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


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:

  • Monica Andersson of Sweden, Senior Adviser, Department for International Law, Human Rights and Treaty Law, Foreign Ministry of Sweden;
  • Zackari Ibrahim of Nigeria, former Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of Nigeria;
  • Roméo Dallaire of Canada, Canadian Senator and former Force Commander of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda;
  • Gareth Evans of Australia, President, International Crisis Group and former Minister for Foreign Affairs of Australia;
  • Roberto Garretón of Chile, former representative of the High Commissioner for Human Rights for Latin America and the Caribbean and former Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Democratic Republic of the Congo;
  • Sadako Ogata of Japan, Co-Chair of the Commission on Human Security and former High Commissioner for Refugees; and
  • Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize and former Chairman of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa.

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