This session was part of the CFR Symposium on International Law and Justice, which was made possible through the generous support of the Jolie-Pitt Foundation.
New York City, New York
RICHARD N. HAASS: Good afternoon. I'm Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, and let me welcome everybody here. Thank you for coming.
And today, as you know, we have a symposium, that will run for the length of the afternoon, on International Law and Justice. And, obviously, in so looking at that we will be taking a look at one of the pressing sets of international issues that faces this country and the world.
Timing counts for a lot in life -- I'm increasingly learning, and our timing's pretty good. More fundamentally, international law matters, even for those of us who are not lawyers, because it is one of the things that makes a global order orderly.
But, there are big questions. What's the role international law in a world struggling with global problems ranging from terrorism and proliferation to financial crises and climate change? And, how can existing institutions and arrangements be crafted or modified to deal, not simply with one of the issues we're going to be talking about a lot today -- with atrocities and genocide, but really with the full range of what you might call "the dark side" of globalization?
It matters, because how the world sees the United States acting on issues of international law affects perceptions of the United States; with that, affects our standing and our stature in the world, our ability, therefore, to lead on a range of issues. So, it's a big, again, set of issues. It's a big topic.
We've divided it into thirds. As Wes Clark knows, any issue that's related to public policy is always divided into thirds. There's never four options, never two options, always three. (Laughter.) And that's because there's one that's outrageous on this side; one that's outrageous on that side; and then there's the reasonable middle course -- every bureaucrat's best friend.
What we've done now, we have divided it into thirds to make it, to make it manageable, beginning with this first session on the responsibility to protect -- R2P, for those of you who are collectors of acronyms. And obviously it's the question of what to do about atrocities; what to do about genocide.
But, I think the issue is changing in ways that have made it more complex:
How do we square the responsibility to protect with the realities of sovereignty?
How do we build international support for ideas of responsibility to protect, given that countries like China and Russia -- both of whom have vetoes on the U.N. Security Council, have a very different idea about it?
And how do we build capacities to make sure that the rhetoric is more than just rhetoric, particularly at a time that the United States' military is stretched -- many international or regional organizations lack capacities, and so forth?
So, again, how do we make this policy in reality, rather than simply a slogan?
The second slice of this afternoon will be on international legal institutions and U.S. policy toward them. Again, it's timely given that we're -- in about three months going to have a new administration that will be looking at a full set of issues, including but not limited to, the question of the International Criminal Court.
Once again people are going to be looking at the Rome statute and wondering about whether it can or should be amended in ways that could, perhaps, bring about the possibility of the United States formally becoming a party to it. If it can't, or shouldn't be amended, what can we do to further make wrap-arounds and work-arounds a possibility?
And then lastly we're going to look at the case study of Darfur, which is, in some ways, is a useful manifestation of a lot of the things we're talking about here today -- questions of sovereignty; questions of capacity; the division of labor between or among the national, the regional and the global; questions of justice, 'How do we bring perpetrators of crimes and atrocities to justice?' And it's particularly good, then, that we have Luis Moreno-Ocampo to speak about all this. We couldn't do better than that.
Let me just take a step back for a minute and brag a little bit about this institution -- the Council on Foreign Relations, because as good as all this is today it's not the only thing we're doing on these subjects and related questions. We've got a full plate of research, of publications, of meetings, of website coverage on all this.
We're about to release a lengthy report on Civil Liberties and National Security, trying to figure out where should that pendulum be. That's obviously been a big debate since 9/11. We revisited that, so we've got a report coming out on that in a couple of weeks.
Earlier this year -- a few weeks ago, or months ago we issued a report on the whole question of assurances against torture in the context of transferring terrorist suspects to other countries. Last year we issued a report on things that could be done to prevent atrocities. On our website, in addition to all sorts of background, there's an articles (sic).
I'm proud to say that we recently won an Emmy -- eat your heart out -- (laughter) -- for our crisis guide on Darfur. It's one of -- it's the four guides that we've so far released, one on Korea, one on the Middle East, and just yesterday there's a new Crisis Guide out on climate change, which is extraordinary.
And if you haven't spent any time on cfr.org, or spent time with the Interactive Crisis Guides, you really should. They are not just unique, but as they say in Washington, "very unique." (Laughter.) -- (inaudible) --
We've also just launched here a new five-year program on International Institutions and Global Governance headed by Stewart Patrick, made possible by the Robina Foundation. The whole idea is to look at the gap between global challenges and global arrangements. And I would actually argue that it is one of the most pressing, and arguably "the" most pressing foreign policy and intellectual challenge facing the 44th president and those around him.
The global issues are the cardinal or signature challenges of this era of history. The gap between the institutions' rules and capacities (in place?). The gap between the challenges and the capacities needs to be closed. And, yes, we've got to deal with all the urgent problems of the day, but more history will be written about this, ultimately, I would think, than just about anything else.
So, again, this symposium is part of a much larger set of efforts that we have. It would not, however, have happened without the Jolie-Pitt Foundation, so let me thank all those associated with it, including Angie, for all that she's done, and for being here today.
And also, then, in the aftermath of this afternoon what we're also going to do is produce a report that deals with some of them intellectual and political issues that come out of this. Let me just say that everything this afternoon will be on the record. Everything or anything you say can and will be used against you. (Laughter.) It will be webcast around the country and the world on cfr.org.
If you got electronic devices on, I ask you to switch them off -- even vibrate can mess around sometimes with the communications systems. It will also help your blood pressure because this way you won't be seeing what the market is doing. (Laughter.) So, you will emerge not just smarter but healthier from the afternoon, if turn off your gizmos.
Let me now turn things over to David Scheffer. David is, I think, one of the preeminent scholar-practitioners in this area. He had an extraordinary, (we think, ?) distinguished and important run in the State Department during the previous administration -- during the Clinton administration. He's now a professor at Northwestern University. He is going to help steer us through the first of what I'm confident will be three remarkable sessions.
So, again, thank you for your interest in coming here, and thank -- let me thank also the distinguished panel, the first of three, to be sharing their wisdom with us today.
David, over to you.
DAVID J. SCHEFFER: Thank you, Richard, very much. I'm going to make some very, very brief opening remarks, then very briefly introduce our speakers. You can see their full bios in front of you, as well as on the web.
For those who are watching by webcast, let me just briefly say, for our webcast audience, that I'm a law professor at Northwestern University School of Law, director of the Center for International Human Rights there; and the former ambassador-at-large for War Crimes Issues in the Clinton administration. So, let's begin.
As the domestic and international economy implode, other man-made catastrophes continue to ravage wide swaths of the global landscape. We meet today to confront once again the reality that genocide, crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansing and war crimes -- what I call atrocity crimes, have kidnapped the lives of hundreds of thousands -- indeed millions of innocent lives around the world, and consigned them either to death or unimaginable suffering.
The victims of atrocity crimes require our attention; they require our action; and they require justice. This challenge is perhaps best exemplified today by the choice that confronts the Security Council with Darfur and Sudan President Bashir. ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo seeks the arrest of President Bashir for genocide and other atrocity crimes. ICC judges are deliberating over his application.
