Responding to Genocide: Mobilising Political Will in Australia
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‘Never again’, opined Prime Minister Julia Gillard at a 2012 Holocaust Commemoration service in Melbourne, ‘never, ever again’. Australia has demonstrated strong support for genocide prevention in the international community, where the issue has been increasingly discussed in recent years. In addition to our commitment to ‘prevent and to punish’ genocide as a signatory to the Genocide Convention, at the World Summit in 2005 Australia endorsed the Responsibility to Protect (RtoP or R2P) principle. The R2P principle is defined as a ‘new international security and human rights norm to address the international community’s failure to prevent and stop genocides, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity. Australia also has contributed a significant portion of the funding for the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, currently trying leaders of the Khmer Rouge for genocide, and AusAID has funded research into genocide prevention.