Assistance should always be requested by concerned state: India

 India has stressed that the key to responsibility to protect must be "prevention", as it underscored that policies for capacity building in nations must be "nationally owned" rather than imposed from outside.

PTI| Last Updated: Sep 09, 2015, 12:04 PM IST

New York: India has stressed that the key to responsibility to protect must be "prevention", as it underscored that policies for capacity building in nations must be "nationally owned" rather than imposed from outside.

"Assistance should always be requested by the concerned state before it is offered. It is our consistent view that the key to R2P (Responsibility to Protect) must be prevention," India's Permanent Representative to the UN Asoke Mukerji said here yesterday.

He was speaking at an informal interactive dialogue of the General Assembly on the Responsibility of States to protect their populations by preventing genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.

Mukerji said the UN and its Member States, and regional or sub-regional organisations, should be ready to offer assistance, as required by the State concerned, to strengthen its policies and programmes, including capacity building, to protect its people from any of the R2P crimes.

"Such policies and programmes must be nationally owned rather than imposed from outside," he said.

Mukerji also underscored that the need for reform of the UN governance system to reflect contemporary realities has never been greater.

"This will go a long way in ensuring a changed dynamics which is critical for the successful implementation of R2P," he said.

Taking note of the latest report of the Secretary-General on implementing the R2P, Mukerji said political commitment has to be intrinsic and not imposed externally.

"Another core priority of the Secretary General in context of R2P namely, expanding options for timely and decisive action, needs to be exercised with extreme caution," he said.

On strengthening peacebuilding efforts, Mukerji said that emphasis should be on building national capacities and national ownership.

"R2P has to be understood against the background of the challenge of strengthening peacebuilding efforts," he said, adding that the review of peacebuilding structures is underway and needs to take into account this important aspect.

He cited the recent high-level panel on peace operations, which has recommended that lasting peace is achieved through political solutions and not through military and technical engagements alone.

He said the international community must not forget what happened in Libya in 2011 when the Security Council Resolution referred to R2P without taking into account how sudden regime change will impact on the protection of population.

"Any action involving R2P must not be taken outside the UN framework of international law," he added.

Mukerji also stressed on the need to activate an advance warning system of potential dangers to civilian populations by the UN Human Rights Council when the country concerned is being reviewed.