Skip to content

Remarks on behalf of the Nordic countries at the thematic panel discussion “From commitment to implementation: Ten years of the responsibility to protect”, February 26 2016.

26.02.2016  21:31
Remarks on behalf of the Nordic countries delivered by H.E. Ambassador Ib Petersen, Denmark.

Check against delivery

• On behalf of the Nordic countries, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and my own country, Denmark, I would like to just briefly make a few remarks.

• First, let me thank the President for the General Assembly for arranging this event to mark the 10th Anniversary of the responsibility to protect at the UN. Thanks also to the Deputy Secretary General and to the distinguished panelists and the moderator for insightful comments and analysis.

• The Nordic countries very much agree that it is time to look ahead at the next decade of the responsibility to protect. The informal interactive dialogues that have been held since 2010 have been useful in terms of norm development. In our view it is now established that the membership agrees that the primary responsibility to protect populations from the R2P-crimes, lies with the States. And that the international community has a responsibility when the state ignores or is unable to fulfill its responsibility.

• We do, however, also recognize that views are differing on aspects of the R2P concept, in particular with regard to its implementation.

• We recognize that further consideration is needed on how to implement or operationalize the full spectrum of the concept, the three pillars of R2P. We know that prevention efforts save lives and that it is more cost-effective. 

• The panelists have already provided ample insight on these aspects, so I would simply say that these are important reasons why the Nordic countries support efforts towards a resolution in the General Assembly on the responsibility to protect. As has been mentioned, an important process was launched yesterday championed by a group of member states, incl. Denmark, from all regions of the membership.

• The Nordic countries encourage all member states to engage in the negotiations and join the effort towards a consensus resolution that will reaffirm the commitment of our Heads of States or Governments in 2005 and will secure a continued, formal consideration of the responsibility to protect in the UN.

• Question: Many reviews have been conducted recently in distinct areas within the larger “peace-architecture”. And many lessons have been identified. With that in mind going forward – in particular the need to improve our focus on prevention and protection:

We would be interested to hear your thoughts on the operational interplay and synergies, both in New York and at the national level, between the implementation of the responsibility to protect and other similar concepts, for example Protection of Civilians, Early Warning, Atrocity Prevention, International Criminal Justice? And maybe also on how to situate these efforts within goal 16 of the SDGs?