Press Release No.54/2009
United Nations, July 24, 2009.:Pakistan told the General Assembly on Friday that the Responsibility to Protect civilian population rests first and foremost with the member states and that this should neither become a basis to violate the principles of non-interference and non-intervention nor question the territorial integrity of any State.
The international community’s responsibility in case of a Responsibilty to Protect situation is to provide appropriate, diplomatic, humanitarian and other peaceful means, in accordance with Chapter VI and VIII of the Charter”, said Ambassador Abdullah Hussain Haroon in a statement made during a thematic debate on Responsibilty to Protect populations from genocide ,war crimes,ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.
Ambassador Haroon said that the international community should deal with every situation on case by case basis and take action only if peaceful means become inadequate and when state authourities fail in protecting the population. However, it must be clear that the scope of the concept of Responsibilty to Protect is restricted to “responsibility to protect populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity”, he emphasized. A comprehensive approach starting from conflict prevention and utilization of all existing mechanisms in the UN system is required to prevent populations from such situations, Ambassador Haroon suggested.
Ambassador Haroon said in order to prevent any misunderstanding or misuse of the concept of “Responsibility to Protect “ as a tool to pressurize or interfere in the internal affairs of a sovereign state, the continuous double standards and selective approach to different conflicts in the world including situations under foreign occupation, this concept would have to be systematically rectified to remove the doubts about its implementation.
Ambassador Haroon said that in a world of sharply increasing socio-economic inequities, state building and state-strengthening continues to depend on socio-economic development. Situations leading to “Responsibilty to Protect” are more often than not the result of under-development and poverty which need to be addressed in capacity building of development frameworks. Our commitment must be to “helping states build capacity to protect their populations” This would remain the best protection,he added.
Commenting on the report of the United Nations Secretary General presented before the General Assembly on “Responsiblity to Protect”, Ambassador Haroon made it clear that the concept at this stage was “work in progress”. He also pointed out that their were inconsistencies in the language and expression of the report , varied language was used to describe genocide in Rwanda and the tragedy of Srebrenica.
Ambassador Haroon said that the UN’s failure in Rwanda to save the population from genocide called for the need to improve its Early Warning Capacity in such situations .Criticizing the role of the UN in Rwanda, he said neither the Security Council nor the member states were approached leading to loss of valuable lives.
Following is the full text of Ambassador Haroon's statement:
Transcript of the Statement by H.E. Mr. Abdullah Hussain Haroon,Permanent Representative of Pakistan at the Thematic Debate on “Responsibility to Protect populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity”
Agenda Item 44 and 107:
“Integrated and coordinated implementation of and follow-up to the outcomes of the major United Nations conferences and summits in the economic, social and related fields; Follow-up to the outcome of the Millennium Summit: report of the Secretary- General” July 24, 2009
Statement by Ambassador Abdullah Hussain haroon Permanent Representative of Pakistan on Responsibility to Protect populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity
Excellencies and Dear Colleagues,
I would like to thank both the President of the General Assembly and Secretary General for presenting the report and for convening this Thematic Debate on Responsibility to Protect.
This is the first time since the adoption of 2005 World Summit Outcome document that we the member states of the United Nations are debating the concept of Responsibility to Protect (R2P). In the past such debates calling for conflict resolution, peace building and effective role of United Nations and international community have been stimulated as a reaction to some unfortunate tragedies of scale of Rwanda and Srebrenica - these would be mentioned time and again in my speech as points of important references. Although our world is faced with challenges of great magnitude, mercifully this debate has not been triggered by an event of such scale and instead is a result of a process to discuss the concept of R2P which needs to be delicately dealt with, requires transparency and need to take all member states on-board.
n this discussion we are guided by the paragraphs 138 and 139 of 2005 World Summit Outcome document and this remains our yardstick for discussions on the concept of R2P. The following elements are important for my delegation:
A comprehensive approach starting from conflict prevention and utilization of all existing mechanisms in the UN system is required to prevent the four grave situations in an effective and complete manner. The existing mechanism of Genocide convention, the Geneva Conventions, the humanitarian law and the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Court as well as the existing mandates of the Security Council, the ECOSOC and the Human Rights Council can be effectively utilized to prevent the four grave situations.
The report of the Secretary General stimulates the discussion on the concept of R2P. Ours is at this stage essentially and I repeat, a work in progress. Let me therefore share with you some food for thought, these include:
R2P shall be a delicately defined process and in order to prevent any misunderstanding or misuse of the concept as a tool to pressurize or interfere in the internal affairs of a sovereign state, the continuous double standards and selective approach to different conflicts in the world including situations under foreign occupation in the world would have to be systematically rectified to remove the doubts about the implementation of R2P.
While we look forward to further debating the concept of R2P in the General Assembly now and later I would care to bring a few points before this august house. One is, ultimately it matters down to a very simple point which is that discretion will be the ultimate factor which will decide application of R2P.
As far as this stage of the document is concerned. I would like to sound a note of caution that there is a history of lack of historical trust in this organization that is being overlooked. We are peeling away years of protection that we have found ourselves in, very sagaciously put there by people of great vision to protect this institution. We have started to peel this away with this particular segment. If you have not noticed, let me point out to you that every one agrees to pillar one and two. Before I get on to pillar three, has any one realised none of the criteria that should be mandatory in pillars one and two have been specified to say that you can not go to three . This is the considered process of one and two that you slowly must legitimize your access through and then come to pillar three.
Pillar three was introduced here over 15 years ago or ten years ago under a name “Right of intervention”. It is that and remains that. The House voted vehemently against it, today it has reappeared with albeit a larger spectre.
I must say that Mr. Gareth Evans has done some great work in putting together the concept over many years. The only thing is that I say this is another way a return because what are we debating here today one and two,nobody doubts that we must add clear criteria so that it can not be violated There is a right of intervention no matter how you look at it or how you don’t look at it. I just have to say in this particular aspect that today when we are financially squeezed, when the World Food Programme is cutting back, when we have not been able to raise adequate funds for crisis through out the world.,where are we going to get the funding for one and two to be properly adhered to. Prevention is better than cure and we are not looking at prevention as such. I think these matters need to be discussed and standardised. We are not to overlook one and two as a done thing and only look at three.One and two and two must become the solid pillars that will prevent anything going wrong.
In the end I would say financially one and two must be substantiated not just glossed over . With that I will merely add time responses at the United Nations have never proved us to be great appreciators of the early warning bell system, we have always been there a trifle late at the cost of many human lives and I think that this early warning system to pass pillar three through this house should also be substantiated so that we can not have any thing going wrong. With that I thank you Mr. President for the time you have given me.
I thank you