Source: United Kingdom – Executive Government & Departments on the hour
Headline: Speech: “Part of our Responsibility to Protect lies in ensuring that those who seek to harm civilians know that impunity is not an option.”
Thank you very much Mr. President, and thank you to the Secretary-General for his report on the Responsibility to Protect. It’s very strong focus on the challenges of implementing that doctrine are especially welcome, and I would like to reaffirm at the outset the United Kingdom’s commitment to implementing the R2P doctrine, and I would like to thank all of the panellists for everything that they do, and continue to do, on such an important global issue.
Responsibility to Protect is a global issue that can be seen on virtually every item that comes to the Security Council’s agenda. It can also be seen on the faces of the thousands being forced to flee from Juba in July, or the hundreds of thousands of poor civilians in Syria who are besieged or under attack in Aleppo. So we must redouble our efforts on R2P for their sakes.
I think there are three areas that deserve special attention.
First, there has been, as others have said, a stark increase in atrocities over recent years. Early warning must be met with early action. The Security Council has failed too many times in this regard. The findings of the OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism in Syria show just how horrific the consequences can be when we fail to prevent such conflict, in that instance with the use of chemical weapons against civilians of Syria by the Asad regime.
Second, international humanitarian law, international human rights law, and international refugee law are the foundation on which the R2P doctrine is built. And Member States, every single one of us, must meet those obligations so that civilians living in conflict today have a chance to live in a peace that they deserve tomorrow. And I hope that this call to action can be echoed by everyone in this room. And crucially, that action can then follow words.
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