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Responsibility to Protect, R2P

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Andrew Lim

on 27 May 2015

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Transcript of Responsibility to Protect, R2P

Responsibility to Protect, R2P
Why is there a need for R2P?
What are the origins of R2P?
In his address to the General Assembly in 1999 and 2000,
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan challenged
Member States to resolve the conflict between the principles of
non-interference regarding state-sovereignty
and the responsibility to the international community to respond to massive human rights violations and ethnic cleansing.

The government of
responded by forming a
of international experts, the
International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (ICISS)
, which conducted a series of consultations among governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), inter-governmental organizations, universities and think tanks, and issued its report, The Responsibility to Protect, in 2001.
United Nations Peacekeeping Missions, of which R2P would presumably constitute a subset
Darfur and R2P
Conclusion: Alternatives to R2P?
Table of Contents
1. What is the responsibility to protect?
2. Why is there a need for R2P?
3. What are the origins of R2P?
4. UN Reform Process and R2P
5. What did governments commit to at the 2005 World Summit?
6. Darfur and R2P
7. R2P in Detail
8. Criteria of Military Intervention
9. Right Authority
10. Criticisms
11. Conclusion
12. Discussion
UN R2P Article 138
Criteria for Military Intervention

Military intervention for human protection purposes is an
exceptional and extraordinary measure
To be warranted, there must be
serious and irreparable harm
occurring to human beings, or imminently likely to occur, of the following kind:
large scale loss of life
, actual or apprehended, with genocidal intent or not, which is the product either of deliberate state action, or state neglect or inability to act, or a failed state situation; or
large scale ‘ethnic cleansing’
, actual or apprehended, whether carried out by killing, forced expulsion, acts of terror or rape.

Right Authority
A. There is
no better
or more appropriate body than the
United Nations Security Council to authorize military intervention for human protection purposes.
The task is not to find alternatives to the Security Council as a source of authority, but to make the Security Council work better than it has.

Security Council authorization should in all cases be sought prior to any military intervention action being carried out.
Those calling for an intervention should formally request such authorization, or have the Council raise the matter on its own initiative, or have the Secretary-General raise it under Article 99 of the UN Charter.

UN Reform Process and R2P
What is R2P?
The Responsibility to Protect (R2P) is an international security and human rights doctrine which includes several important principles:

1. The
primary responsibility
for the protection of populations lies with the
. This is a recognition that
sovereignty includes not just rights, but responsibilities;

2. When
governments are unable or unwilling to protect
their populations from genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing, the
international community
has a
responsibility to take action

3. The
international community’s responsibility
is a continuum of measures including prevention, reaction to violence, if necessary, and rebuilding shattered societies. This response should be the exercise of first peaceful, and then, if necessary,
including forceful, steps to protect civilians
R2P in Detail
What did governments commit
to at the 2005 World Summit?
The responsibility to prevent
: to address both the root causes and direct causes of internal conflict and other man-made crises putting populations at risk.
The responsibility to react
: to respond to situations of compelling human need with appropriate measures, which may include coercive measures like sanctions and international prosecution, and in extreme cases military intervention.
The responsibility to rebuild
: to provide, particularly after a military intervention, full assistance with recovery, reconstruction and reconciliation, addressing the causes of the harm the intervention was designed to halt or avert.

At the end of the 20th century, internal conflicts replaced inter-state conflict and
civilians now make up the vast majority of casualties

The emergence in many conflicts of
non-state actors as primary executors of large-scale violence
demanded a strengthened international legal framework regarding
state obligations to protect civilian populations.

The genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda and Bosnia, as well as crimes against humanity in Kosovo, East Timor and Darfur have demonstrated
massive failures by the international community to prevent atrocities.
1. That states have the
primary responsibility to protect their populations
from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity and that this responsibility entails the prevention of these crimes.
2. The international community, through the United Nations, also has the
to use peaceful means to
help protect populations
from these massive crimes.
3. Their willingness to act in a timely manner against these threats when
individual states “manifestly fail” to protect
their own populations,
including collective action
through the Security Council.
4. Their commitment to helping states building their
own capacities
to prevent conflicts and protect their populations.
On 31 August 2006, the Security Council passed
Resolution 1706
calling for the
rapid deployment of UN peacekeepers in Sudan
The resolution makes explicit reference to the responsibility to protect by reaffirming the provisions of
Resolution 1674
on the protection of civilians in armed conflict and the provisions of paragraph 138 and 139 of the 2005 United Nations World Summit outcome document.

Right intention
: The primary purpose of the intervention, whatever other motives intervening states may have, must be to halt or avert human suffering.
Right intention is better assured with multilateral operations
, clearly supported by regional opinion and the victims concerned.
Last resort
: Military intervention can only be justified when every non-military option for the prevention or
peaceful resolution of the crisis has been explored
, with reasonable grounds for believing lesser measures would not have succeeded.

The Just Cause Threshold
The 4 Precautionary Principles
Crimes against humanity
violations of the laws of war
, as defined in the
Geneva Conventions
and Additional Protocols and elsewhere, which involve
large scale killing or ethnic cleansing;
situations of
state collapse
and the resultant exposure of the population to
mass starvation and/or civil wa
r; and
overwhelming natural or environmental catastrophes,
where the state concerned is either unwilling or unable to cope, or call for assistance, and significant loss of life is occurring or threatened.
Proportional means
: The scale, duration and intensity of the planned military intervention should be the minimum necessary to secure the defined human protection objective.
Reasonable prospects
: There must be a reasonable chance of success in halting or averting the suffering which has justified the intervention, with the consequences of action not likely to be worse than the consequences of inaction.
C. The Security Council should
deal promptly
with any request for authority to intervene where there are allegations of large scale loss of human life or ethnic cleansing.
It should in this context seek adequate verification of facts or conditions on the ground that might support a military intervention.

The Permanent Five members of the Security Council should agree not to apply their veto power, in matters where their vital state interests are not involved, to obstruct the passage of resolutions authorizing military intervention for human protection purposes for which there is otherwise majority support.

E. If the
Security Council rejects
a proposal or fails to deal with it in a reasonable time,
alternative options
- I. consideration of the matter by the
General Assembly in Emergency Special Session
under the “
Uniting for Peace
” procedure; and
- II. action within area of jurisdiction by
regional or sub-regional
organizations under Chapter VIII of the Charter, subject to their seeking subsequent authorization from the Security Council.

F. The Security Council should take into account in all its deliberations that, if it fails to discharge its responsibility to protect in conscience-shocking situations crying out for action, concerned states may not rule out other means to meet the gravity and urgency of that situation – and that the stature and credibility of the United Nations may suffer thereby.

R2P Criticisms
The Mounting Criticisms of R2P
Its continuing unclear status in world politics –
neither a law nor fully a norm; an aspiration?

clear triggers and thresholds
for action
It is
internally inconsistent
– the preventive measures (such as arms control) undermine the reactive measures (the military capacity of states to intervene)
Its lack of widespread support
– the Great Powers are suspicious of its obligations, while small states fear its use as justification for intervention and regime change
The danger
(and record) of selectivity and vulnerability to
Great Power manipulation

P5 self-interest and the veto
It is primarily reactive to crises – the preventive elements have remained largely inactive;
the reaction paradigm is an obstacle to prevention (a logic and practice trap)
Existing (and stronger) international norms conflict with the R2P norm:
for example, state sovereignty and non-interference in internal affairs, the right of national self-defence

Just war theory
is morally inconsistent in its separation of
justice of wa
r (jus ad bellum or right to war) and
justice in war
(jus in bello)
Just war elevates the political community (the nation state) to the highest good over the rights and survival of individuals
Just war creates two separate moral spheres (war versus peace) in which different moral standards apply
Just war raises intentions to a higher moral status than actions
Just war reinforces the very conditions which make war likely in the first place – separate nation-states who possess the right of self-defence