The Security Council is weighing whether to block the judicial process or let it proceed. At stake are two relatively new principles: the responsibility to protect civilian populations from atrocity crimes, a principle the United Nations General Assembly endorsed in 2005; and the end of impunity, as symbolized by the establishment of the International Criminal Court and the hope it embodies to deter future atrocity crimes and hold accountable the leaders who still believe in mass slaughter and ethnic cleansing as a means to govern.
Darfur tests both propositions. The Security Council initiated, and now must fully implement, both a peacemaking endeavor that includes a military presence under Chapter 7 enforcement authority in Darfur, the UNAMID Operation; and the Council's own 2005 referral to the International Criminal Court of the Darfur situation, and the need to bring those responsible for the atrocity crimes there to justice.
We have been here before, juggling peace with justice in the Balkans, and in the fragile aftermath of atrocity crimes and civil war in Rwanda and Sierra Leone. And now Kenya presents a similar challenge regarding the fate of military officers implicated in the post-election violence of last January.
Today, the ICC also confronts the challenges in Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Central African Republic and its preliminary review of violence in Colombia, Afghanistan and yes, Kenya.
In my own experience, I believe it is a balancing act that must be attempted, indeed must be accomplished, but it remains a highly contentious battle among policymakers -- and I'm certain here today, among our distinguished speakers.
And finally, at the enter of all of this are the victims. They seek justice -- indeed, retributive justice -- but they also need peace, stability and fulfillment of what my former boss, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, would call "The simple desire to live normal lives."
Now, I want to introduce our first set of speakers. As you know, here at the council we usually just have a give-and-take. What we're going to do today, is everyone will say a few -- a few remarks to begin this discussion, then we'll open it up for questions and discussion with the audience.
General Wesley Clark, to the left, is my former colleague, is the former NATO commander and Supreme Allied Commander Europe and former presidential candidate. He was a key architect of the Dayton Accords and the military leader who led a humanitarian intervention to save Kosovo in 1999. He also is the author of several outstanding books.
Ed Luck is a former president of the U.N. Association of the USA, and now the senior vice president and director of studies of the International Peace Institute. He is also special adviser and assistant secretary-general under U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and focuses on the responsibility to protect principle in that capacity. He is on leave from his real day-job, which is professor of Practice in International and Public Affairs at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University.
And Victoria Holt is a senior associate at the Henry L. Stimson Center where she co-directs the Future of Peace Operations Program, which addresses U.S. policy and international capacity for advancing security and stability in war-torn societies. She now heads the expert group on military options of the Genocide Prevention Task Force down in Washington, with a report expected in December with recommendations for the next U.S. administration on how to enhance the ability of the U.S. to respond to emerging threats of genocide and mass atrocities.
And I'll simply add that I think some of you have this red-covered report, which is released today by the Century Foundation for this purpose, that I co-authored with Retired Real Admiral John Hudson regarding the International Criminal Court.
Now, our two main questions for this panel are: What can we do when governments do not or cannot adequately respond to genocide and other mass suffering? And what are the obstacles to putting the U.N.'s "responsibility to protect" agenda into practice?
General Clark, you have the floor.
GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: Well, thank you very much, Dave. And thanks to Richard and the council for the opportunity to be here.
It's great to be here at the council with a bunch of old friends and people who are really seized and concerned with, I think, some of the most important issues for the 21st century. And this "responsibility to protect" is one of those issues.
We have to move forward! I think the United Nations charter and the right of a state to defend itself, and the ability to form alliances for defensive purposes, set the tone for the last half of the 20th century. And what we discovered at the end of the 20th century was that a lot of violence is not state-to-state planned warfare, but it's warfare and violence within states. And the issue is, then, how do you grip this and do something about it?
And the U.S. response I think is illustrative in this -- and David, maybe the thing I can do most useful is to just review some of the experiences as one of -- I know there are many other of you who have participated in these, and so I hope we'll get into that in the discussion -- but to share some of my opinions.
Like a lot of things, this starts with Vietnam. So I was a captain teaching economics at WestPoint in the spring of 1974 and I took four cadets to Brown University for a symposium on civil-military relations. And the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, who was a Rhodes Scholar Wisconsin Democrat named Les Aspin who everybody said was going to be a great leader in this country, was on stage. And there was a big crowd out there and he looked down and he saw the five of us in uniform -- four cadets and I was in a captain's uniform. And he looked down and he pointed at us. He said, "Those men in uniform", he said, "You're going to find that never in your career are you ever sent outside the United States. We've learned our lesson Vietnam! We're not going to do it again."
Well, it was a really chilling thought to me, because I couldn't understand why I was in uniform if I would never be using it. I mean, it's nice to be in the Army, but it's like being a doctor and no one's ever sick!
Unfortunately, Les Aspin was wrong and we didn't get sent out much for the rest of the 1970s, but we invaded Grenada in 1983. It was the first use of the Powell Doctrine, which he persuaded the Army chief to undertake, and it was overwhelming force. And there was a little aftermath, but nobody paid any attention to it. And then we went into Panama in 1989 and it was overwhelming force and we captured Noriega. The Panamanian society was a pretty good place and we had a base there on the Canal Zone and the country was put back together -- not without effort, but we didn't really understand the process again.
We were still focused on fighting the battle of the big battalions. I was in -- (inaudible) -- at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin and we were training tank-on-tank engagements with the Soviet 8th Guards Army and hundreds of armored vehicles. And real men fought real wars. They didn't do these kind of penny-ante clean-up operations. And so it was hard to get the army off this.
And sure enough, a real war came along and we were prepared to kick Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait and we did! We never actually cut the head off the snake, in Colin Powell's terms, because they called the operation after only four days -- less than 100 hours of ground ops. We never actually engaged the Republican Guards. We went up against their second-rate and third-rate divisions. We fought one of the great tank battles of history.
We didn't allow the press in at that time -- no embedded reporters -- no one ever saw it. And when it was over, it turned out that we killed a lot of our own soldiers through friendly fire accidents and we had completely decimated the Iraqi units we'd fought and they'd pulled back. The negotiations followed and they got away. And people came home and lots of people were angry that we hadn't gotten rid of Saddam Hussein. But lot's of us in the military said, hey, mission accomplished! You know, gave us a mission -- kick him out of Kuwait -- got the job done; didn't take too many causalities; learned a few things. You know, we did a good job!
The next thing that happened was Somalia. I was a division commander and people said, you know, you might get sent with the 1st Calvary Division to Somalia. Turned out, no, we're going to send the 10th Mountain Division in Somalia. We went in there. We took the place of the U.S. Marines. The mission statement was murky. The fighting escalated. There was a change of administrations; a lack of a clear strategy; a reliance on the military by the political structure to produce a solution. Then a change of leadership in the Pentagon and suddenly, catastrophe with Mogadishu and 18 Special Forces killed.
