We can't dodge the hard part stabilising
Alex Bellamy is professor of International Security,
(…) A single nod from the Chinese or Russians would have stopped international efforts to protect the people of
What this means for
The council has sent a clear signal of its commitment to the responsibility to protect principle (or R2P) that states governments have a duty to protect their populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity. When they fail to do this, R2P demands the international community, acting through the Security Council, protect threatened populations. This is no academic abstraction: it was agreed in 2005 by all UN member states and endorsed by the Security Council.
This is not the first time the international community has used R2P. The council's hesitant response to Darfur was considerably strengthened after the adoption of R2P in 2005: the president of
African mediators were guided by R2P in their successful effort to stop the post-election violence in
What, then, is special about Resolution 1973?
Besides the remarkable fact that the council was responding to Arab demands for military intervention - unthinkable just a month ago - those who criticise the council's foot dragging should remember this is the first time it has authorised force against a functioning government to protect civilians.(…)
(…)Building an international consensus on military intervention involves complex and painstaking diplomacy. The Arab League's call for a no-fly zone was a game-changer.
Some Arab governments were no doubt motivated by dislike of Gaddafi and a desire to divert attention from their own troubles. But only the most jaundiced would dismiss entirely the role of humanitarian concern.(…)
Chinese views about how to respond to major crises are influenced by the opinions of relevant regional organisations.
Diplomats knew that if the Arab League and the African Union were prepared to back the military option in
This is precisely what
For its part, having accepted the need for a second resolution and tabling its own draft calling for a ceasefire,
Whether 1973 marks a decisive shift for the better or a new cautionary tale about the limits of humanitarian war depends on what happens next.
If the measures adopted succeed, not only will
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