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CCR2P's statement at the 8th Annual Dialogue on R2P at the UN General Assembly was delivered by Executive Director Ms. Tina Jiwon Park.

Mr. President,

Thank you for convening this important dialogue on R2P. I am honoured to speak on behalf of the Canadian Centre for the Responsibility to Protect.

We fully endorse the Secretary-General's report on mobilizing collective action for R2P and I wish to thank him for his personal leadership on this principle.

We meet at a critical historical juncture, as we bear witness to some 400,000 people who have died from the crisis in Syria and millions of others whose lives have been uprooted and were forcibly displaced from their homes. In the face of humanitarian challenges in Syria, North Korea, Yemen, Sudan and Central African Republic and elsewhere, coupled with the rise of extreme terror groups, we are also seeing a growing sense of frustration and disenchantment with our institutional capacity.

Yet, we need not lose hope. As our dialogue today has amply demonstrated, Responsibility to Protect has come a long way since its inception as an idea in 2001 and the endorsement in 2005. Today, there is a clear consensus about a wide range of tools that R2P offers, the three-pillar approach, and prevention as our top priority. The debate is no longer about why R2P matters but how R2P can be implemented. As we look ahead, we must be more pragmatic and persistent in upholding the core values of human dignity, equality and freedom from fear.

The Canadian Centre for R2P respectfully offers three points as we move forward:

1.       We call upon member states to develop national strategies on R2P, including specific policy measures tailored to the political culture of each country. States bare the primary responsibility for protection and the future of R2P can only be as strong as the domestic capacity in terms of political leadership and deployable resources.  

2.      We encourage member states to improve mechanisms for partnerships and effective coordination, such as appointing a National R2P Focal Point. Creating a culture of resilience and infrastructures for peace and justice will be a long-term process, requiring different partners such as parliamentarians, academics, journalists, NGOs and businesses.

3.      As the photo of three year old Aylan Kurdi reminds us, we must also recognize that promoting freedom from fear and freedom from want are fundamentally important for a more secure future. We are deeply concerned about the rise of terror groups committing gender-based violence and recruiting child soldiers. Respect for human dignity and equality is at the core of R2P principle and special attention should be paid to the plight of women and children who are most vulnerable in conflict situations.  

Mr. President,

The next decade of R2P should be measured against our action, not our promises. And to deliver on our pledge of “never again,” we must mobilize our efforts in a timely and decisive manner in the face of very complex and volatile crises.

When we sacrifice the freedom and dignity of one person, we risk our own, for we all share a common humanity. Today, as we are witnessing greatest humanitarian challenges of our times, we must remember our collective responsibility to speak up and take action.

Thank you.