UNA-UK calls on the UK to lead by example in the prevention and response to the threat and commission of atrocity crimes.
As a permanent member of the Security Council, this is the UK’s responsibility and vital to maintaining our global system.
At a time when the majority of today’s refugees are fleeing countries where atrocity crimes are occurring, the UK - a permanent member of the Security Council tasked with maintaining global peace and security – can and must to do more to uphold its responsibility to protect.
R2P puts the focus on the responsibility of the state to prevent atrocities from taking place in the first instance, and establishes a residual responsibility for the international community to assist and respond if a state is unable or unwilling to. R2P is a moral imperative and a framework for action.
However the UK has not done enough to ensure that its wider systems and policies are working as effectively as possible to prevent crimes of this nature. R2P is primarily about prioritising civilian life in foreign policy and ensuring states live up to their obligations to protect populations against atrocity crimes. The UK’s record so far is mixed. Parliamentary inquiries have criticised the UK government’s response as insufficient and these criticisms have raised allegations of selectivity. To make the case for atrocity prevention we campaign for the UK to make atrocity prevention a firm policy priority and show leadership on this issue at the UN.
We work with a wide range of partners in the UK as part of a working group on atrocity prevention including Protection Approaches, Waging Peace, Aegis Trust, Jo Cox Foundation and Stand UK. We are part of an international coalition of organisations working on R2P and a steering committee member of ICR2P. This area of work expresses our belief that decisive action in the prevention and response to crimes of this nature will result in a more credible UN and a better world.
You can find out more about our analysis and how we have been pushing the government to make atrocity prevention a foreign policy priority below.