We did a long follow-up review of this. I came into the Strategic Plans and Policy job in the Pentagon in the middle of that. And the principal lesson seemed to be: Don't go into these situations unless you have an exit strategy. This soon became the partisan club that was used in Washington for anything that a Democratic administration wanted to do. The question from the other side of the aisle was, what's your exit strategy? What's your exit strategy? What's your exit strategy?
President Clinton had made a major issue in the Democratic campaign of 1992 about Bosnia. Bosnia was clearly a disaster. A major city was under siege, thousands of people were being killed, there was indiscriminant killing of civilians with artillery. Secretary of State Warren Christopher went to Europe with a proposed plan called "Lift and Strike." Basically, it said, look, we're going to lift the arms embargo. Let these people defend themselves! Why not let them defend themselves? And you know, if the Serbs come in and they actually invade, we'll use American airpower.
Well, the Europeans already had 30,000 troops on the ground. And they were there in the situation. They didn't like "Lift and Strike", because what it meant was they were going to go from a peacekeeping situation to an open warfare situation and they weren't prepared to do is. So we got no support.
So we spent another two years after that trying to craft a diplomatic strategy. Finally, Tony Lake, as the National Security Adviser, created this strategy. Richard Holbrook assembled a team -- I was privileged to be part of that team, along with a lot of other good people -- and we went over and began the negotiations that brought an end to the fighting.
We established a principle in the peacekeeping that we would have first strategic consent. So you had to get all the top political leaders -- all the parties had to sign up. This was the key to intervention: strategic consent. There might be some hardheads on the ground who might shoot at you, but you had the consent of the top political leaders -- including and understanding Milosevic; that Karadzic, who by that time was an indicted war criminal, would be driven out of public life and minimized.
We had not confronted the issue of whether or not we would arrest these war criminals. That was viewed to be the responsibility of the state's parties at the time, including Slobodan Milosevic.
The second principle beyond strategic consent was that you would give the military the authority to do whatever was necessary, but you'd give them the responsibility to do as little as necessary. This was the opposite of the U.N. formulation, in which the military was responsible for everything but was authorized to do nothing. So the military always got blamed, but couldn't -- they couldn't move, they couldn't shoot, they couldn't return fire, they couldn't call an air strike, without it going all the way back up to New York in the middle of the night and someone trying to call someone out of a dinner or something. It didn't work.
So we turned the principle on its head. We made the military authorized to do anything. We called it the silver bullet clause. The Serbs -- Milosevic swallowed it with great reluctance, but he ultimately swallowed it. And we got strategic consent and real authority on the ground. And going in with lots of troops -- we put 20,000 U.S. troops in, on top of the existing U.N. force, reflagged it all under NATO. There were no hard-heads. Not a single U.S. soldier was killed. There was an exit strategy. We promised we'd be out in 12 months.
Of course, most of us didn't really expect we would, and the leaders who went to Congress and promised it had to go back and eat crow, because we couldn't get out in 12 months. It turns out when you're trying to deal with hardened opinions, it takes a while. But we did begin the draw-down several years later, and U.S. forces are totally out of Bosnia. There's no war, and no American soldiers were killed in combat.
We had a problem starting in 1992 with a portion of Yugoslavia known as Kosovo. And this was during the Bosnia campaign. It was the twilight of the first Bush administration, and it appeared that serious ethnic cleansing and real open warfare was going to take place between the fiercely loyal family-oriented Albanians and the Serb basic occupiers of this part of Yugoslavia.
And the Bush administration issued what was called the Christmas warning, which essentially threatened Slobodan Milosevic with dire consequences, bombing, if he proceeded to attack the Albanians. By 1998, the Christmas warning had worn off. The Albanians were restless under a program which was essentially an exploitative colonization by the Serbs. And they began to resist. And we went in to try to negotiate. We conceded if we had another war in Kosovo, there'd be no saving Bosnia from renewed conflict.
And so we undertook a strategy of coercive diplomacy. We told Milosevic that we wanted him to undergo negotiations and settle this with the Albanians without force, and if he didn't, there would be consequences. And over a period of nine months, we ramped up the consequences.
During this time, we also began to capture war criminals in Bosnia. We actually collected information. We targeted people. We used Special Operations Forces and other forces, and we snatched them and we delivered them to The Hague. It was revolutionary. It was frightening.
And the Serbs tried to intimidate us in response. Most of the people arrested were Serbs. But the intimidation didn't work, and we continued to do it. And despite the trepidations of a lot of people in authority, the exercise of strength in a situation like this creates its own strength, and the appearance of weakness and hesitation undercuts the authority and the legitimacy of the mission.
So we weren't the U.N. We were NATO. We did take strong action. And subsequently, in 1999, after nine months of futile diplomacy, when Milosevic began an ethnic cleaning campaign, NATO followed through and acted and began 78 days of an air campaign, which would have been followed by a ground campaign if necessary, to force Milosevic to either comply to the international accord and agreement that had been offered on Kosovo or to pull all his forces out. In the end, after 78 days, we broke his will and he pulled out.
I guess the lessons of all this are, A, you do need an exit strategy. You have to think through where you want to be. And in Kosovo and the Balkans, we did that. We put the diplomacy before the force. We got the highest level of legitimation we could get from the United Nations or from NATO, and ultimately the United Nations endorsed the ending of the campaign in Kosovo.
And we were more than neutral. We walked a fine line between maintaining strategic consent and also standing up for the underdog or enforcing international law and doing the right thing. We didn't stand back. And when looting happened, we didn't say, "Boys will be boys; that's just what's going to happen." We took strong action.
Where that leaves us on the responsibility to protect is that it was a somber warning to some countries when the United States and NATO intervened, because what they saw was not what we saw. What we saw was an essential defensive action to protect populations and preserve peace. What they saw was an exercise in U.S. power.
And as we move forward with the responsibility to protect, somehow we have to preserve the principle that's embodied in the United Nations and gain greater legitimacy for the actions that have to be taken.
R2P is about the scale of risk to the populations. In other words, how bad is the situation? It's about how deeply complicit or unwilling is the government in the crimes that are underway? It's about the balance of being able to do good versus the risks of doing good. And above all, it's about an early and active process of legitimation through multilateralism, through invoking international law and so forth.
I came out of my experiences over the six years I worked in the Joint Staff and in NATO and in the U.S. Southern Command as a strong believer in international law. It has an incredible deterrent effect. Every order that Karadzic, the Serb president, the Bosnian Serb president, gave to General Mladic, however bad the orders were, they always included the paragraph, "Nothing in this is to contravene international law. You must obey international law -- wink, wink." But it was in there. He knew. He knew we were coming after him.
And Milosevic was very cagey during this period. He was careful what he said. He was careful what his relationships were with the Serbs. He tried to maintain deniability of his relationship to Mladic and so forth. It was all about the deterrence. And this deterrence, it did serve to impede the ferocity of their actions. It's not complete deterrence, because the certainty of indictment wasn't there. The certainty of arrest wasn't there. The certainty of prosecution and conviction wasn't there.
But I'll tell you what did happen on the 25th of May, 1999 when the United States indicted Slobodan Milosevic for war crimes. He was finished. His goose was cooked. That was the end. It wasn't the bombing alone. It wasn't even the negotiations alone. Once he was an indicted war criminal, that was the end of the game.
He could no longer call up his buddies and ask foreign ministers to come in, cut a deal. He'd bring two or three foreign ministers in. He'd play one off against the other, because he knew that someone was going to want to go out of there and get credit. "I've saved peace in Bosnia again." I don't know how many times in the early '90s we saw this play as people would go to see Milosevic, come out -- "I have met the demon and conquered him, and he has agreed that he will call off his tanks," or something like this. And once he was indicted, it was over. So international law is a very powerful weapon.
I testified in the war crimes trial of Milosevic. And I can tell you, from my personal experience, that the trial was important. It was precedent-setting. But it was also a lot of lessons being learned. We can't allow the degree of theater in the future. We've got to have a closer connection between the crime and the certainty of indictment, arrest, prosecution, conviction.
Assembling 50 charges that spanned over a 10-year period and bringing in hundreds of witnesses, to have thousands of hours of quibbling in a courtroom, is less effective in terms of deterrence than having two or three charges, a half-dozen witnesses, and the certainty of conviction at the end.
And so I hope that as we move forward in this process that we'll be able to move in that direction. And I just want to say, in conclusion, I hope the United States will be a leading member of that international criminal court.
SCHEFFER: Thank you very much, General.
Ed, I want to turn to you now, because you're on the front line in the United Nations with the responsibility -- (inaudible) -- principle; if you could say a few words, and then we'll turn to Tori.
EDWARD C. LUCK: Right. I must say, the front lines that I'm on are the diplomatic-political front lines, not the real front lines that General Clark knows so much about. But I thought I might talk a little bit about the responsibility to protect as it's being developed at the United Nations.
And I think General Clark's remarks, which much of it was about humanitarian intervention on the military side, really is a very good prelude for this, because what we had in the 1990s was a debate about humanitarian intervention.
And Kofi Annan was very articulate about posing the sort of stark choices between doing nothing or sending the Marines. And that didn't go very well with most of the member states because they saw that as a formula for the big, powerful countries intervening in the small, weak ones. They saw it as a formula from the North. It wasn't particularly acceptable in the global South.
So he didn't get very far and the General Assembly basically rejected his ideas in September 1999. So then they went back to the drawing boards and he, with the Canadians, put together a panel which eventually came out in 2001 with the report on the responsibility to protect, and led by Mohamed Sahnoun of Algeria and Gareth Evans of Australia. And what they said was that really there has to be a range of alternatives, that it's not enough to think of this as a binary situation where either you do nothing or you only have a military option because, quite frankly, that's not really morally acceptable because the only time you would actually invoke a military option was when the bodies were piling very, very high. It would be late. It would be reactive. It really would not be acceptable. The idea that you would intervene militarily very early was really politically quite unlikely.
Second of all, it really didn't talk about prevention. What you really want to do is not react after the fact, but very early on try to do things with the societies, with the regional organizations, with civil society within the various places, to try to prevent a country from going down that path in the first place. And the old saying that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure is definitely true when it comes to humanitarian issues.
So now with new Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, and with -- as David pointed out before, armed with the documents from the 2005 summit where all of the leaders of the world that had who had a stake in government, agreed on two rather meaty paragraphs about the responsibility to protect, and now we have a new secretary general who's great on paper; how do you make it actually turn out to be an action? And so he asked me to help him put together the pieces. And basically what we're arguing with the member states -- and they actually seem to be reasonably responsive -- is that we actually have three pillars here, and the first pillar is the one of state responsibility. It's not something that you can pass off to the international community. Every state has an obligation under very well-established international legal principles, to prevent genocide, to prevent war crimes, to prevent ethnic cleansing, and to prevent crimes against humanity, and to protect their citizens from these four crimes and violations, and, very importantly, not to incite or permit the incitement of these kinds of acts. And at that time, in 2005, all the heads of state and government pledged themselves to in fact follow this.
So that first pillar was extremely important. We don't think that all the talk about international intervention or international diplomacy should detract from the fact that is first and foremost the state's responsibility. And we don't think this is in any way an invasion of sovereignty or somehow is a clash with sovereignty, but in fact sovereignty requires responsibility. This is fundamental for a state. It's one of the reasons why you're a state to begin with, was to protect people, not for the government in fact to be the biggest enemy of its people. And I think this is widely accepted now within the organization. We don't hear as much talk about that we're somehow harming sovereignty with all of this, and we argue that in fact we are the allies of sovereignty, not its enemies. So it's only weak states that actually conduct these kinds of activities against their own citizens. So the first pillar is critical.
But there is a second pillar, and this hasn't been appreciated very much. There are a lot of things that the international community can do to work with societies to make sure they don't go in this kind of direction -- a lot of things about good governance, the security sector reform, various kinds of monitoring and other ways to make sure that human rights are protected, that there is tolerance of minorities, that there is transparency. It's really in very autarchic societies that try to close themselves from the rest of the world that you're most worried about these kinds of things.
And so we think that through the development work of the U.N., the work of the Peacebuilding Commission, looking at states that have been through these kinds of traumas to make sure they don't happen again, much of the work in peacekeeping, there's many things that the U.N. can do -- it's involved in many, many counties day after day around the world -- to help them not go in this direction, and also for early warning. The U.N.'s civil society -- any number of organizations represented here -- have people out in the field. So the question is getting this information, analyzing it, and seeing if there in fact is a pattern of activities that might lead to these crimes and violations, and to be sure that information, that assessment goes directly to the secretary general and then through him or her to the Security Council or other bodies.
Now, there is a third pillar, and that's in many ways I think what General Clark was talking about, but the third pillar of response -- in the outcome document from the summit they call it "timely and decisive response." That isn't necessarily always a military response. It may be diplomatic. It may be political. It may be the Security Council itself doing an investigation. That doesn't have to have a threat to international peace and security under the charter. All sorts of circumstances they can do investigations. It may be getting regional organizations to work -- sort of regional to regional cooperation, state to state cooperation. There's a wide range of things. Even in the military realm it might be a preventive deployment, like we had in Macedonia where you're putting the troops there first before you get these kinds of crimes and violations rather than after the fact. That's sometimes something that's quite acceptable.
There are cases where the government is not the problem. You look at Sierra Leone, you look at some of the problems in the Democratic Republic of Congo where in fact you need U.N. and international forces under a coercive mandate, but not to fight the government but to fight the rebels because they're the ones who are committing the atrocities; they're the ones who are cutting off the limbs; they're the ones who have to be stopped.
So there's a wide range of things that the U.N. can do to help governments to meet their responsibilities, even in a very robust kind of way. So we're telling the ember states there are three pillars. They're all equally important. You don't sequentially go from one to one to one; you do an early rapid response, very flexible response, depending on what's needed in the circumstances of each case. We have to have a very adaptable and flexible system to do that.
So we're saying it's a very narrow definition. If the member states think that we're going any farther beyond this -- for example, when certain foreign ministers suggested that the problems in Myanmar after the cyclone in August was a question of responsibility to protect, we had to say, well, we're sorry; as defined in 2005 it's not that. That's a terrible thing. For human rights and other reasons you might want to try to encourage the government to be more responsive, but it's not what was intended in 2005.
Recently another member state invaded a small neighbor called Georgia and said somehow this was because of the responsibility to protect. We have to say, no, that is not what's intended. It's a narrow definition, just those four crimes and violations of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and ethnic cleansing. But if we can make an ounce or two difference on that, it would be an enormous difference historically.
So we're keeping it narrow but we're saying it's narrow but deep with this wide, wide range of things that could be involved in it, and we're reassuring the member states that we really are on their side because the U.N. will not be effective unless it has very strong states, and strong states are those that respect the rights of their citizens and don't try to close off their society to the rest of the world.
Now, finally, I should say politically we're not finding this to be a North-South issue. One of the problems with the discussion of humanitarian intervention, it was put in North-South terms. That is not going to win you many votes in the General Assembly, the 192 member states, most from the developing world. In fact, our way of thinking about this, this didn't come from the North; it came from the South. It is in many ways an African idea. First with ECOWAS in Western Africa and then with the creation of the African Union in 2000, they have very similar ideas. In the Constitutive Act for the African Union, under Article 4(h), three of those four crimes, they now have a philosophy of non-indifference. Before that, with the Organization of African Unity, it was non-interference, but now it's non-indifference: We have to care what's happening to our neighbors next door. We can't do it individually, but collectively through the AU we have not only a right but an obligation to intervene with three of those four crimes.
So we have been arguing that this really is a Southern idea that the North somehow has co-opted, and we find as we go around the world there is just as much interest in civil society in the South as there is in the North. There is just as much ambivalence about this idea in the North as there is in the South. You talk to the U.S. government; they're just as concerned about not being required to respond as other states are worried that we might respond. So everyone wants their flexibility.
So we're finding, in fact, there's a little bit more acceptance. I, just before coming up here, put to bed a draft report for the secretary general where he will be speaking in some length on these issues. He gave, I think, a rather good speech in the middle of July in Berlin on this issue. And we'll be putting it to the member states toward the end of the year and hope to have a very robust and positive reaffirmation of the responsibility to protect when the General Assembly addresses it, probably in February or March.
So that's where we are and we hope to feed into the U.S. election process as well with the new candidates.
SCHEFFER: Thank you, Ed, very much. I'm going to jump immediately to Tori -- a few remarks from the Washington perspective and your experience with the Pentagon.
VICTORIA K. HOLT: Thank you very much, David. It's a pleasure to get out of Washington and come north. It's a little chillier up here.
What I'd like to talk to is a couple questions that David asked me, specifically to comment on peace operations, which is this particular tool we use, which is somewhere between prevention strategies and full-on intervention, and I think it's a launching pad to getting serious about responsibility to protect might look like if you really want to operationalize it.
Many of us have in our mind what happened in Rwanda and Transnistria, and whether you read the news about Darfur or worry about civilian security in Iraq, this has got to move down to another level where politicians and policymakers can know what the to-do list is. And we're frequently turning to the military because we don't also know how to think about this in other terms as you see violence escalate. And so that's what I want to focus on, not the sunny day where governments are doing well, and not the horrible day where you know the only choice is intervention, but it's this murky in-between space where we keep tripping over ourselves. So let me briefly talk about peace operations and then maybe the view from Washington.
The first point about peace operations is they're still relatively young. They came out of the end of the Cold War, but they were based on the idea that they were coming in to help a government govern. They were coming in with the consent of the government, and they were there to basically support a peace that was already in place. But if you fast-forward to today's peace operations, this is often not the case. They're often sent in when the peace is very wiggly, where the government may not be in full consent, as you mentioned. You may have a Congo but you've got well-armed rebels who aren't too happy. And you also see peacekeeping, particular led by the United Nations or the African Union, going into places with little infrastructure and huge amounts of displaced persons, a few fundamental insecurities.
So how does this relate to responsibility to protect? Some subsets of these operations will face an escalation of violence in real time. All right, what's the problem there? The problem is that the peacekeepers on the ground and the mission leaders are not prepared, A, to recognize that. B, they're not necessarily understanding of what their strategy should be if this is a growth of violence, and they frequently do not understand, even when they have a Chapter 7 mandate, that they are allowed to use force to protect the people in their wide mission area.
Well, this doesn't make sense to us. What else do peacekeepers do but protect people? Well, the strategy of most peacekeeping missions is protection is the result of a secure and stable environment, and by helping the government it provides that protection. It is a different situation when the government is behind potentially the violence or at least is complicit and non-active. And this is a really important point, and it's one that Ed's going to grapple with, responsibility to protect, because the core of this idea is saying that states are responsible, but if they aren't, the international community will take action, and that can include up to at least a deterrent threat, if not also the course of use of force.
All right, so that's quick on peace operations, but then, all right, well, then how do we fix this? And some of my remarks come out of a conference we held in Ghana a year and a half ago where we invited former force commanders and mission leaders who have been in some of the worst of the missions, in Rwanda and Sierra Leone, in Congo, also in Kosovo, Bosnia and East Timor. Some have led interventions and some have been in peacekeeping. And we said to them, is protection part of your mission? Did you have guidance? Did you lean back on military doctrine and tactics and strategy? What did you do? And what was interesting is every one of them said protection is one of our goals, and all of them said, we never had enough guidance; we did the best we could. And you know what? Those military leaders often can do a very good job, but at the end of the day they're not as good as a state prepared ahead of time.
So that sort of leads me into Washington as one case study. And I should back up and say the U.N. is very aware of these problems. It does try and protect people. But it's infrequently authorized to take action against the state. That's usually something that's only authorized for a coalition or a lead nation to do.
We've just finished with a genocide prevention task force in our own research, trying to look across the scope of the U.S. government and how good are we at early action, long-term crisis prevention, immediate crisis response, the range of military options and the international institutions that we work with. And I recommend you all to read that report in early December when it comes out. But I can say a couple things that we know otherwise, which is that the U.S. government, in general, doesn't have on its bookshelf humanitarian intervention or prevent genocide as a core mission. I would ask the general, in general this is not something that we anticipate as a fundamental mission for our military. It's not that we can't do it; it's not that some president may not call up, but it's just not something that's considered a primary goal.
What do I mean? We've prepared well for combat operations. We've moved into looking at the counterinsurgency. We certainly now have increasingly looked at stability and peace operations. We certainly can do evacuations. So all of those have pieces of what a mission to go protect civilians in another place might look like and can inform a mission like that. But we don't actually have people who have sat down and said, if our goal of a mission is to stop this escalation of violence first, or if the U.N. gets overwhelmed, come in and replace and back it up, how is that different than other missions? It is different because the focus there is on the protection of millions and stopping potential belligerence.
