Universiteit Leiden

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The Responsibility to Protect @15: Progress and Challenges

Thursday 19 November 2020
Lipsius 0.19 and online. Numbers for Lipsius 019 are limited – a maximum of 44 audience members will be permitted.

For in-person tickets: apply here
For online participationclick here for the livestream (Password: MAIREvents)

Fifteen years ago, the adoption of the responsibility to protect at the 2005 World Summit represented a significant step towards realizing the international community’s commitment to end the most horrific forms of human rights violations. While considerable progress has been made  in terms of transforming the responsibility to protect into a sustainable agenda for prevention, the efforts of the international community have not matched the human suffering in parts of the world where atrocity crimes continue to be committed with impunity. This seminar will reflect on where the responsibility to protect is in 2020, and will include insights into the work of the Special Adviser and the United Nations Office for the Prevention of Genocide and the Responsibility to Protect (OSAPG).


Dr Karen Smith, University Lecturer, MA International Relations and Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on the Responsibility to Protect


Karen Smith was appointed as Special Adviser to the United Nations Secretary-General on the Responsibility to Protect in January 2019. She currently teaches in the MAIR programme at Leiden, and is an honorary research associate at the University of Cape Town, where she was an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Studies from 2011-2017. Between 2006 and 2007, she served as Secretary-General of the United Nations Association of South Africa. She has a research focus on non-Western contributions to international relations theory and the changing global order, and her most recent publication is a co-edited book (with Arlene Tickner) titled International Relations from the Global South (Routledge, 2020).

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