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UN chief hails creation of new centre on ‘responsibility to protect’

UN chief hails creation of new centre on ‘responsibility to protect’

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today welcomed the establishment in New York of the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, a doctrine that holds States responsible for shielding their own populations from genocide and other major human rights abuses and requires the international community to step in if this obligation is not met.

“The birth of this new initiative holds great promise in supporting the endeavours of the international community to take the principle of the responsibility to protect from concept to actuality, from word to deed,” said Mr. Ban in a statement delivered by Vijay Nambiar, the Secretary-General’s Chief of Staff.

“You will help ensure that the responsibility to protect is known, understood and enjoyed by everyone, everywhere,” he said, pointing out that those who most need their rights protected often also need to be informed that the obligation exists for them.

The new Centre is housed at the Ralph Bunche Institute for International Affairs of the CUNY Graduate Center named for the late UN Under-Secretary-General and 1950 Nobel Peace Laureate.

The Secretary-General called the responsibility to protect, sometimes known as ‘R2P,’ “a solemn commitment by the international community” and a “profound moral imperative in today’s world.”

Working together, he said that “we can deliver on the promise of the responsibility to protect, and we can transform this idea from an abstract obligation into what it truly is: one of humanity’s highest calling.”