The Responsibility to protect
ABS-CBN News Online
26 June 2009
(…)The Workshop on the new global discourse “Responsibility to Protect” (R2P) organized by the Australia-based Asia-Pacific Center for the Responsibility to protect at EDSA Shangri-la Hotel this week.
The R2P principle, put another way, posits that sovereignty comes with responsibility and, when states are remiss, they cannot use sovereignty as a shield. And yet, the R2P proposition argues that it actually reinforces sovereignty.
(…) States are forced to act and build capacity to responsibly address domestic strife in order to lessen the need for international succor. Enhanced capacity makes stronger states.
In any case, when UN member-states and regional bodies are able to show that they can act decisively in critical situations, then those intending to commit such atrocities (including states) may think twice before doing so.
Also, as UN Ban Ki-moon assured governments, R2P does not make it easier for a state to use force. (…)The authorization of the UN Security Council will be required. As such, the new norm (and practice) can even help prevent acts of aggression disguised as humanitarian acts.
It is understandable that R2P advocates in the UN have to assure states that they are not subverting the system of sovereign nation-states that has become the global order since the 19th Century. After all, the UN itself is built on this structure. (…)
(…) I think many governments act in duplicity when they claim their rights to state sovereignty. The fact is, states compromise sovereignty all the time, selectively. They open up their borders, their people, economy, natural resources and military camps, but only to those they prefer. (…)
State sovereignty has long been a myth. It was never absolute. Worse, it has become a convenient dogma to flag down when it suits the interests of leaders and governments, which are not necessarily the people’s.
I will gladly exchange a kilo of state authority for a universal norm that puts both onus and limits to states so that individually and collectively, we the people and our governments can more effectively prevent and respond to the worst forms of man-made calamities like genocide and other war crimes. (…)