General Assembly: Statement by Ambassador Thoms on the Responsibility to Protect
I would like to thank you, the Secretary-General, Professor Welsh and Special Adviser Dieng for this important debate and the report. This informal interactive dialogue shows how far we have come and clarifies where the international community stands regarding R2P. In order to underline our commitment, we also support the inclusion of R2P into the formal agenda of the GA ahead of the stocktaking after ten years in 2015.
The EU Statement outlines in a comprehensive way our understanding of Pillar II and its paramount importance. It remains one of our biggest challenges to engage all actors involved early enough to prevent crises and mass atrocities.
It is a sad lesson from the past ten years, that if we don’t act early, if we don’t help to establish prevention mechanisms, if we don’t include all relevant actors from governments to civil society, efficient crisis prevention will be impossible. Once a conflict turns into a severe crisis, a point of no return may be reached fairly quickly, especially if governments in the affected countries and regions don’t embrace a culture of compromise and inclusion. Preventing mass atrocities becomes then more and more difficult and costly.
Once the situation has become a threat to peace and security it will be dealt with by the Security Council. Unfortunately, we all know the cases where it wasn’t able to act. Germany therefore supports the French initiative of a voluntary code of conduct regulating the use of the veto in cases of mass atrocities, genocide and crimes against humanity.
In its cooperation with other states and actors Germany always supports the principles of national ownership, inclusiveness and preparedness. We assist a number of countries through mediation projects, promotion of women’s participation in peace negotiation, strengthening national judicial systems and programs of demobilization, demilitarization and reintegration of soldiers.
Against the backdrop of its own history, Germany is committed to an effective implementation of the Responsibility to Protect.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman."