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Human Security

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Todd Robinson UIUC

on 29 October 2013

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Transcript of Human Security

photo credit Nasa / Goddard Space Flight Center / Reto Stöckli
Human Security, Genocide, and the Responsibility to Protect (R2P)
Human Security Defns.
Relatively new area of research
No Universally Agreed Upon Defn.
1. The "absence of threats to core human values"
2. "The objective of human security is to safeguard the vital core of all human lives from critical pervasive threats and to do so without impeding long-term human flourishing" (Alkire)
3. "The protection of the vital core of all human freedoms and human fulfillment" (Report of the Commission for Human Security 2003)
4. The expected # of years spent living outside generalized poverty (King and Murray 2001/2)
It is simultaneously an academic designation, a legal framework, and a moral dilemma
A relatively recent term, preceded by the term "Crimes against humanity"
1) Lemkin (1944) - a coordinated plan of different actions aiming at the destruction of essential foundations of the life of national groups, with the aim of annihilating the groups themselves.
2) The total physical extermination of a group
3) UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide
Humanitarian Intervention and the R2P
Almost universally recognized as a "just cause" of war
The debate over humanitarian intervention has always been about what is more important, sovereignty or the protection of individuals
Historically, sovereignty has won this debate, largely because security has been seen as the purview of states, but this may be changing with the introduction of the concept of R2P
UN Convention on Genocide
Genocide means any of the following:
1) Killing members of the group
2) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group
3) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of like calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part
4) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group
5) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group
Notable Cases of Genocide
Rwanda 1994
East Timor 1974-1999
Nazi Germany and Nazi Occupied Europe 1937-1945
Australia 1788-1901
Nanking Massacre 1937

Why Is It Useful to Label Something Genocide?
Justification for intervention
Justification for referral to the International Criminal Court (est. 2002)

The Responsibility to Protect (R2P)
Came directly out of the Rwandan and Yugoslavian Genocides
Adopted by the UN as a core principle in 2005
Three pillars of the R2P
1) The responsibility of the state to protect its population from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and crimes against humanity, and from their incitement
2) The international community's responsibility to assist the state to fulfill its responsibility to protect
3) When a state has failed to live up to its obligations, the international community's responsibility to take timely and decisive action through peaceful diplomatic and humanitarian means and, if that fails, other more forceful means including pacific measures, enforcement measures, or regional arrangements.

Whose Job is R2P?
The disconnect with the current R2P framework is that the burden of action is still on invidividual states, either in isolation or in concert with others.
Debate over the institution of the R2P
- Those states typically seen as more liberal (such as Canada, Germany) were the most in favor of R2P.
- The US argued against a threshold based approach, suggesting it was arbitarily limiting
- China and Russia argued that the UN was already equipped to deal with humanitarian crises, might undermine the UNSC
- Members of the non-aligned movement (NAM) argued that it would justify intervention in the domestic affairs of states, would provide legitimacy to the erosion of sovereignty

R2P vs. Humanitarian Intervention
The concept of R2P was intended as a way of escaping the logic of sovereignty versus human rights by focusing not on what intervenors are entitled to do ("right of intervention"), but on what was necessary to protect people in dire need and the responsibilities of various actors to provide such protection.
It also moves the conversation away from "military intervention" to the protection of peoples
The R2P in Action

-Kenya (aftermath of the December 30, 2007 election) - up to 1500 people killed and 300,000 displaced, intervention by the UN, including Kofi Annan, persuaded the country's President Mwai Kibaki and his main opponent Raila Odinga, to conclude a power-sharing agreement. This led to the resolution of the disagreement and prevented a genocide of massive proportions.
-Libya (2011) -
Full transcript