Download the latest Spotlight on R2P for the event summary of the High Level Advisory Panel’s Public Seminar in Phnom Penh: Mainstreaming the Responsibility to Protect.
The third public seminar on mainstreaming the Responsiblility to Protect was held on the 12th of August 2015 in Phnom Penh and follows events in Bangkok (in October 2014) and Jakarta (in January 2015). It was attended by over 50 local participants, including ambassadors from China, Japan, and Germany, representatives from ASEAN member states, senior Cambodian government officials, representatives from the academe, civil society groups, and the media.
It is a significant follow up activity in Cambodia after a successful conference on R2P held in Phnom Penh early this year as it reinforced the value of continuing public awareness campaigns in promoting R2P and mass atrocities prevention across the region. Former ASEAN Secretary-General Dr. Surin Pitsuwan, who is also Chair of the HLAP, was the guest of honour and keynote speaker at the seminar.
The seminar involved discussing the role of ASEAN in promoting R2P, and gave a number of recommendations for implementing R2P in the region. These included using existing structures such as the ASEAN International Governmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) to create early warning mechanisms; promoting regional cooperation and exchange of knowledge and information; supporting the work of civil society groups; and ratifying relevant human rights treaties. In response to some issues raised by participants, such as whether it is the task of the region’s states or the most powerful states to implement R2P on behalf of the international community, Dr. Surin stressed that it is the role of regional organisations like ASEAN to take the lead in their own region because they are the ones directly affected.