So quickly back to Ghana. We did a simulation with these generals and colonels, and it was interesting: A number of them argued -- and this is a good conversation to have -- when their mandate says to protect civilians and there's an escalation of violence, they didn't know if that meant stay by the camps where the refugees and displaced persons were, or can we go after the belligerents? I can't answer that today, but that's the kind of question that we need to sort out ahead of time.
So back to our own planning. This is fundamentally a political question, but the reason we should look at how the military options range is because ultimately military people will be asked to prepare plans, and at this point, even though the national security strategy for the United States in 2006 references that where mass killing defies all attempts at peaceful intervention, we will, on a case-by-case basis, consider -- I think it's more coercive measures, including intervention will allies or with other international institutions.
If you want to do that right, you want to start early. You want to know before the escalation of violence happens how those indicators work and feed that in to whoever's on the ground. And you want to know the difference between doing a small observer force might be successful in tampering down violence and having to park a carrier off the coast of a nation and then potentially deploy into it.
So despite the national security strategy, we are not yet aware of any particular plan to back this up with particular doctrine and training. So that would be on the agenda for the next president. But this good intention that I think is quite bipartisan that both candidates have embraced could be translated into more serious political guidance from our leadership, an inculcation both within our military as well as within our State Department, our preventative strategies, to link up better this potential strategy, and then second, to reach out to the international organizations -- certainly the United Nations, but I would add to that list NATO, the European Union, the African Union and ECOWAS because all of them are on the front lines. All of them say they're willing to take on missions to prevent this escalation of violence and to protect civilians, but since the U.S. in the lead often on doctrine and training and leadership preparation, and we've also looked at these international organizations, there's not much evidence that anybody has this right yet.
So, as a person who likes to come up with to-do lists, I would put this on our to-do list, and I'm optimistic because I think if we put the brain power in this room alone to this task, many of us could come up with some plans and beat them up. This doesn't have to be rocket science. We just have to focus on it a little bit better so that the agenda on prevention will succeed, but in the case that it doesn't, we're a lot better and we know earlier that we need to take another set of steps.
SCHEFFER: Tori, thank you very much, and I think it confirms what I always say in government, that when you have the direction from the top down, it makes an enormous difference in the policymaking discussions that take place outside of the Oval Office.
We are going to open it up for questions now. I'm not going to throw my questions out; I want to ask the audience. We have until about 2:15, 2:20 or so, and I know many of you may have some questions that you'd like to pose, so I'll open it up, and I'll point to various people. Yes, right here, Peggy. Yes.
QHi. Peggy Hicks with Human Rights Watch. Ed, I wanted to follow up on the point that the secretary general has asked you to look at, what the U.N. could do to make this R to P principle a reality, and ask specifically what types of tools are at the U.N.'s disposal that you would recommend? For example, one thing we've looked at is, as you've said, the need for information. If you're going to be able to get in there before, as Tori says, things escalate, you need the information on the ground about what's going on. And if you look at a place like Georgia, which was brought up earlier, there was no reporting coming out about the human rights abuses in the midst of that conflict and the violation of international humanitarian law. So how can the U.N. be in a position to field human rights monitors, people with experience in looking at international humanitarian law violations, and get that reporting out, both as a deterrence and to put the groundwork in place to be able to take other steps as needed, as was done, for example, in Nepal?
LUCK: A very good question. I think if you want the right answers you have to ask the right questions, and what we want to do with R to P is get it mainstreamed across the U.N. system because the U.N. has a huge -- you know better than anyone with Human Rights Watch -- the U.N. has a very large human rights constituency around the world. They have about a thousand people out there. We have about a thousand people at Humanitarian Affairs. We have more peacekeeping operations in more places than ever before. We have more political missions in more places than ever before.
Groups like yours, Human Rights Watch, International Crisis Group, the mountain of non-governmental information is extraordinary and often more candid. So the problem, I don't think, is information, but in some cases, you're right, they're not asking the right questions, and we saw this in Kenya, for example. Kenya is the only place where the U.N. has actually applied R to P as a standard, as a strategy, and it worked out reasonably well but it's something people should have foreseen earlier, that after the elections there would be problems. We like to think that elections are great, but elections are very destabilizing in some parts of the world and people knew that this was going to be a very troubled one.
And yet, as I understand the reporting coming in to the U.N. from its own people on the ground, was sporadic.
And one of the problems is that they were looking at it in various pieces, and no one was looking at it altogether.
The U.N., not unlike the U.S. government, is a collection of fiefdoms. And they each have their own channels for information. There are probably five or six different sort of situation rooms around the U.N., in every place from UNICEF to Humanitarian Affairs to Human Rights to Political Affairs, but they don't talk to each other very much.
So our feeling is that these kinds of crimes are political; they are humanitarian; they're social; sometimes they're economic, and they're certainly human rights. And so you can't have this captured by any one piece of that because we have to see all the different perspectives.
And so what the secretary-general wants to do is take the little office that he has on genocide prevention. The head of -- (inaudible) -- came up with the idea of sovereignty as a responsibility some years ago -- and make it a little bit bigger so that we could focus on R2P crimes across the board and make it more of a focal point for information for the outside and for groups like yours. And also to be asking the various people in the field for the U.N. the questions in particular areas that they might not be asking.
So I think it has to be more centralized in terms of analysis. It has to be, I think, a little more open and transparent to the non-governmental sources of information, and it has to have more direct access to the secretary-general and, through him, to the Security Council.
SCHEFFER: Let's see. The lady in the back here with the blond hair. Yes, right there.
QUESTIONER: Thank you. Janet Benshoof, Global Justice Center.
I have a question for Mr. Luck. The Security Council has recently passed quite historical resolutions on protecting women during conflict, or guaranteeing equality --1325 and 1820.
Now, the fact they passed unanimously probably means nobody thought you'd have to do anything with them. But -- sort of how we put sex into Title VII in the United States and --
But my question to you is have you considered how those resolutions could be made more legally enforceable, because some parts of them do include legal terms? And, combined with the responsibility to protect, to require -- and since they are on the Security Council themselves -- to require, for example, not just military intervention to protect, but let's say jettisoning a report of gender crimes that is endemic into a Chapter 7 resolution for an ICC referral?
And I'm partially concerned with the case of Burma, where I represent a lot of the exile groups. But I think that R2P 1820, 1325 combined should give affirmative action into Chapter 7.
LUCK: Yeah, a very good question.
We've actually found some of the better responses we've gotten around the U.N. bureaucracy -- and they haven't all been wildly enthusiastic -- but some of the more positive ones have been from groups like UNIFEM, UNICEF, others that have these concerns. Related, the special adviser for the -- children in armed conflict.
And so what we find is they all have issues they want mainstreamed in the Security Council and in the peace and security work of the U.N.
