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UNRIC Library Backgrounder: Responsibility to Protect

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Information on "Responsibility to Protect"
("RtoP" or "R2P")

UNTERM – United Nations Multilingual Terminology Database
http://unterm.un.org/
responsibility to protect
Describes an evolving concept about the duties of governments to prevent and end unconscionable acts of violence against the people of the world. Aims to provide a legal and ethical basis for humanitarian intervention. Responsibility to protect populations from genocide, ethnic cleansing, war crimes and crimes against humanity is an international commitment by governments to prevent and react to grave crises. The idea is that if a particular State were unwilling or unable to carry out its responsibility to prevent abuses, the responsibility would have to be transferred to the international community, which would then solve problems primarily via peaceful means (such as diplomatic pressure, dialogue, sanctions) or, as a last resort, through the use of military force.

 

UN Events

 

Selected UN Documents
  • A/67/929–S/2013/399 (9 July 2013): Responsibility to protect: State responsibility and prevention; Report of the Secretary-General
    http://undocs.org/A/67/929
  • A/66/874–S/2012/578 (25 July 2012): Responsibility to protect: timely and decisive response: Report of the Secretary-General
    http://undocs.org/A/66/874
  • A/66/551-S/2011/701 (11 November 2011): Letter dated 2011/11/09 from the Permanent Representative of Brazil to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General.
    http://undocs.org/A/66/551
    Transmits a concept note developed by the Government of Brazil on the issue entitled "Responsibility while protecting elements for the development and promotion of a concept".
  • A/65/877-S/2011/393 (28 June 2011): The role of regional and subregional arrangements in implementing the responsibility to protect: report of the Secretary-General
    http://undocs.org/A/65/877
  • A/64/864 (14 July 2010): Early warning, assessment and the responsibility to protect : report of the Secretary-General
    http://undocs.org/A/64/864
  • A/RES/63/308 (adopted 14 September 2009): The responsibility to protect
    http://undocs.org/A/RES/63/308 
  • A/63/958 (9 September 2009): Concept note on the responsibility to protect populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity : note / by the President of the General Assembly
    http://undocs.org/A/63/958 
  • A/63/677 (12 January 2009): Implementing the responsibility to protect : report of the Secretary-General
    http://undocs.org/A/63/677
  • S/RES/1706 (adopted 31 August 2006): Security Council resolution 1706 (2006) [on expansion of the mandate of the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) to support the implementation of the Darfur Peace Agreement]
    http://undocs.org/S/RES/1706(2006)
    In the second preambular paragraph of this resolution, the Security Council recalled its earlier reaffirmation of the provisions regarding the provisions of paragraphs 138 and 139 of the 2005 World Summit Outcome document.
  • S/RES/1674 (adopted 28 April 2006): Security Council resolution 1674 (2006) [on protection of civilians in armed conflict]
    http://undocs.org/S/RES/1674(2006)
    In paragraph 4 of this resolution, the Security Council reaffirmed the provisions of paragraphs 138 and 139 of the 2005 World Summit Outcome regarding the responsibility to protect populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.
  • A/RES/60/1 (adopted 16 September 2005): 2005 World Summit Outcome : resolution
    http://undocs.org/A/RES/60/1
    Paragraphs 138 and 139 of this document: “Responsibility to protect populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity”
  • A/59/2005 (21 March 205):  In larger freedom: towards development, security and human rights for all; Report of the Secretary-General
    http://www.un.org/largerfreedom/
  • A/59/565 (2 December 2004): Note [transmitting report of the High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change, entitled "A more secure world: our shared responsibility"]
    http://www.un.org/secureworld/
  • A/57/303 (14 Aug. 2002): Letter dated 2002/07/26 from the Permanent Representative of Canada to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General
    http://undocs.org/A/57/303
    Transmits report of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty entitled "The Responsibility to Protect"

 

Selected Statements and Speeches by UN Officials

 

Selected UN Publications & Articles available online

 

Further Information

 

Non-UN Sources

 

September 2013
not an official document - for information only
http://www.unric.org/en/unric-library/26580

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