From non-interference to non-indifference
Victor Amissi, our Executive Director, will attend this important conference in order to contribute to this important discussion and bring the values of Vision GRAM to the discussion. We are excited to be a part of such an important time in African history.
ICRtoP, The Stanley Foundation, and Pan-African Lawyers Union to Hold Event:
From Non-Interference to Non-Indifference: Reflecting on the Implementation of the Article 4(h) Agenda on the African Union
The International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect (ICRtoP), in partnership with Coalition Steering Committee members, The Stanley Foundation and the Pan African Lawyers Union (PALU), will hold an event on Thursday 23 January 2014 entitled From Non-Interference to Non-Indifference: Reflecting on the Implementation of the Article 4(h) Agenda of the African Union. This event will provide a forum for civil society organizations from throughout Africa, government and regional organization officials to discuss actions taken to advance Article 4(h) of the African Union (AU) Constitutive Act as well as the Responsibility to Protect, across the continent. The conference will be held in the sidelines of the African Union summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The Constitutive Act of the AU, signed by Member States in 2000, represents the historic switch from the ‘non-interference’ approach of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) to the ‘non-indifference’ approach of the African Union (AU). Importantly, in Article 4 (h) of the Constitutive Act, AU member states embraced the “right of the Union to intervene in a Member State pursuant to a decision of the Assembly in respect of grave circumstances, namely war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity.” However, there remains varied success with implementing this commitment, largely based on issues related to political will and financial and military capacity to undertake the actions and develop the mechanisms necessary for prevention and response.
The principles of Article 4(h) were in part echoed in the unanimous commitment of heads of state and government to uphold their Responsibility to Protect populations from genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing. While Article 4(h) focuses on response in cases of mass atrocities, RtoP provides a broad framework of preventive, reactive, and post-conflict rebuilding measures that can be taken by actors at all levels to protect populations from these most horrific crimes.
The event will convene civil society organizations working with AU Member States and those working at the Pan African level, to share information and experiences on how they are engaging their governments and intergovernmental organizations on issues of RtoP and mass atrocity prevention generally, as well as on the specific cases of Kenya, South Sudan, Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo.