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PRESS RELEASE
ICG President to co-chair International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty

14 September 2000

Washington/Brussels, 14 September 2000: The President of the International Crisis Group (ICG), Gareth Evans, is to co-chair a high-level International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty. The Commission was formally launched in New York today by Canadian Foreign Minister Lloyd Axworthy. Canada took this initiative in response to a challenge to the international community by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to address the highly complex problem of state sovereignty and international responsibility in complex man-made humanitarian disasters.

"The right or responsibility of countries to intervene in others where human rights appear massively to be at risk has been perhaps the most troubling and difficult on the international policy agenda," Evans said. "Even use of the term 'intervention' provokes a great deal of heated debate. But our intention in using it is to describe the problem rather than to prescribe a particular solution. Talking about a 'responsibility to protect' rather than a 'right to intervene' may be a more constructive starting point."

Evans is to co-chair the Commission with Mohamed Sahnoun of Algeria, a Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General and formerly his Special Representative in Somalia and the Great Lakes area of Africa.

Other members of the Commission at this stage are Gisèle Côté-Harper (Canada), Lee Hamilton (USA), Michael Ignatieff (Canada), Joseph Legwaila (Botswana), Vladimir Lukin (Russia), Cornelio Sommaruga (Switzerland), Eduardo Stein (Guatemala) and Ramesh Thakur (India).

For further information, contact Katy Cronin or Sascha Pichler at ICG Brussels, tel: +32 2 536 00 64 or 70, email: media@intl-crisis-group.org



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