Vatican supports “responsibility to protect” populations from war crimes, genocide

(Crux) Member states of the United Nations must better protect the victims of genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity, and – when they fail to do so – be generous in welcoming those fleeing these tragedies, according to the Vatican’s chief diplomat to the United Nations.

Archbishop Bernardito Auza, the Vatican’s ambassador to the world body, was speaking at an informal interactive dialogue on the Report of the Secretary-General on the Responsibility to Protect, which states there is “a gap between our stated commitment to the Responsibility to Protect and the daily reality confronted by populations exposed to the risk of genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.”

The Responsibility to Protect is a commitment agreed to by the United Nations in 2005 at the World Summit, stating national sovereignty includes a responsibility to protect all populations from mass atrocity crimes and human rights violations.

The 2005 UN document said “each individual State has the responsibility to protect its populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and crimes against humanity” and that the international community should help states to exercise this responsibility. [More]