It is state centric
– the responsibility for protection lies with states and coalitions of states;
the free-rider problem
; in this formulation, states are both the problem and the solution
Ultimate reliance on violence
– paradoxically, it reinforces the norm of employing violence to resolve crises; it implies continued military capabilities for states and the legitimacy of resort to force
It creates and maintains problematic distinctions between greater and lesser violence, good and bad violence, and worthy and unworthy victims
Status quo oriented – it leaves the global structures which create violence (including states) untouched; it balances too strongly towards state sovereignty
dismal empirical record
of failure and record of abuse
R2P is not the solution
to the failures of the international community:
it’s a Band-Aid on a fatally wounded system
; R2P is a recognition that existing IHL has failed

Just war makes it easier for states to engage in wars –
in practice, war is rarely the “last resort”;
there are effective alternatives to violent resistance or enforcement
Just war has
empirically failed
to regulate the conduct of war
Just war is no longer
relevant to modern warfare
and insecurity, and there is
no objective agreement on what constitutes “war”
There is no agreement on
“right authority”

for war
Empirically, modern weapons have made discrimination, proportionality and protection of civilians impossible
The implicit view that violence can be used as a morally neutral, and rational and predictable tool of policy (like a surgical scalpel) is theoretically and empirically incorrect

New thinking beyond the confines of the paradigm –
long-term versus short-term
; optimism for change;
thinking beyond the Weberian state
The success of nonviolence and nonviolent
alternatives to use of force:

preventive deployment; unarmed peacekeepers; policing; nonviolent accompaniment
, dialogue and mediation –
the need for resources and investment to comparable levels of defense spending
Research and training on nonviolent alternatives
Early warning and prevention rather than reaction – arms control, demilitarization of politics, social justice
Justice and a global legal-normative human rights order – the ICC, regional justice mechanisms
Building resilience in local contexts

Discussion Questions
1. What are some recent shortcomings or successes of the R2P?
2. What are some other constructive criticisms against R2P?
3. Recently, the idea of using private security contractors has been raised in the UN. What do you think and how does that go against the Weberian notion of a state?
4. What are some other alternatives to traditional R2P via the UN?
5. How should the notion of sovereignty be dealt with in terms of R2P?
International Relations Problems?
But in Reality...
Just War?
Modern Warfare?
The report of the High-Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change (2004), and The Secretary-General’s report entitled In Larger Freedom (2005)
, two of the key documents that set the reform agenda both included
recommendations that governments endorse R2P
. The UN reform negotiations led to a 2005 September meeting of heads of state (World Summit) and government at the UN and a
consensus summit declaration
(known as the UN Summit Outcome Document) which included a commitment to R2P.
Operation Allied Force (Kosovo War)
6766 Sorties planned
3766 (56%) sorties were aborted due to weather
990 of 3000 (33%) executed sorties were adversely affected by weather
Less than 50% ATO targets were effectively engaged
“There was 50-100% cloud cover 72% of the time, and only 21 of 78 days had good overall weather. In all, 3,766 Sorties were aborted due to weather.”
“Almost completely unchallenged on land, Yugoslav forces could disperse and hide… When revealed, slowness in the sensor-controller-shooter sequence often gave them enough time to relocate [and hide] before the attacks began.”
“Last year NATO claimed that it had destroyed 120 tanks, 220 armored personnel carriers and 450 artillery pieces in 744 “confirmed” air strikes. In Washington, Secretary of Defense William Cohen said these attacks had “severely crippled [Serbian] military forces in Kosovo destroying more than 50 percent of [their] artillery and one-third of the armored vehicles.” The reality, according to the Air Force report, is that NATO Destroyed 14 tanks, 18 armored personnel carriers and 20 artillery pieces – more or less what the Serbian government said at the time which was dismissed by NATO as Serbian “disinformation”…
“Precision guided is no longer good enough. We experience greater than 50% cloud cover more than 70% of the time… and it wasn’t the worst part of the year. Laser or EO-guided munitions cannot hit what pilots cannot see”
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