The Working Group on the Responsibility to Protect is a joint project of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the United States Institute of Peace, and the Brookings Institution. It is co-chaired by former Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright and former Presidential Special Envoy to Sudan Richard Williamson. Its members include former US government officials, academics, foreign policy experts, political analysts, and media professionals. The co-chairs of the working group released their report on July 24, 2013.
Working Group Objectives
The Working Group on R2P draws on the 2008 recommendations of the Genocide Prevention Task Force. It seeks to:
- Enhance understanding of the political and practical impediments to the prevention of genocide and related crimes.
- Assess how R2P has worked in practice in relevant cases.
- Identify concrete steps to bolster the political will of US decision makers to respond in a timely manner to threats of genocide and mass atrocities.
From the Working Group Chairs
The concept of the responsibility to protect populations from genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and ethnic cleansing is one of the most important recent developments in the world’s ongoing efforts to eradicate genocide and mass atrocities. It provides us with a useful way forward as we struggle to address how nations can best respond when populations are threatened with the gravest international crimes.
—Madeleine K. Albright
For a decade now, the Responsibility to Protect doctrine has been debated largely on philosophical and intellectual terms. However, there is a considerable and costly gap between its aspirations and reality—and now it is time for us to wrestle with the challenge of how to break down the barriers to [its] implementation and bolster the political will for effective action.
—Ambassador Richard S. Williamson