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People Come First. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon visits Dadaab, Kenya, where the UN is assisting hundreds of thousands of refugees from neighboring Somalia.
People Come First. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon visits Dadaab, Kenya, where the UN is assisting hundreds of thousands of refugees from neighboring Somalia.
(Photo by Mark Garten/UN DPI)
Let’s make 2012 the “Year of Prevention”
An excerpt of remarks by the UN secretary-general at “R2P: The Next Decade,” a conference held in January by the Stanley Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of NY, and the MacArthur Foundation

In 2011 history took a turn for the better. The Responsibility to Protect came of age; the principle was tested as never before. The results were uneven but, at the end of the day, tens of thousands of lives were saved.

We gave hope to people long oppressed. In Libya, Côte d'Ivoire, South Sudan, Yemen, and Syria, by our words and actions, we demonstrated that human protection is a defining purpose of the United Nations in the 21st century. We also learned important lessons.

For one, we have learned that this organization cannot stand on the sidelines when challenged to take preventive action. Where there is a “clear and present danger,” we may need to define the field...cautiously but proactively.

We have also learned delivering on the Responsibility to Protect requires partnership and common purpose. We get the best results when global and regional institutions push in the same direction.

Today, I ask you to join me in making 2012 the “Year of Prevention.”

This is going to be one of my five generational opportunities of the United Nations for the coming five years. The 2005 World Summit called for assisting states “under stress before crises and conflicts break out.” Prevention does not mean looking the other way in times of crisis, vainly hoping that things will get better. We have done that too often. Nor can it be just a brief pause while Chapter VII “enforcement measures” are being prepared.

Prevention means proactive, decisive, and early action to stop violence before it begins.

Watch Ban ki-Moon's keynote address at the January 2012 R2P: The Next Decade event.

The R2P: The Next Decade post-conference policy memo.

More about the Stanley Foundation's Preventing Genocide work.

Before the Killing Begins: The Politics of Mass Violence video.

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International Authors Event Features Claire Cameron International Authors Event Features Claire Cameron
Claire Cameron is an award-winning Canadian novelist and journalist. Her second novel, The Bear, is a powerful suspense story narrated by a young girl who must fend for herself and her little brother after a brutal bear attack. Sponsored by the Women’s Connection and the Stanley Foundation, with support from Quad Cities-area libraries. November 5, 2015, 5:30 - 8:30 pmRegister for this dinner event

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Program Officer, Media: The Stanley Foundation seeks a program officer to join its Policy Programming Department. The chosen candidate will work with the foundation’s leadership team and staff to plan, implement, and assess the impact of the foundation’s media programming in pursuit of our mission, vision, and organizational goals.

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The latest issue of Courier features three articles from Carl Wilkens Fellows: shedding light on atrocity violence in the DRC, drawing parellels between the Armenian and Rwandian genocides, and giving the survivors of gender-based violence in the DRC a voice. Courier 84 also explores the current challenges of international climate governance in an interview with climate change expert Arnuabha Ghosh and it looks at China's passive aggressive stance as China challenges the perception of the United States as a reliable partner for others in Asia. The full Fall 2015 issue. PDF (2.0 MB) Subscribe for FREE.

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