Skip to main content

United Nations

Volume 461: debated on Monday 4 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment she has made of the way in which the principle of responsibility to protect has been implemented by the United Nations in the last 12 months. (140077)

The UK continues to lead efforts in the UN to maintain and build international consensus on how to implement the commitments made at the World summit in 2005 in relation to the Responsibility to Protect principle. UN Security Council resolution 1674 (2006), concerned with the protection of civilians in armed conflict, explicitly affirmed the World summit outcome on Responsibility to Protect. The UK has worked to embed this commitment in relevant country specific resolutions. One example is Sudan, where the UK was the main sponsor of resolutions 1706 (2006) and 1755 (2007) which make direct reference to the Responsibility to Protect provisions of the World Summit Outcome Document.

Responsibility to Protect remains a political commitment rather than a legal obligation, but it is in the UK’s interests to make sure this commitment holds.

We will continue work to apply the Responsibility to Protect principle to achieve appropriate and speedy responses to protect vulnerable populations against genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing.