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UN Secretary-General's Report: Implementing the Responsibility to Protect, 2009

Published January 12, 2009

According to the Responsiblity to Protect's (RtoP) summary of core documents, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon released this report on January 12, 2009, to explains how RtoP will operate and the actors involved. Ban Ki-moon envisioned RtoP implementation based on three pillars: "1) the protection responsibilities of the state, 2) international assistance and capacity building, and 3) timely and decisive response to prevent and halt genocide, ethnic cleansing, war crimes and crimes against humanity."


"The present report responds to one of the cardinal challenges of our time, as posed in paragraphs 138 and 139 of the 2005 World Summit Outcome: operationalizing the responsibility to protect (widely referred to as "RtoP" or "R2P" in English). The Heads of State and Government unanimously affirmed at the Summit that "each individual State has the responsibility to protect its populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity". They agreed, as well, that the international community should assist States in exercising that responsibility and in building their protection capacities. When a State nevertheless was "manifestly failing" to protect its population from the four specified crimes and violations, they confirmed that the international community was prepared to take collective action in a "timely and decisive manner" through the Security Council and in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations. As the present report underscores, the best way to discourage States or groups of States from misusing the responsibility to protect for inappropriate purposes would be to develop fully the United Nations strategy, standards, processes, tools and practices for the responsibility to protect."

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