I would like to join the
others by thanking the PGA for convening this meeting and by expressing
gratitude to the SG for his address and for his report on the Responsibility to
Protect: Fulfilling our collective responsibility: international assistance and
the responsibility to protect. I also like to thank the panellists for their
interventions and the Special Adviser for Responsibility to Protect, Ms.
Jennifer Welsh, for her work on this topic and the preparation of this report
Estonia, Latvia and
with the EU statement delivered earlier.
In addition I would like
to make the following remarks:
I am pleased that we have
the opportunity to continue our positive dialogue here in this forum by acknowledging
that R2P is a concept that deserves our full attention. The question today is
not on the concept as such, but rather on common principles of its implementation--
how to prevent or react to crimes that have occurred because the principles of
the R2P were compromised or disregarded. While all pillars of the concept
should receive equal and balanced attention, too often the world’s attention is
caught only once the third pillar is under consideration. Governments only come
under real pressure to get involved once atrocious crimes have been committed
and even then, rarely act. Thus, while the third pillar is of utmost
importance, more attention should be drawn to the first two pillars to reduce
the use of collective response by the international community under pillar III.
In this respect pillar II becomes greatly significant in supporting States to
succeed in meeting their pillar I responsibility to protect their populations
from atrocity crimes and reinforcing the efforts already undertaken by these
States. We must not only react when States are in acute need. Prevention is a
long-term investment and should be prioritized on the agenda in order to
anticipate risks before a crisis or conflict breaks out. However once the
conflict has already escalated, we must still be willing to act as soon as
possible, in which regard I believe that the
contribution of the three Baltic States in Central African Republic to the EU's
EUFOR mission stands as a clear and positive example of implementation of R2P
principles in action.
Unfortunately, even today
there are far too many situations in the world, which vividly show us the real
consequences of not taking the R2P seriously. It is in situations like these,
where States are under stress, that the international community must adhere to
its responsibilities under pillar II in assisting or taking collective action
in a timely and decisive manner. It is important that we do not underinvest in
such preventive efforts.
assistance must be provided by the cooperation of a wide range of actors
including international organizations, regional and sub-regional bodies,
states, civil society actors and the private sector, who all bear a collective
responsibility to protect populations from atrocity crimes. Latvia, Lithuania
and Estonia acknowledge that partnerships strengthen efforts and the
collaboration of the expertise of these actors will provide the most effective
form of international assistance.
In this regard we are
pleased that the Report of the Secretary-General emphasizes the role of the ICC
and the principle of complementarity established by the Rome Statute and other
international criminal accountability mechanisms, as an important
capacity-building device and as a contributor to providing assistance under
pillar II. ICC can assist States in protecting their populations by sharing
information, training national prosecutors and investigators and combating the
impunity that facilitates atrocity crimes. We firmly believe that R2P and the
International Criminal Court can complement each other, since both contribute
to ending impunity. For us, supporting the work and aims of the ICC and
preventing atrocity crimes are a priority.
In order to
fulfill our collective responsibility we agree that the exercise of international
assistance needs be based on a common set of principles.
assistance needs to be based on a clear and mutual understanding of the nature
of genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and crimes against humanity. An
important step in the enforcement of the R2P principles is hence to achieve
universality of the ICC’s Rome Statute, as only universal ratification of the
Statute can ensure accountability for international crimes, wherever they are
being committed, and raise awareness.
Secondly, our delegations recognize the importance of national ownership
and that a State can protect itself from these crimes by creating a strong and
balanced society based on the rule of law. The local and national capacity of a
State and its leaders provides an important step in constructing such a
society. We also recognize that this should be combined with international
assistance in the forms of encouragement and capacity-building by strengthening
good governance supported by an effective and independent judiciary, as this is
at the core of preventing atrocity crimes. With an inclusive approach
international assistance becomes more powerful.
Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia join the Secretary General in encouraging States
to use the upcoming tenth anniversary of the 2005 World Summit to evaluate and
reconfirm the commitment to R2P and to ensure a coherent implementation of its
common principles. We must draw on the
lessons learned so far in order to achieve the most effective form of
international assistance and a stronger global partnership in implementing R2P,
by especially paying greater regard than previously to the preventive measures
under pillar II as highlighted in the Report of the Secretary-General.
Thank you for