Intervention by H.E. Ambassador Katalin Bogyay Permanent Representative on 6 September 2016 at the General Assembly Informal Interactive Dialogue on the Report of the Secretary-General entitled “Mobilizing collective action: The next decade of the responsibility to protect”.
Mr. President, We thank the Secretary-General for his forward-looking 8th report, which provides a clear and realistic view of the challenges Member States, the United Nations and regional organizations have to face while implementing the principle of the responsibility to protect.
Hungary welcomes the appointment of Mr. Ivan Šimonović as Special Adviser on the Responsibility to Protect and looks forward to working with him in the coming years ahead.
We believe that with strengthened political will of Member States and better use of already existing tools, the international community could effectively prevent and end mass atrocities.
We share the view that early warning plays an important role in preventing atrocity crimes and is the basis of early action.
As regards the question of the use of force, we consider that as a first priority, peaceful measures should be taken to prevent atrocity crimes. The use of force should remain a last resort, which should only be used in case authorization is given by the Security Council.
The root causes that may give rise to these heinous crimes are manifold, and so are the solutions. Therefore, integrated action is needed that is based on core values, and that places particular emphasis on:
· the respect for human rights and international humanitarian law; and
· ending impunity of the perpetrators of atrocity crimes, based on the sharing of burden between international courts and tribunals and national judicial mechanisms, taking note that national systems have the primary responsibility, and also respecting the principle of complementarity with respect to the ICC.
We also share the view that all relevant international actors – including states, regional organizations and the UN – can and should contribute to the operationalization of the R2P, especially through sharing information and best practices and coordinating their responses. Potential actions shall include:
· the consideration of restraint from the use of veto by the permanent members of the Security Council in situations involving atrocity crimes;
· making use of alternative mechanisms (i.e. peaceful tools such as fact-finding and monitoring missions, commissions of inquiry) to protect populations; and
· working closely with and supporting humanitarian organizations, as they have expertise and experience in early-warning, prevention and accountability.
In 2008, Hungary launched the Budapest Human Rights Forum, a series of annual international human rights conferences attended by national and international human rights experts, representatives of governments, international organizations and NGOs. This year in November, Hungary will organize the 9th Budapest Human Rights Forum where one of the panels will focus on the human rights aspects of the prevention of mass atrocities and the responsibility to protect.
On international level, Hungary – as an active member of the ACT Group – supports the efforts aimed at making the Security Council more accountable, transparent and thus legitimate. We also advocate for timely and decisive action by the Council when it is necessary to prevent or end the commission of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. I would like to use this opportunity to encourage all Member States who have not yet done so to join the Code of Conduct elaborated by the ACT Group and already supported by 112 Member States.
Hungary is a proud member of the Group of Friends of the R2P and the R2P Core Group in Geneva. We recognize the crucial role that Geneva-based organizations play in highlighting the importance of preventing mass atrocity crimes through capacity building and early warning and strengthening accountable and inclusive national institutions. Together with other members of these groups, we seek to strengthen cooperation on existing prevention mechanisms between the UN institutions in New York and Geneva. The Core Group in Geneva will continue to decide on R2P-specific initiatives in the Human Rights Council.
As a best practice, Hungary would like to draw attention on the activities of the Budapest Centre for the International Prevention of Genocide and Mass Atrocities – established in 2010 – which makes an important contribution on both international and regional level to the efforts of implementing R2P. In March 2015, the Centre launched an 18-month initiative, the “African Task Force to Prevent Mass Atrocities” to map the State of the Art of preventive capacities in Africa by exploring opportunities and challenges faced by five regional organizations (AU, ECOWAS, IGAD, SADC, ICGLR). The Task Force provided opportunities to exchange views on best practices, challenges and identify context-specific needs while elaborating on feasible policy recommendations to be included in a Final Report released in autumn 2016.
I thank you, Mr. President!