France’s UN envoy Says US insisted on clause exempting countries not signed on to the ICC

Asked if clause exempting non-state parties to the ICC meant that it would exclude mercenaries from countries not signed on to Rome Statute, Amb. Gerard Araud said:

“No, that’s, that was for one country, it was absolutely necessary for one country to have that considering its parliamentary constraints, and this country we are in. It was a red line for the United States. It was a deal-breaker, and that’s the reason we accepted this text to have the unanimity of the Council.”

UN Secretary-General Ban on R2P

…[T]he founders of the United Nations understood that sovereignty confers responsibility, a responsibility to ensure protection of human beings from want, from war, and from repression.

When that responsibility is not discharged, the international community is morally obliged to consider its duty to act in the service of human protection.

The last decade of the twentieth century saw unprecedented progress in international law, humanitarian law and the establishment of international legal institutions. There also was increased acceptance of international norms by Member States, at least in principle.

These steps led to important human protection advances in the Outcome Document of the 2005 World Summit.

The Heads of State and Government embraced a responsibility to protect. You might have heard of “R2P,” the responsibility to protect – protecting populations by preventing genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing.

The Responsibility to Protect has undergone further doctrinal elaboration and institutional expression over the last five years.

When I was campaigning to become Secretary-General, I pledged that if and when I was elected as Secretary-General, I would do my best to operationalize it. This is what I have been doing for that last four years.

There are some states that are still feeling uncomfortable and who have skepticism of the concept of “R2P,” whether this is going to be used as a tool by the big powers to interfere in their domestic politics.

However, my doctrine envisages that our efforts to prevent these awful crimes rest on three pillars: first, state responsibility, first of all, the State should be responsible second, international responsibility to help states to succeed and third, timely and decisive response should national authorities manifestly fail to protect, including under Chapter VII, if the Security Council deems such steps necessary.

(excerpts from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Cyril Foster Lecture 2011 on “Human Protection and the 21st Century United Nations” delivered at Oxford University on Feb. 2)

UN Secretary-General Ban’s Statement on Libya

UN Spokesperson – Do Not Reply


show details 6:11 PM (4 minutes ago)

Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General
On developments in Libya

The Secretary-General is outraged at press reports that the Libyan authorities have been firing at demonstrators from war planes and helicopters.

Such attacks against civilians, if confirmed, would constitute a serious violation of international humanitarian law and would be condemned by the Secretary-General in the strongest terms.

He once again calls for an immediate end to the violence.

The Secretary-General has been in close touch with key member states about the developing situation.

New York, 21 February 2011

Note to Correspondents, in response to questions on Tunisia

UN Spokesperson – Do Not Reply 

show details 4:38 PM (16 minutes ago)

The Secretary-General is concerned about the escalation of violent clashes between security forces and protestors in Tunisia, and the resulting deaths and injuries. The Secretary-General calls for restraint and urges all parties to seek to resolve differences through dialogue. He underscores the importance of full respect for freedom of expression.

UN Warns of Genocide in Cote d’Ivoire

UN Spokesperson – Do Not Reply

 show details 10:39 AM (0 minutes ago)

UN Secretary-General’s Special Advisers on the Prevention of Genocide and the Responsibility to Protect on the Situation in Côte d’Ivoire

Francis Deng, the Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide, and Edward Luck, the Special Adviser of the Secretary-General who focuses on the responsibility to protect, have expressed grave concern at developments in Côte d’Ivoire. They drew attention particularly to indications that some leaders there are inciting violence between different elements of the population so as to serve their political purposes.  “Given the history of internal conflict in Côte d’Ivoire,” they warned, “such actions are highly irresponsible”. There are continuing reports, so far unconfirmable, of serious human rights violations by supporters of Mr. Laurent Gbagbo and by forces under his control as well as the use of inflammatory speech to incite hatred and violence.  The latter has especially dangerous implications which are completely unacceptable.” Mr. Deng noted that allegations that the Abidjan homes of political opponents of Mr. Gbagbo had been marked to identify their ethnicity were extremely worrying.

Mr. Deng and Mr. Luck reminded all parties of their responsibility to protect all persons in Côte d’Ivoire, irrespective of their ethnicity, nationality, or religion. Special Adviser Luck recalled the 2005 World Summit Outcome Document, in which all Heads of State and Government pledged to protect their populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity. “This responsibility entails the prevention of these crimes, importantly including their incitement,” he stressed. “We would like to remind all parties in Côte d’Ivoire, as the Secretary-General did in his statement of two weeks ago, of this solemn commitment and of the fact that they are accountable for their actions under international law.”

New York

29 December 2010