Media Releases

U of T roundtable discussion on Canadian foreign policy and Responsibility to Protect

October 21, 2015

TORONTO, ON- In light of the decisive Liberal victory in the Canadian federal elections, the Canadian Centre for the Responsibility to Protect at the University of Toronto will be hosting an informal roundtable on Thurs, Oct 22nd to discuss the future of Canadian foreign policy and the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) principle. This roundtable discussion aims to bring together a panel of experts in order to generate a practical discussion on how Canada can re-assert its influence on the global stage in light of on-going crises in Syria, Yemen, South Sudan and North Korea.

Confirmed speakers include: Dr. Jennifer Welsh (United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Advisor on the Responsibility to Protect), Dr. Stephen Toope (Director of the Munk School of Global Affairs), the Hon. Hugh Segal (Master of Massey College) and Ambassador Marius Grinius (former Canadian Ambassador to South Korea & North Korea) for a candid dialogue.

Following presentations, there will be an opportunity for Q&A with the audience. Light lunch will be served. This event is co-sponsored by the Canadian Studies Program at University College, the International Relations Program at Trinity College, the Bill Graham Centre for Contemporary International History, the Centre for the Study of Korea at Asian Institute, Munk School and the International Relations Society.

WHEN: Thursday, Oct 22, 2015 (12-2pm)

WHERE: Room 108N, Munk School of Global Affairs, 1 Devonshire Place, Toronto.



The Responsibility to Protect, also referred to as RtoP or R2P, is an international principle coined in 2001 under the leadership of the Canadian government and later adopted at the 2005 World Summit by 150 heads of government. R2P states that when sovereign states are unable or unwilling to fulfill their responsibility to protect their own populations from mass atrocities such as genocide, ethnic cleansing, crimes against humanity and war crimes, the international community has the responsibility to do so.


The Canadian Centre for R2P, based at Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto, is a leading Canadian, non-partisan and non-profit research organization dedicated to scholarly engagement and political implementation of the R2P principle. The CCR2P is running a campaign this year on “R2P at Crossroads: Ten Years since the 2005 World Summit.” (


Dr. Jennifer Welsh was appointed in July 2013 by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as his Special Adviser at the Assistant Secretary-General level on the Responsibility to Protect. Ms. Welsh works under the overall guidance of Adama Dieng, the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, to further the conceptual, political, institutional and operational development of the responsibility to protect concept. Currently, a Professor and Chair in International Relations at the European University Institute in Florence, Ms. Welsh’s research projects include the evolution of the “responsibility to protect” in international society, the ethics of post-conflict reconstruction, the authority of the United Nations Security Council and the notion of sovereignty.

Master Hugh Segal is the fifth Master of Massey College at the University of Toronto. While in the Senate of Canada (Conservative, Ontario) he chaired both the committees on Foreign Affairs and Anti-Terrorism. A graduate in history from the University of Ottawa, he is a former President of the Institute for Research on Public Policy in Montreal and Senior Fellow at both the Queen’s School of Policy Studies and School of Business. He is the Honourary Chair of the Navy League of Canada and a Senior Fellow of the Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute in Calgary. An honorary Captain in the Royal Canadian Navy, Hugh holds honorary doctorates from the Royal Military College and his Alma Mater. He was made a member of the Order of Canada in 2003.

Ambassador Marius Grinius joined the Canadian Foreign Service in 1979 after serving in the Canadian Army for 12 years. His early overseas postings included Bangkok, NATO/Brussels and Hanoi. Assignments back in Ottawa included desk officer for nuclear arms control, Director for Asia Pacific South and then Director for South East Asia. In 1997 he was posted back to Vietnam as Ambassador. Marius spent 1999 to 2004 in Ottawa where he worked in the Privy Council Office in Social Policy, Western Economic Diversification and then again in the Privy Council Office as Director of Operations in the Security and Intelligence Secretariat. In 2004 he was named Ambassador to South Korea and added cross-accreditation to North Korea in 2005. In 2007 Marius was posted to Geneva as Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations and the Conference on Disarmament. He returned to Ottawa in 2011 for a secondment to the Department of National Defence as Director General International Security Policy. Marius retired in 2012 after 45 years of service to Canada.

Dr. Stephen J. Toope is the new Director of the Munk School of Global Affairs effective January 1, 2015. Before joining the Munk School, Professor Toope was President of the University of British Columbia from 2006 to 2014. He represented Western Europe and North America on the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances from 2002-2007. He continues to conduct research on many aspects of international law and is currently working on issues of continuity and change in international law, and the origins of international obligation in international society. His most recent book, with Jutta Brunnée, is Legitimacy and Legality in International Law: An Interactional Account, which won the American Society of International Law’s 2011 Certificate of Merit for Creative Scholarship. Prior to joining UBC, Toope was President of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation, a position he held since 2002. From 1994 to 1999, he served as the dean of McGill University’s Faculty of Law. Previously, he served as Law Clerk to the Rt. Hon. Chief Justice Dickson of the Supreme Court of Canada from 1986 to 1987.


For any questions about this event, please contact:

Ms. Tina J. Park, Co-Founder & Executive Director
Canadian Centre for the Responsibility to Protect | 1-416-828-2361|