “With the dwindling revolutionary appetite, weak political stamina and incoherent economic vision to engineer change, much of the revolution will highly likely remain as a deep rumbling beneath the surface. Many will prefer the devil that they know than the devil that they don’t”
– New Push for Syria intervention under the Responsibility to Protect
This thorough article starts with an analysis of the refugee and IDP crises in Syria. On Thursday 3 October the U.N.Security Council issued a Presidential Statement which notes the council’s concern with the humanitarian crisis and condemns human rights violations. The statement calls on the Syrian government to facilitate the expansion of international assistance and access. The statement then introduces R2P by stressing that Syria has the obligation to protect its population.This is the first time in two years, that R2P is officially mentioned in the Syria situation.