Fifteen years of the responsibility to protect - a collective commitment to humanity”

7 Oct 2020 | Online

Organized By : United Nations Office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect

Fifteen years ago, the adoption of the responsibility to protect during the 2005 World Summit
represented a significant step towards realizing the international community’s commitment to end
the most horrific forms of human rights violations. This vital and enduring commitment generated
hope and spurred action to shield populations around the world from genocide, war crimes, ethnic
cleansing and crimes against humanity.

While considerable progress has been made in terms of transforming the responsibility to protect
into a sustainable agenda for prevention, the efforts of the international community have not
matched the human suffering in parts of the world where atrocity crimes continue to be committed
with impunity. The COVID-19 pandemic has further exacerbated the vulnerability of the least
protected in society and highlighted existing concerns, such as discrimination against certain
groups, hate speech, xenophobia, attacks and forced returns of refugees and asylum-seekers,
mistreatment of migrants, and sexual and gender-based violence. These are all indicators of risk
of atrocity crimes.

The 15th anniversary of the responsibility to protect takes place in a year when, more than ever,
political will and determination to protect and defend the rights of vulnerable populations is needed
in all corners of the world. The challenge is both practical and political: how to best uphold the
responsibility to protect by uniting efforts to strengthen its implementation.

Against this background, the Office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect is
proposing a virtual conversation for United Nations principals, representatives of Member States,
regional and subregional organizations, and civil society organizations to commemorate the 15th
anniversary of the responsibility to protect. The event will provide an opportunity to reflect on the
progress made to date and in light of emerging challenges, discuss priorities and strategies to
advance greater cooperation on the ground-breaking commitment to fully operationalize the
responsibility to protect populations from atrocity crimes.

The event will take place on 7 October 2020 from 09:00 am to 10:30 am (EST).
To confirm participation, please register here:
*Deadline for RSVP is Monday 5 October 2020*