‘The Responsibility to Protect’: Applicability and Limitations
Wednesday 27 March, 2013
6pm - 7.30pm
At Dyason House
124 Jolimont Road East, Melbourne Victoria, Australia
The emerging United Nations ‘Responsibility to Protect’ (R2P) doctrine provides a framework for the international community to intervene to protect populations from crimes against humanity where the state is complicit in, or unable or unwilling to stop them. The doctrine was developed in response to the failure of states to protect civilian populations in conflict areas, particularly in the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. Formally established in 2006, the principle has been increasingly invoked by the international community, most notably in Libya in 2011.
R2P faces many challenges as it evolves, with some questioning why the international community invoked it in Libya, but has yet to do so in Syria where state-sanctioned atrocities appear to be even worse. Similarly, the international dilemma between respecting sovereignty whilst safeguarding human security means that R2P faces criticism of doing too little in some situations and too much in others – up to and including providing a pretext for some states to go to war against other sovereign states.(…)
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