We, the participants of the NGO Forum on the participation of NGOs in the 46th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, held at the Kairaba hotel in Banjul, Gambia on 7-9 November 2009,
Recalling the adoption in 2005 of World Summit Outcome Document where UN Member States expressed in Paragraph 138 and 139, their commitment to protect civilians from genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing; and the subsequent Security Council Resolution 1674 on the protection of civilians;
Re-affirm the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR) ‘Resolution on Strengthening the Responsibility to Protect in Africa – 117 (XXXXII) 07’ which was adopted at the 42nd Ordinary Session in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo in November 2007;
Welcome the report of the United Nations Secretary General on ‘Implementing the Responsibility to Protect’ (A/63/677) especially the formulation of the ‘three pillar approach’;
Encouraged by the positive contributions of African governments during the July 2009 General Assembly debate on the Responsibility to Protect, in particular the reference by many member states to Article 4(h) of the Constitutive Act of the African Union and its transition from the principle of non interference to the principle of non indifference;
Call on the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights to:
Urge the member states of the African Union (AU) to make a priority in advancing efforts to prevent and halt genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and crimes against humanity.
Urge the member states of the African Union (AU) to enhance early-warning mechanisms within the region, strengthen its collaboration with the UN and other regional bodies in the prevention of mass atrocity crimes, and provide assistance needed for states to fulfil their responsibility to protect their populations.
Urge the member states of the African Union (AU) to commit themselves to taking timely and appropriate action in specific situations where these crimes and violations threaten to occur.
Done in Banjul, November 8th, 2009