Brussels International Crisis Group President Gareth Evans has been appointed by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to the new UN Advisory Committee on Genocide Prevention.
The seven-member Committee will provide guidance and support to the work of the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, Juan E. Méndez.
Gareth Evans has been President of Crisis Group since January 2000. In 2000-01, he co-chaired the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty, whose report introduced the concept of “the responsibility to protect”. This concept makes clear that sovereign states have a responsibility to protect their own citizens from genocide, ethnic cleansing and other crimes against humanity, and that if they abdicate that responsibility through incapacity or ill-will, it shifts to the wider international community. The “responsibility to protect” concept was unanimously endorsed by the UN World Summit in September last year, and was reaffirmed by the UN Security Council last Friday, 28 April.
“The task for the international community is now to fully operationalise the responsibility to protect principle and to ensure that the world never again faces a repetition of the horrors of the Holocaust, Rwanda, Srebrenica -- or now Darfur”, Mr Evans said.
“I look forward to working together with my colleagues on the Committee in support of Juan Méndez, who is doing an outstanding job as the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide”.
Text of UN Media Release Follows:
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York
SECRETARY-GENERAL APPOINTS ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON GENOCIDE PREVENTION
United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has decided to appoint an Advisory Committee on Genocide Prevention. The Committee shall provide guidance and support to the work of the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, Juan E. Méndez, and contribute to the broader efforts of the United Nations to prevent genocide.
The Committee will be composed of distinguished individuals with a diversity of backgrounds related to conflict prevention, human rights, peacekeeping, diplomacy and mediation. It shall be chaired by David Hamburg, President Emeritus of the Carnegie Corporation of New York, and is expected to meet at least twice during the course of the present year, with its first meeting to be held on 19-20 June. In addition to its Chair and Special Adviser Juan E. Méndez, the Committee’s members will be:
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