Serious Initiatives to Prevent New Holocausts
Lesson of the Holocaust
"The lesson of the Holocaust is clear, but keeping our vow of 'never again' bedevils us to this day," said Warren Allmand, former Solicitor General and current President of the World Federalist Movement--Canada. "If we are to make our resolution a reality, the UN must be given both the authority and the tools to do its job properly."
Responsibility to Protect (R2P)
The Responsibility to Protect is a concept adopted at the UN World Summit in 2005 that gives the international community the authority in principle to react to grave crises when national governments fail to protect the most vulnerable from genocide, ethnic cleansing, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. Last year a Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect was created. Now, at the time of Holocaust Memorial Day 2009, and after two years of regional preparatory meetings involving hundreds of NGOs, a global civil society coalition for R2P is being inaugurated .
United Nations Emergency Peace Service (UNEPS)
The United Nations also requires its own troops to deploy rapidly as a 'first responder'. Aside from providing a robust military presence to establish security immediately, the proposed standing UN Emergency Peace Service (UNEPS) would also contain police to restore law and order as well as an array of civilian teams specializing in humanitarian, human rights and peace-building activities.
According to Allmand, Canada could make an invaluable contribution by backing the creation of this standing emergency service and by helping the UN further implement Responsibility to Protect. Canada is co-chair of an informal UN group of states the "Friends of R2P", and later this year a report on the subject by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will be debated in the UN General Assembly. "By championing these two initiatives," said Allmand, "Canada could not only restore its traditional reputation as a UN supporter and global peacebuilder, but could help save millions of innocent lives by preventing future holocausts."
Warren Allmand, WFM-C National President, (514) 262-5623 (mobile)
Fergus Watt, WFM-C Executive Director, (613) 232-0647