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International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect
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 18 September 2012
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The “responsibility while protecting” (RwP) concept and its potential influence on the development of the Responsibility to Protect norm (RtoP, R2P) have been a source of ongoing discussion in recent months. RwP was first introduced by Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff as “responsibility in protecting” during her address to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in September 2011 and then expanded on in a concept note presented to the UN Security Council (UNSC) on 9 November 2011 by Brazilian Permanent Representative, Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti. RwP seeks to address concerns regarding the implementation of military measures to prevent and halt mass atrocities, emphasizing that prevention is the “best policy” and that the use of force in particular must be regularly monitored and periodically assessed so as to minimize the impact on civilians.
 
On 21 February 2012, the Brazilian Permanent Mission organized an informal discussion on RwP with Member States, UN actors, and civil society organizations. Debate has since continued, most recently at the fourth UNGA informal, interactive dialogue held on 5 September, with many commentators and scholars reflecting on how RwP will impact RtoP and more importantly, the international response to future situations of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and ethnic cleansing. The ICRtoP Secretariat reached out to several civil society organizations with a series of questions in order to map the origins of RwP and analyze the concept’s influence on the Responsibility to Protect.  
 
Read the full blog post.
 
 
The ICRtoP recently had the opportunity to sit down with eminent RtoP scholar Dr. Alex Bellamy of the Griffith Asia-Institute following his participation as a panelist at the fourth United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) informal interactive dialogue on the Responsibility to Protect.  Dr. Bellamy has published a vast collection of books, chapters and articles, as well as co-authored and edited numerous works on topics relating to international peace and security including the Responsibility to Protect, peace operations, and conflict and mass atrocity prevention.
 
In our five-part interview, Dr. Bellamy reflects on the UNGA dialogue as well as on key questions and challenges facing the operationalization of the Responsibility to Protect.  Such topics include the concern of RtoP as legitimizing regime change, recent calls for the Permanent Members of the UN Security Council to refrain from exercising veto power in cases of RtoP crimes, the issue of selectivity and need for accountability when implementing the norm, and the recent proposal of ‘responsibility while protecting’ by the government of Brazil. 
 
See all five videos at the ICRtoP blog multimedia gallery.
 
 
 
 

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