Helsinki: Regional meeting on the Responsibility to Protect

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On Tuesday, April 29th, the Budapest Centre participated in the regional meeting on the Responsibility to Protect organized by the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the United Nations Office of the Special Advisors on the Prevention of Genocide and the Responsibility to Protect. The meeting focused the attention on the role of international assistance and development cooperation regarding the Responsibility to Protect with the view of contributing to an exchange of ideas on the Second Pillar of the Responsibility to Protect.

The Budapest Centre, earlier in April, launched the discussion on the topic at the World Bank in the framework of the Global Forum on Law, Justice and Development with a dedicated session on The Role of Development Agencies in Preventing Mass Atrocities.

Taking the meeting in Washington as a starting point, Prof Le Fevre Cervini, Director of Research and Cooperation at the Budapest Centre, intervened in the discussion by acknowledging the fragmented nature of development efforts. In this regard, the Director recalled that expectations regarding the role of development agencies should be somewhat lowered. Nonetheless, the Director emphasized the need for a more synergetic architecture for prevention, which can only be achieved through a set of specific actions. Most notably, prevention requires broader in-house analysis with a specific mass atrocity lens by both development agencies and other stakeholders involved in development activities. Besides, implementation of RtoP can be achieved only through capability building at the local, national, and regional level.

Sharing the view of the regional meeting, the Budapest Centre has organized a colloquium on the role of dialogue in the prevention of genocide that will take place in late-May, 2014. The Centre hopes that this initiative, together with the one on mediation, will foster debate on an underestimated tool for the implementation of a culture of prevention.

The Budapest Centre would like to thank UN Office of the Special Advisor on the Responsibility to Protect and the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs for hosting this initiative and hopes that this community of practice will soon meet again to continue its precious work.