And for us, whether it's children or sexual violence, these are things that are often either precursors or important indications of a wider kind of violence. So we think it's extremely important. Obviously, ethnic cleansing, often women and children bear the brunt of it, and also with crimes against humanity.
So for us this is sort of a bellwether issue, and we're very eager to be a part of a means of getting this at a higher level and get more attention to it.
In terms of making it legally enforceable, that probably requires Chapter 7 resolutions by the Security Council, maybe with some real teeth.
I mean, with the children issues, women's issues, others, in the Council many humanitarian issues have not had that component. They've been sort of good will kinds of resolutions.
But I think when Tori was talking about protection and how you go about protection issues, this should be central to it. Particularly, we've seen this in Darfur and other places.
How do you protect the women when they go out to get water, and this, that and the other thing, and how do you protect children from being kidnapped to become child soldiers? I mean, this is fundamental to what one is trying to achieve, when you try to humanize security, in essence.
So we would encourage the Council perhaps even to have a working group on the responsibility to protect. I'm not sure they're all wildly enthusiastic, but they have one now on children in armed conflict, and this might be a way of doing it. And we would see the sexual violence issues as sitting very, very closely with R2P issues.
SCHEFFER: Let me just quickly add I've had the opportunity to work with UNICEF on this, and two just small steps: One is to make sure that every peacekeeping operation that goes out there has a gender law counsel associated and attached to that peacekeeping operation so that that individual keeps his or her eye on these issues in the field.
And then secondly, the incredible importance with making sure that national laws are properly amended and revised in order to bring more and more women's rights and children's rights issues into domestic legal enforcement. And that's another big step that has to be accomplished worldwide.
QUESTIONER: Thank you. I'm the convener of the American NGO coalition for the International Criminal Court, and this is a question for General Clark. It's about current Defense Department attitudes and senior officials' attitudes both to the Court and to the larger question of responsibility to protect.
But first of all, General, I'd like to say thank you very much for your repeated affirmation of support for U.S. participation in the International Criminal Court, in public and on the record, and we'll make good use of it. Thank you. (Laughter.)
GEN. CLARK (?): (Inaudible) -- the use. (Laughter.)
The question is simply this. We know from our connections and also from public statements from the campaigns of both candidates that their attitude on the International Criminal Court and also on responsibility to protect is one of a cautious desire to separate themselves from the positions of the Bush administration on these issues and, at the same time, an acute desire not to get into trouble with the military.
I wanted to ask you what you think they will find when they ask current senior military people about these issues, and what answers they should be ready to give.
CLARK: Well, I think the military's going to be very cautious about giving up any measure of investigatory authority to an International Criminal Court, even though it's written very clearly that national investigations take precedence and national jurisdiction takes precedence.
There's still a fear that the United States could be -- and U.S. forces could be unfairly politically targeted with harassment suits and things like this that have no basis in fact, but would tie up manpower, embarrass leadership, inhibit operations, create a deterrent situation against effective -- and ultimately put our troops at risk.
So we're going to have to work our way through this, and it's going to be an active dialogue between the civilian leaders who want to see us move in this direction and the military, who is reluctant -- and maybe rightfully so.
And we tried to work this through in the late stages of the Clinton administration; we never quite got it done. We were actually very close, and then it disappeared.
I have to say it's a real embarrassment to think that the country that I was in uniform for went around and asked other countries to sign on and exempt us from ever being considered under ICC issues. It's awful; it's embarrassing, and we have to find a way to work through this issue.
SCHEFFER: Let's see. Yes, right here.
QUESTIONER: My question's for you. Gabor Rona, Human Rights First.
I'm sure you'll agree with me that as the point person for ICC negotiations on behalf of the U.S. government, the U.S. made some valuable contributions to the final product, in spite of the fact that the U.S. is absent from the treaty itself now.
Do you think that the U.S.'s continued absence from the Assembly of States Parties and from the Working Group on Aggression is for the benefit or to the detriment of the ICC?
SCHEFFER: I think it's clearly to the determinant. For almost -- well, more than seven years now we've been absent, particularly from the Special Working Group on the Crime of Aggression.
This is a crime which, although it's in the wrong statute, it cannot be operationalized until it's properly defined, and the jurisdictional trigger for it is established. That will come about with a proposal for and amendment to the Rome Statute at the 2010 review conference.
Everyone who is significant in this situation is in the room now negotiating this, even the non-parties to the treaty are in the room as observers. We have the right to be observer.
India is there, Pakistan is there, Russia is there, China is there, and Israel is there. Why? Because they actually are very interested in how one defines the crime of aggression and how the Court engages jurisdictionally with that crime. And they are speaking very vigorously in these discussions; we simply have been AWOL from them ever since 2001.
So I think it's extremely important for us to be there, and I think it's good for the International Criminal Court that the United States reappear.
Because frankly, if other major non-party states are there, it's even more reason for us to be there as well. There's no reason for them to essentially hijack the discussion in our absence.
We have major equities at stake, because of our global deployments, in how we get this right. And we had a lot of friends with us during the Clinton administration when we engaged in these negotiations on aggression. We were not alone in the room whatsoever. We had many allies with us in terms of our perspective on how to get this into the statute of the Court.
So I think it's important for us to be back in that room, even as an observer.
SCHEFFER: Yes, let's go up here. Ted Sorensen.
QUESTIONER: It's a wonderful panel. My question is for General Clark, though I have no doubt that the moderator and all the members of the panel might have some views.
It's said that a prisoner on death row is feared by the guards because he has nothing to lose from another act of murder. Are there not situations where to indict a leader with prevent him from ever participating in negotiation and may even worsen or redouble his war crimes or aggression?
CLARK: Well, Ted, that's certainly the --
QUESTIONER: I'm certainly not second-guessing the indictment of Milosevic.
CLARK: Well, that was the question. And this was a very controversial indictment.
Washington was, broadly speaking, against the indictment. They saw it as adding fuel to Milosevic's fire and his determination to resist.
I took a different view on it, and I told the prosecutor that I believe that ultimately you gain strength from international legitimacy, by being on the side of justice and ethical behavior and the rightness of these issues, and that for the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal not to have indicted Milosevic when the evidence was there would be a form of complicity with wrongdoing.
It would be a form of weakness, and it would encourage him to resist, whereas indicting him would be show of strength and would discourage him from further resistance. And maybe this was because I'd spent hundreds of hours negotiating with Milosevic that I could see what the impact would be, and maybe it was particular in that case.
I wouldn't say that the consideration you raise is something you should never think about, but I think when you weigh it, on balance it's very hard to say that you're willing to have your service members risk their lives for a principle, but you're afraid to enforce the principle by the power of law.
And so for me, it goes back to something I worked on with Colin Powell a long time ago, which is don't ever commit American forces to fight unless you have a plan and put the resources in to succeed. And once you do, make sure you do succeed.
And that means all the resources -- the weight of U.S. diplomacy, the weight of economic power and, most importantly, perhaps, the weight of international law.
And so for me, it was a pretty easy choice on the 25th of May.
