Hangout #3: “Responsibility to Protect, current state and role of the international civil society”
Debate on the Responsibility to Protect principle, organised by the Public Diplomacy Council of Catalonia via Google+.
The Public Diplomacy Council of Catalonia organised the G+ Hangout “Responsibility to Protect, the current state and role of the international civil society” with the aim of contributing to the international debate surrounding this principle – a principle passed unanimously by State and government leaders at the 2005 United Nations (UN) World Summit. This principle states that States have the responsibility to protect their populations from serious violations of human rights in situations of conflict.
William Pace, Executive Director of the World Federalist Movement - Institute for Global Policy, Tina Park, Executive Director of the Canadian Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, and Josep Xercavins, member of World Democratic Governance, a Catalan association-project, took part in the Hangout. All three exchanged points of view and experiences regarding the matter of how civil society can bear an influence on governments so as to guarantee their observance of this UN principle.
William Pace explained that the foundational Charter of the United Nations refers to civil society in its preamble ("We, the people") and that citizens have usually been at the forefront of great steps forward in human rights, civil rights, the right to self-determination and many of the disarmament treaties signed by governments in the years following the UN’s origins.
Tina Park stated that civil society can play a fundamental role in defending this principle through publicising it and preventing or reporting any non-compliances, as well as controlling what their respective governments are doing to halt atrocities or crimes against Humanity.
Josep Xercavins believes that the Catalan society should be keenly aware of this principle, especially if Catalonia is aiming to become a new actor on the international stage. He also explained that civil society must apply pressure to reform the decision-making mechanisms of the United Nations, thus adapting them to the present day and achieving effective democratic governance in international politics.
This is the third Google+ Hangout in a series of online debates organised by the Public Diplomacy Council of Catalonia. Our aim is to hear from experts from different sectors in diverse areas related to public diplomacy and the international projection of Catalonia.
The Public Diplomacy Council, in collaboration with Barcelona City Council, and the support of the European Parliament Office and the European Commission’s Representation in Barcelona, also organised an on-site conference on the Responsibility to Protect, the role of civil society in its development by the UN and its incorporation into EU foreign policy.
Last updated: 7 October 2015