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First Dissemination Meeting/Policy Roundtable on the Responsibility to Protect (RtoP)

Date: 26 January 2011
Venue:
Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)Research Institute (Tokyo, Japan)

The RSIS Centre for NTS Studies successfully completed the first of two Dissemination Meetings/Policy Roundtables on the Responsibility to Protect (RtoP). The meeting was held in Tokyo, Japan, on 26 January 2011, in collaboration with the Japan International Cooperation Agency Research Institute (JICA-RI).

The meeting aimed to share the research findings of the Study Group on the Responsibility to Protect that was convened by the Centre in 2009 and introduce possible policy entry points for operationalising RtoP in Asia. More broadly, it also sought to promote an understanding of RtoP and to assist in operationalising the norm in Asian policymaking.

Prominent participants included keynote speaker Professor Ramesh Thakur, former Senior Vice-Rector of the United Nations University, Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations and member of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty, Ambassador Koji Watanabe and Mr Tadashi Yamamoto of the Japan Center for International Exchange. Other participants at the meeting included state and non-state actors such as representatives from the Japan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, JICA-HQ, the UN Refugee Agency, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the International Organisation for Migration.

Among the main themes that emerged from the meeting were: 1) Asia and other regions should actively engage in localising the RtoP norm and build on the ‘lowest common denominator’ that has been adopted at the UN level. According to Professor Ramesh Thakur, the UN would be open to broadening the RtoP norm and related structures and mechanisms adopted by ASEAN; 2) in order to diffuse the RtoP norm effectively and convince states in Asia of the relevance of RtoP, strong regional champions and the engagement of civil society are of great importance; 3) the policy community and proponents of RtoP should incorporate insights gained from related areas of studies such as security sector governance and past lessons from cases of internal conflict in Asia; 4) Japan could incorporate RtoP within its peacekeeping commitments and seek to enhance its peacekeeping capacity through the deployment of civilians for state-capacity building.

The Dissemination Meeting/Policy Roundtable in Tokyo was funded by the Australian Responsibility to Protect Fund and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The second dissemination meeting will be held in collaboration with the National Research Council of Thailand and the Strategic Studies Center of the National Defence Studies Institute of Thailand from 28 to 29 March 2011 in Bangkok. 

Click here for speech by Keynote Speaker – Prof. Ramesh Thakur.


Posted on: 26/1/2011 9:00:00 AM  |  Topic: Internal and Cross-Border Conflict


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