SCHEFFER: I'll (discover ?) more questions now. Larry in the back, and then I'll go over to the left there.
QUESTIONER: Thank you. Larry Johnson, formerly with the U.N. Office of Legal Affairs (for Ed ?) for R2P.
Clarify for me exactly how this would work in practice, your prevention functions. What government in its right mind is going to let U.N. people in its territory running around asking for information with the end result being they're going to be a list of potential genocide states? Why would a government let you in to do that?
Unless, of course, they want you to go after militias. But if the problem is they will be targeted, why would they let U.N. people in? How are you going to deal with that? Persuasion, pressure from the big boys, naming and shaming like human rights? So help me out on that.
LUCK (?): Well, first of all, we don't think we should only deal with the states in deep trouble. We think we should deal with states that are doing well to learn their positive lessons and encourage state-to-state sort of learning process.
So we don't want the assumption that there's someone there from the U.N. there, that's a red flag, and they're all of a sudden going to be indicted tomorrow.
Second of all, we don't think that intervention is always negative. You know, those countries that squawk about their sovereignty love development intervention. And what's more interventionist than going in and telling them how to run their economy? That's very interventionist.
So the U.N. is deeply involved. Many other organizations are deeply involved in the affairs of many, many countries. And it's a natural course.
You take, for example, the Peacebuilding Commission, looking at countries that have been through traumas of one sort or another, trying to put th pieces back together. That's a point where you have a lot of access and a lot of luggage in both states. And among the first choices of countries that the Peacebuilding Commission is looking are Sierra Leone and Burundi -- two countries that have had their share of traumas in the past. So we think that this is actually fairly natural.
I think the question is what is the attitude the U.N. people bring? Is it sort of accusatory, or is it really to be helpful? We find there is no state that claims that it wants to commit any of these four kinds of violations. There is no caucus for genocide in the U.N.. People may commit it, but they don't want to be associated with it. It's known this is a bad thing. (Scattered laughter.)
So you don't come in wagging your finger and accusing, but you say we want to help you because you may want some help. And if it's, let's say, a mainstream development program, we want to go to the donors and say look, you might target certain things in that society -- help build up the courts, help build up the human rights institutions.
Look, as David pointed out -- I'm glad he remembered it -- that you want to look at the legal structures in those countries. Is it reflecting these kinds of international conventions and values or not? Is there any kind of judicial redress? What about treatment of minorities and other things?
So you look, for example, at the High Commissioner for National Minorities that the OSCE has had in Europe. It's had some real tough territory with the Balkans and others, and yet he's been able to go into lots of very difficult situations, often because the governments want the help.
And even you look, for example, at the preventive deployment in Macedonia. That was a case with an old Communist leader in a new era who saw these trends in his country and said I'd like to have an international force here to help keep us from going down that road.
Because if you look at it, it's not just a lot of people killed in these things. You're ruining the economy. It's not just that the Security Council might put sanctions; individual companies are going to put their own sanctions on it. They're not going ot go there; the risk is going to be too high. You're going to kill tourism.
You don't want to be in a reputation -- a bad list for doing these kinds of things.
So I think in many ways what's really important about R2P is not really all the mechanisms we're creating, which I hope have some difference, but rather as a political statement (and/in ?) a very large international transnational movement, including important celebrities that are helping to contribute to this idea that these things are simply unacceptable, and you shouldn't go there, as a government.
And the U.N.'s job is to help you from making mistakes that might lead down that path. Because if you think the only path to your political viability is through genocide, you're in big, big trouble. And your society's in big, big trouble.
So we see this as an assistance mission, to help states do what they should want to do for themselves.
SCHEFFER: Thanks, Ed, very much.
One very short question and short answer, and I'm going to go back to the fellow in the blue shirt back here. Yeah, right there.
QUESTIONER: Hi. My name is Jared Genzer. I'm a term member of the Council and a human rights lawyer.
I actually want to ask about the worst-case scenario situations, cases of frozen conflicts such as Burma and North Korea where there are widespread ongoing systematic violations of human rights that I believe can very rightly be called at least crimes against humanity.
I'm wondering the panel's view about does the responsibility to protect offer anything for the people of those two countries who the U.N. has tried for decades to try to do something to alleviate their suffering, the human rights and humanitarian violations, and yet the international community is really frozen itself in trying to figure out how to intervene in those countries.
I was interested in that question.
SCHEFFER: Tori, do you want to take that on?
HOLT: I think this is an area where -- I'm not going to touch the political question; I'm going to talk about the operational piece. Because in a sense, the challenge Ed has in selling this idea about prevention is the one you raise, which is: if responsibility to protect looks at this particular class of mass violence, genocide, crimes against humanity, how do you actually prevent that stuff?
And that's really hard to sort out from just general conflict prevention/crisis response. Which why our heads start hurting when we start thinking, well, what does this actually look like, right?
So I actually think that's a research agenda and it's an operational agenda that we need to pull out, and there are some things we can know early on about it -- which I'm not an expert on. (Chuckles.) But it would lead to where you have the response problem.
And (Ed ?) -- may also take the specifics of North Korea, but in general, I don't think been seen in the R2P framework at all.
LUCK: Yeah. Actually, we had a conversation about this the other day, as I recall.
I don't think it was the intent of the assembled heads of state and government in 2005 to include these kinds of cases. That doesn't mean there aren't any number of other reasons to intervene. If you don't call it R2P and there's chronic, deep human rights violations, that's still something of deep concern to the international community.
But we don't think that they meant those kinds of situations. We do feel that engagement with those societies, over time, might be of some help pointing out to those leaders the economic costs and other costs to their society of continuing those kinds of practices.
It's something we certainly want to point out to them. As you know, the secretary-general did go to -- we have to call it Myanmar -- to Myanmar, Burma, after the cyclone to help push the door open a little bit.
But very importantly, I think, in those situations -- and not just the U.N., but the neighbors, whether the ASEAN countries or China or India, in the case of Myanmar/Burma; of South Korea, China, very importantly; Russia, the U.S., Japan and others on North Korea.
Some of these societies take a long time to change, and one tries one kind of effort after the other. But I think it wouldn't be a bad idea to look at what happened to the Iron Curtain and the various things that helped that come down over time. And human rights information, engagement, other things made a big difference, as well as keeping up the military/political pressure on them at the same time.
There are states that have not even reached the 20th century, much less the 21st. They're still trying to have these huge walls between them and the rest of the world. We have to break down those walls, and it's largely a question of values and information and engagement, I think. And you have to keep working at it.
But we're not going to call it R2P. We can't call everything in the U.N. R2P, as much as we'd like to. We're not that quite ambitious.
SCHEFFER: Thank you very much, Ed.
I want to thank the Jolie Pitt Foundation and your presence, Angelina. I think my children are still in shock that I'm in the same room with you. (Laughter.)
But I do want to thank everyone here, and particularly the superb cast of speakers and all of your expertise that you brought to bear. We have another panel to go to, so thank you very much. (Applause.)
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