United States Institute of Peace Prevention
Since the Responsibility to Protect, or R2P, was unanimously adopted at the 2005 World Summit by Heads of State and Government, atrocity prevention mechanisms have been gradually institutionalized at the local, regional, and international level. Unfortunately, R2P is still unable to guide the international community towards effective and consistent policy responses to imminent or ongoing atrocities, as illustrated by recent events in South Sudan and Syria. In the past few years, the UN General Assembly has served as a forum for efforts to advance R2P, leading to interactive dialogues on early warning and assessment mechanisms, and the role of regional and sub-regional organizations in implementing the principle. In a move to address some of R2P’s most controversial components, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon recommended the General Assembly to dedicate this summer’s dialogue to R2P’s third pillar. This pillar includes pacific and coercive tools for collective action in the face of atrocities, including the use of military force, after local efforts or international capacity-building failed to prevent a crisis situation. It remains to be seen whether the exceptionally robust intervention in Libya will continue to compromise conversations about the future of atrocity prevention, or whether small steps can be taken to improve our collective ability to address some of the world’s most heinous crimes. (…)
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