Richard Gowan and Franziska Brantner
17 September 2008
The European Unions strength in promoting human rights at the United Nations has decreased considerably in the past decade, in part due to an increasing sentiment towards law and order based governance. The European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) analyzes over ten years of UN voting statistics, and realizes that the key areas in need of reform are the UN Security Council, the General Council, and the Human Rights Council. EU states have consistently voted in favor of human rights goals, in spite of the declining support worldwide of member states, including the US, who once had much more influence. The authors note that many states have started to mirror Russian and Chinese votes, which have increasingly vetoed issues outside of state sovereignty. This shows the integral need to implement the Responsibility to Protect in a more effective way, such that member states know it when they see it, and vote for action. The authors suggest using R2P to invoke action, as leverage for EU states that found themselves defeated on resolutions for Burma and Zimbabwe, and previous setbacks such as Kosovo and Darfur.