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From early warning to early action: Strengthening the role of Special Procedures in advancing atrocity prevention
Special Procedures mandated by the UN Human Rights Council – including Special Rapporteurs, Independent Experts and Working Groups – are a central element of the UN human rights system. By reporting on human rights violations and abuses that may escalate to mass atrocities, Special Procedures also play a fundamental role in helping states uphold their Responsibility to Protect (R2P).

This panel discussion, which will bring together experts as well as former and current Special Rapporteurs, will focus on two questions:
1) How are Special Procedures mandate holders interpreting their mandate through an atrocity prevention lens?
2) How can the international community better utilize the precise, unique and action-oriented information produced by Special Procedures to ensure timely and effective action to prevent atrocities?

While Special Procedures often provide ample early warning or access to first-hand information on a specific country, the UN system frequently lacks the capacity to amplify these concerns and issues in the context of imminent risk of atrocities. In addition, the UN system’s siloed approach to issues of human rights, peace and security and atrocity prevention often inhibits mandate holders from briefing essential UN bodies, including the Security Council and General Assembly. Effective prevention of atrocities can only be achieved if the UN system responds holistically by using all the tools and mechanisms at its disposal, including the information and capacities generated by Special Procedures.

This virtual event, co-hosted by the permanent missions of Costa Rica, Luxembourg, Sierra Leone and Switzerland and the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect aims to explore ways mandate holders can overcome these challenges and address how the UN system can act on early warning signs highlighted by Special Procedures.

Dec 7, 2021 03:00 PM in Brussels

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