Complementing the ‘Third Pillar’ of RtoP: Supporting Balanced and Robust Responses to the Threat of Mass Atrocities

June 11-14, 2012 | UN Headquarters, New York, NY

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While Global Action puts much of its program energies and resources into creating collaborative activities in national capitals, we also occasionally co-organize events in New York that help diplomats to clarify responsibilities and allow fresh voices from diverse regions to address UN officials and diplomatic missions on their security concerns and interests. Recently, we convened four days of events on the ‘third pillar’ of the Responsibility to Protect (RtoP), in part as preparation for the upcoming General Assembly Debate on that same topic. Two of the events were full-day seminars and examined both complementary (regional and secretariat) mandates for atrocity crime prevention as well as specific capacity requirements for ‘early and decisive response’ to the threat of such atrocities. A focus here was our proposal for a UN Emergency Peace Service (UNEPS).

The other two events of the week focused on peacebuilding strategies and the linkages between the gender and RtoP communities. Our New York partners included the World Federation of UN Associations, the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung and the International Coalition on the Responsibility to Protect. The World Federalist Movement of Canada also contributed greatly as did our overseas participants from Armenia, Belgium, Brazil, Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria, the UK and Venezuela. All our guests stayed in a Harlem guest house that was comfortable and amenable to long conversations on policy well into the night.

Funding was from the Ira Wallach Fund for the Eradication of Genocide and The Simons Foundation.

We will soon produce a longer report which we will launch in this space as soon as possible. For now, we are sifting through the insights and outcomes, including possibilities for new ‘third pillar’ focused events in Europe and Latin America, RtoP trainings in Nigeria, and much more. In our next installment, we will share that final report along with a full accounting of what we anticipate will be many important ‘next steps.’

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