Press Release 98/2014
24 April 2014
Jennifer Welsh, UN Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on the Responsibility to Protect will visit Finland from 27 to 29 April. She will participate in the regional meeting on the responsibility to protect, arranged by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the United Nations. The purpose of the meeting is to support the preparation of the UN Secretary-General’s latest report on the responsibility to protect, to be published this year, and to show in concrete terms how development cooperation could be used to prevent the most serious international crimes.
During her visit, Dr. Welsh will meet, among others, Minister for Foreign Affairs Erkki Tuomioja and Minister for International Development Pekka Haavisto. She will also be the keynote speaker at the open seminar “Responsibility to Protect: From Principle into Practice” organized by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Finnish Institute of International Affairs.
The principle of the responsibility to protect dates back to the crises in Rwanda, Bosnia and Kosovo in the 1990s, when the international community, and especially the UN, were criticized harshly for their inability to protect people from mass atrocities. The UN General Assembly affirmed the concept of responsibility to protect in the Outcome Document of the 2005 World Summit. According to the principle, each individual State has the primary responsibility to protect its populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity, and the international community should assist States in exercising that responsibility and be prepared to take appropriate action, in the end collective action, to protect populations.
The responsibility to protect is one the priorities of the Finnish Foreign Service UN strategy.
Additional information: Mari Korhonen, Attaché, Unit for UN and General Global Affairs, tel. +358 295 351 869