Laura Spano, WFUNA’s Responsibility to Protect Program Officer, served on a panel on 22 November, 2011, to discuss the Rule of Law and Protection of Civilians. The panel was part of a larger workshop put on by the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) on strengthening the rule of law held for delegates to Permanent Missions in New York, particularly from developing or least developed countries.
Laura was joined by Mr. Robert Young, Deputy Head of Delegation and Legal Adviser of the International Committee of the Red Cross, and Mr. Peter Thomson, the Governance and Rule of Law Program Manager for the Asia Pacific Civil-Military Centre of Excellence. The panel was moderated by Ms. Emanuela-Chiara Gallard, Chief of the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict Section of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
The panel held a deep discussion on issues related to the intersection of Rule of Law and the protection of civilians, both in and out of conflict situations. Laura presented on the relationship between Rule of Law and the Responsibility to Protect (R2P), conveying the overlap, the interconnectedness, and the inherent distinctions in the two fields. She also conveyed her experiences from her field work on R2P and the protection of civilians.
Following the presentations, there was an open question and comment period where delegate participants engaged the panel further on the information presented.