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General Assembly Debate on the Responsibility to Protect and Informal Interactive Dialogue

I. Presentation by the Secretary General of his Report “Implementing the Responsibility to Protect”
II. Informal Interactive Dialogue
III. General Assembly Debate on the Responsibility to Protect
IV. ICRtoP Publications on the Debate
V. Media and the Debate



 
UN General Assembly, 10 a.m.
 
In his brief overview of the report, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon highlighted that “sovereignty and responsibility as mutually enforcing principles” and emphasized upon the importance of the prevention of genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and crimes against humanity.
 
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon highlighted 3 main points from the report:
 
1. He explained that “the report seeks to situate the Responsibility to Protect squarely under the UN's roof and within our Charter, where it belongs.” He also added that developing UN strategies, standards and processes for the implementation of R2P will discourage states or groups of states from misusing these principles.
 
2. The report concerts that prevention based on practical and moral reasons should be most important. It seeks a balanced, nuanced approach to prevention and protection, by using the full inventory of tools available to the UN and its partners. It proposes thinking and policy development for ways the international community can support states in meeting obligations in this area.
 
3. The report tries to engage Member States to strengthen capacity in early warning and prevention. There should be an early and flexible response, tailored to circumstances of each case. Military action should be the last resort, and should only be undertaken under the relevant provisions of the Charter.
 
Addressing the Member States directly, he asked of them to do 3 things:
 
1. He called on them to “resist those who try to change the subject or turn our common effort to curb the worst atrocities in human history into a struggle over ideology, geography or economics. What do they offer to the victims of mass violence? Rancor instead of substance; rhetoric instead of policy; despair instead of hope. We can, and must, do better.
 
2. To let the Assembly do what it does best – provide the venue for a continuing search for common ground, a multilateral strategy that works. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stated that he signs of convergence on the first two pillars of strategy: on state responsibility and international assistance. But, as everyone expected, differences persist on some aspects of the third pillar: on response.” Ban told the GA that the UN cannot expect to resolve all outstanding issues this week or the next, but can agree on keeping the dialogue going.
 
3. He reminded to “never forget the victims of atrocities and crimes. They number in the millions. Those losses have permanently stained the history of the 20th century. Together, the United Nations can chart a different course in this century. We must never give into the complacency and cynicism that have kept this organization from acting in the past.”
 
Ban concluded by warning the GA that “they will rightfully judge us harshly if we treat these deliberations as politics as usual.”
 
The Q&A session ended abruptly; it was expected for the Q&A session to last for an hour and for Dr. Edward Luck, Special Advisor with a focus on RtoP, to respond to questions that were raised after the Secretary-General left for his other scheduled appointment. However, Dr. Edward Luck did not speak; only Chile, Morocco, Guinea-Bissau, Egypt and Sweden asked questions to which the Secretary-General responded very briefly. Bosnia Herzegovina also made a comment.
 
To read a UN News article on the presentation of the report: Click here
For transcript of his speech: Click here

See the President of the GA's controversial concept note on RtoP distributed to States the friday prior to the date.


II. Informal Interactive Dialogue
23 July 2009
10:00am Trusteeship Council

On 23 July 2009, the General Assembly debate on the Responsibility to Protect was preceeded by an Informal interactive dialogue on the Responsibility to Protect in the Trusteeship Council Chamber. Following the statement by the President of the General Assembly and the statement by the representative of the Secretary-General, Edward Luck, Special Advisor on the Responsibility to Protect, the Panel discussion began. Professor Gareth Evans, Prof Noam Chomsky presented their statements and answered a round of questions from member states before Prof Jean Bricmont and Prof. Ngugi wa Thiong’o shared their views. It was followed by another round of questions from member states.
 
Opening Statement by the President of the General Assembly
  
Remarks by the Edward C. Luck, Special Adviser to the Secretary-General
  
Statement by The Hon. Gareth Evans, President Emeritus, International Crisis Group and Co-Chair, International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty
 
Statement by Noam Chomsky: Institute Professor and Professor Emeritus of Linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
 
Statement by Jean Bricmont is a Belgian theoretical physicist, philosopher of science and a professor at the Université catholique de Louvain.
 

III. General Assembly Debate on the Responsibility to Protect
23, 24, 28 July 2009
General Assembly Hall

The General Assembly debate on the Responsibility to Protect began at 3pm in the General Assembly Chamber on the same day, 23 July. The debate continued into Friday, 24 July and concluded on Tuesday 28 July. Below are full transcripts of the debate. Further below are individual government statements during the debate in order of presentation.

