New York, 8 September 2014
I would like to join previous speakers in thanking the President of the General Assembly for convening this meeting. I would like to also express gratitude for the report of the Secretary General devoted to international assistance and the responsibility to protect, as well as his address earlier today.
We welcome his report outlining the ways in which national, regional and international actors can assist States in fulfilling their responsibility to protect populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and crimes against humanity.
The report of the Secretary General adequately contains five common principles and approaches that should guide international assistance under Pillar II agenda.
Let me share some of our views on those principles and underline some of our recent activities and steps in implementing Pillar II.
As rightly contained in the report international assistance has more impact when harmonized with national priorities, which are reflective of inclusivity.We agree with the assessment that assistance must be designed to respond to specific situations and adapt to evolving needs.
We have witnessed too many times the international community fail to take appropriate action to protect people. This year has had in various part of the world a heavy toll on human life. The situations in Syria, South Sudan, CAR and more recently the unspeakable atrocities committed by so-called ISIS, in their march across Northern Iraq, are strident calls for firm action.
We welcome the fact that, as a state under stress, Iraq sought international assistance. The catastrophic humanitarian situation in many parts of Iraq prompted our moral responsibility to immediately respond, in assisting efforts of the Government of Iraq to uphold its primary responsibility to protect. Albania is happy to be part of this concerted international effort in order to bolster Iraq’s efforts to protect its own people.
We welcomed the launching of the national R2P Focal Points initiative, back in 2010 and welcome the fact that the existing global network has now expanded to include officials representing more than 40 countries. Reaffirming our commitment to the R2P, the Government of Albania appointed in 2013 a National Focal Point, within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, tasked with formulating protective strategies to properly deal with R2P issues, both nationally and internationally. The Focal Point has already participated in various meetings of the Network. We encourage Member States that have not yet done so, to appoint National RtoP Focal Points and to further join the growing Global Network.
During the 2005 World Summit Outcome, Heads of State and Government affirmed that the international community should encourage and help States to exercise their responsibility to protect, support the United Nations in establishing an early warning capability, and assist those states which are under stress before crises and conflicts break out. Nine years after the 2005 Summit the need for fulfilling our collective responsibility to protect is more urgent than ever.
In this respect Albania supports the French proposal and the efforts of ACT for a “code of conduct” regarding the use of veto in the Security Council in situations of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing. Indeed, there is real need to seriously reflect and advance on this issue. When countries are confronted with situations of mass atrocity, of grave massive human rights breaches, when states are at risk of experiencing genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and ethnic cleansing, it is up to the Security Council to act swiftly and resolutely. But when the Council itself proves unable to use its power then both the legitimacy of the credibility of the Council are seriously affected and the will of the international community to protect of human life fails.
It is with this understanding that we share the view that the upcoming Tenth Anniversary of the 2005 Summit offers an opportunity for all of us to renew and further the commitment made at the World Summit to protect populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.
I thank you.