We were extremely saddened and shocked to learn of the death of Mario Bettati.
We pay tribute to the memory of this great lawyer who was committed to defending a certain vision of humanity; he was a strong advocate and ardent defender of the right to intervene, which he conceptualized and which helped advance the debate over humanitarian law and developments in this law. It was on this basis that the UN developed and adopted the concept of the responsibility to protect.
Mario Bettati was a professor at the University of Reims and then at the University of Paris, the author of many reference works on international law and in particular on international humanitarian law, and was also a legal adviser to the cabinet of Bernard Kouchner, Minister of Foreign Affairs at the time, and Deputy Chairman of the National Advisory Commission on Human Rights.
He believed that we could not forget the lessons of the genocides and crimes against humanity committed in the 20th century, which continue to haunt our conscience, and that the international community could not remain powerless while civilian populations were at risk.
His expertise in international relations, his quick wit and candor will continue to be strongly felt at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development where he had many friends.
We share the grief of his family and friends, to whom we extend our heartfelt condolences.