Transcript of the 63rd session, 97th Plenary Meeting on 23 July 2009
Transcript of the 63rd session, 98th Plenary Meeting on 24 July 2009
Transcript of the 63rd session, 99th Plenary Meeting on 24 July 2009
Transcript of the 63rd session, 100th Plenary Meeting on 28 July 2009
Transcript of the 63rd session, 101st Plenary Meeting on 28 July 2009

Government Statements in Order of Presentation:


Opening Statement: President of the General Assembly, Mr. Miguel d'Escoto Brockman at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect

1. Sweden, on behalf of the European Union (EU) -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect
2. Egypt, on the behalf of Non Aligned Movement (NAM) --Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect
3. United Kingdom -- Statement of the General Assembly on the Responsibility to Protect
4. Indonesia -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect
5. France -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect
6. The Phillipines -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect
7. Brazil -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect
8. Guatemala -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect (ENGLISH)
Guatemala -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect (SPANISH)
9. Bosnia-Herzegovina -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect
10. USA -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect
11. Belgium -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect
12. South Korea -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect
13. Australia -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect
14. Liechtenstein -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect
15. Costa Rica -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect (ENGLISH)
Costa Rica -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect (SPANISH)
16. New Zealand -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect
17. The Netherlands -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect
18. Italy -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect
19. Austria -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect
20. Pakistan -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect
Pakistan -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect (AS DELIVERED)
21. Switzerland -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect (ENGLISH AND FRENCH)

22. Algeria -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect (ENGLISH)
23. Singapore -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect
24. Ecuador -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect (SPANISH)
25. Chile -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect (ENGLISH AND SPANISH)
26. Morocco -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect
27. Colombia -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect (ENGLISH)
Colombia -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect (SPANISH)
28. Israel -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect
29. South Africa -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect
30. Uruguay -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect (SPANISH)
31. Ghana -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect
32. Japan -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect
33. Czech Republic -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect
34. China -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect
35. Mali -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect (FRENCH)
36. Canada -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect
37. Nigeria -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect
38. Vietnam -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect
39. Guinea-Bissau -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect
40. Ireland -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect
41. Venezuela -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect
42.
Norway -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect
43. Germany -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect
44. Bolivia -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect
45. Romania -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect
46. Slovenia -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect
47. Monaco -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect
48. Qatar -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect
49. Solomon Islands -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect
50. Croatia -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect
51. Jordan -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect (ARABIC)
52. Luxembourg -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect (ENGLISH AND FRENCH)
53. Mexico -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect (SPANISH)
54. Rwanda -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect
55. Turkey -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect
56. Cuba -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect
57. Hungary -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect
58. India -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect
59. Andorra -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect (FRENCH)
60. San Marino -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect
61. Sri Lanka -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect
62. Sierra Leone -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect
63. Jamaica (on behalf of the Caribbean Community) -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect
64. Myanmar -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect
65. The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect (no statement, adopted the position of Sweden on behalf the European Union)
66. Slovakia -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect

67. Islamic Republic of Iran -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect
68. Russian Federation -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect
69. Nicaragua -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect
70. Iceland -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect
71. Armenia -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect
72. Timor Leste -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect
73. Panama -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect
74. Democratic People's Republic of Korea -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect
75. Botswana -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect
76. Kazakhstan -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect
77. Swaziland -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect
78. Bangladesh -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect
79. Papua New Guinea -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect
80. Benin -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect
81. United Republic of Tanzania -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect
82. Peru -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect (SPANISH)
83. Kenya -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect
84. Malaysia -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect
85. Lesotho -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect
86. Azerbaijan -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect
87. Georgia -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect (no statement, adopted the position of Sweden on behalf of the EU)
88. Argentina -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect (SPANISH)

89. Sudan -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect
90. Gambia -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect (No statement)
91. Serbia -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect
92. Cameroon -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect (FRENCH)
93. Holy See -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect
94. Palestine -- Statement at the GA debate on the Responsibility to Protect

Closing Address: President of General Assembly, H.E. Miguel D'Escoto Brockmann. President of the General Assembly

Seperately issued:

UN High commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay's statement on RtoP


IV. ICRtoP Publications on the Debate:


Press releases:

27 July 2009:
Civil Society groups welcome governments’ commitment  to prevent and end mass atrocities
29 July 2009: GA debate on Responsibility to Protect concludes with calls for implementation of the norm
September 2009: ICRtoP Report on the General Assembly Debate on the Responsibility to Protect
Also, please see the August 2009 report by the Global Centre for R2P: The 2009 General Assembly Debate: An Assessment

V. Media and the debate


See our media page on all the published articles and opinion pieces on the report.

 

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