R2P : Responsibility to protect

The INTERNATIONAL COALITION FOR THE RESPONSIBILITY TO PROTECT (ICRtoP) ; Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies (MIGS) ; The Will to Intervene Project(W2I)

22 September
Mobilizing the Will to Intervene
(CPAC) Senator Roméo Dallaire, former Force Commander of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda and Dr. Frank Chalk, Director of the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies, unveiled the Will to Intervene (W2I) Project report entitled Mobilizing the Will to Intervene: Leadership and Action to Prevent Mass Atrocities. They were joined by Robert Fowler, Ed Broadbent and Senator Hugh Segal.
23 July
When to Step In to Stop War Crimes Causes Fissures
(NYT) … the debate scheduled in the General Assembly for Thursday over the concept, known as “the responsibility to protect,” is producing rancor before it even begins. So much, in fact, that instead of figuring out how to enforce the doctrine, the General Assembly could end up debating the policy’s validity all over again, even though about 150 world leaders already endorsed it in 2005.
R2P: An idealistic effort to establish a new humanitarian principle is coming under attack at the United Nations
(The Economist) In a delicate formula, it was agreed that this concept, now known as R2P, referred mainly to the responsibility of states for their own people. Only in certain extreme circumstances, when states could not or would not protect their own citizens, or were actively harming them, might others step in. The concept was carefully modified so as to avoid giving prickly sovereign states the idea that they were about to be invaded at will by moralising outsiders. But, a coalition of governments and other sceptics now seems bent on unravelling all their delicate work. These naysayers have been busily sharpening their knives ahead of a debate at the General Assembly which was due to start on July 23rd. … critics of R2P … are adamant that the whole idea is just a cover to legitimise armed interference by rich Western powers in the affairs of poor countries. One person who takes that view is Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann, a Nicaraguan diplomat (and Sandinista priest-politician), who is now president of the General Assembly.

Ban frames debate on genocide intervention
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon delivered a speech to lay the groundwork for a debate that will be taken up by the UN General Assembly regarding how the body should intervene in cases of genocide and other war crimes. Though 150 world leaders endorsed the UN’s policy toward its “responsibility to protect” in 2005, the policy is likely to spark renewed debate after a controversial position paper by UN General Assembly President Rev. Miguel D’Escoto Brockmann, who described the responsibility to protect as “redecorated colonialism.” The New York Times (7/22)

22 November 2008
Importance of ‘responsibility to protect’ outlined at conference
(Irish Times) THE “RESPONSIBILITY to protect” doctrine is one of the most significant conceptual shifts in international affairs since the United Nations charter in 1945, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Peter Power said yesterday.
Mr Power, who has responsibility for overseas aid, told a conference in Dublin that the recently popularised concept could help to prevent – and ensure an effective international response to – crimes such as genocide and ethnic cleansing. The “responsibility to protect” principles were developed by an international commission under the authority of the Canadian government in 2001. The commission was charged with finding a new approach to the vexed question of humanitarian intervention after a decade marked by fierce international divisions over how to deal with the crises in Rwanda and Bosnia.
The Responsibility to Protect Doctrine and Humanitarian Intervention: Too Many Ambiguities For A Working Doctrine
(summer 2008). Journal of Conflict & Security Law
The question about possible remedies, including military intervention, to avoid or to put an end to massive violations of human rights committed by a state towards its own citizens or in situations where state authorities critically lack effectiveness has been extensively debated since the issuance in 2001 of the report of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (ICISS) on the responsibility to protect. After a succinct and critical review of the ICISS’ report and the subsequent international instruments dealing with the responsibility to protect, this contribution focuses on the positions adopted by states, especially over the last three years at the General Assembly and at the Security Council of the United Nations on humanitarian intervention as a ‘corollary’ of the responsibility to protect doctrine. It appears that humanitarian intervention aimed at implementing the responsibility to protect is not only feared as imperialistic by several weak states, but it also significantly fails to find an unconditioned support even amongst the most powerful states. Given its extreme and multifaceted ambiguity, which is discussed in the last section of this contribution, the innovative content of the purported ‘emerging norm’ on the responsibility to protect, as well as its prospect to emerge in the future, remain rather unclear.
9 May 2008
(Global Policy Forum) The R2PCS program has been following the situation in Burma as it relates to the Responsibility to Protect for the past year. The government of Burma’s systematic commission of violations such as forced labor, forced displacement, rape of ethnic minority women and recruitment of child soldiers are a few of the many crimes that fit within the four crimes stipulated under the Responsibility to Protect: genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing. (for more on this, please see http://www.responsibilitytoprotect.org/index.php/pages/1182 . This week, following Cyclone Nargis on 3 May and the resulting humanitarian emergency, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner called for the use of the Responsibility to Protect. We believe, however, that the current humanitarian situation requires, first and foremost, attention to measures that can help the millions of people affected. Further, the current situation does not warrant the application of the Responsibility to Protect doctrine and in all likelihood application could be counterproductive to alleviating the suffering of those affected by the cyclone.
28 February 2008
(The Enough Project) In the fight to eliminate genocide and crimes against humanity from the face of the earth, we cannot rely on ad hoc responses based on the whims of political will every time a crisis erupts around the globe. At some point, there must be some measure of automaticity associated with our response, built solidly upon principles of international law and hard-earned lessons from previous efforts. To that end, the world has recently seen the birth of two essential pillars in that foundation: the International Criminal Court and the doctrine of the “Responsibility to Protect.”
18 July 2005
Canada’s ‘responsibility to protect’ Doctrine Gaining Ground at the UN
(Maclean’s) [Lloyd] Axworthy’s brainchild is now a doctrine dubbed the “responsibility to protect” – a proposal to impose upon the United Nations an obligation to shield people all over the world from genocide and ethnic cleansing at the hands of their own governments. It may sound warm and fuzzy on the surface, but underlying that vision is the cold hard recognition that military intervention may be necessary to achieve this end. Rejecting the sanctity of national borders that has been central to the UN since its founding in 1945, the proposal would create a sort of official licence to invade. As Axworthy, who says he initially “anguished over” the idea, explains, “You can’t allow dictators to use the facade of national sovereignty to justify ethnic cleansing.”

December 2001
Report of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty.pdf
This report is about the so-called “right of humanitarian intervention”: the question of when, if ever, it is appropriate for states for take coercive – and in particular military – action, against another state for the purpose of protecting people at risk in that other state. The Commission was asked to wrestle with the whole range of questions – legal, moral, operational and political – rolled up in this debate, to consult with the widest possible range of opinion around the world, and to bring back a report that would help the Secretary-General and everyone else find some new common ground.

One Comment on "R2P : Responsibility to protect"

  1. Settor53 October 23, 2009 at 1:18 am ·

    If they present information from outside the proffered alternatives, they may be called wrong or simply inappropriate or irrelevant. ,

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