Responsibility to protect

At the UN, Brazil reiterates commitment to preventing atrocity crimes, but still needs to apply it At the UN, Brazil reiterates commitment to preventing atrocity crimes, but still needs to apply it

In a world plagued by the horror of violence against civilian populations, it is essential to renew the call for an effective commitment from the international community to help States than cannot protect their citizens.

This was one of the messages repeatedly addressed during the 6th Informal Interactive Dialogue on the Responsibility to Protect (R2P), which took place on September 8, in New York.

The annual meeting is held to debate the report prepared by the United Nations Secretary-General, which this year dealt with aspects of the concept of the Responsibility to Protect. The meeting was attended by 67 member states of the United Nations – including Brazil – as well as representatives of regional organizations and civil society.

In his speech, Ambassador Antônio Patriota, the Brazilian representative at the Dialogue, stressed the conviction that non-coercive methods are most effective in protecting civilian populations.

“Brazil is firmly convinced that civilians are better protected in more prosperous and inclusive societies,” said Patriota.

Finally, the ambassador reiterated the importance of debating the concept of Responsibility while Protecting (PwP), which was proposed by Brazil during the last time it served as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council.

“The mention of the concept of Responsibility while Protecting by Ambassador Patriota was important, since it signals that the Foreign Ministry has an interest in advancing an agenda that was proposed in 2011 and to which, in recent years, it has not dedicated much effort,” said Camila Asano, coordinator of the Foreign Policy program at Conectas. “Nevertheless, it is necessary to apply the proposal, given that the concept still needs further refinement and clarity. It is up to Brazil, as the author of the proposal, to put the topic on the international agenda,” she added.


Conectas submitted contributions to the report, reaffirming the fundamental character of the rule of law in preventing atrocity crimes (war crimes, genocide, crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing). It also highlighted the importance of empowering local organizations in the debates to ensure that States do not deny responses.

Furthermore, Conectas emphasized the need to restrict the flow of light weapons, which are most commonly used to commit atrocity crimes – and for which the implementation of the Arms Trade Treaty would play a central role – and suggested holding a debate, at the 2015 Dialogue on R2P, on the establishment of a framework to regulate the application of enforcement actions that do not use force, as specified in the Charter of the United Nations.

Click here to read the contributions submitted by Conectas in full.

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