16 January 2009
Responsibility to Protect-Engaging Civil Society
In this issue:
I. Zimbabwe, R2P, and the International Criminal Court
1. BOSTON GLOBEINALLY, AN URGE TO SAVE ZIMBABWE
2. GLOBE AND MAILE MUST SAVE ZIMBABWE FROM MORE RAPE AND VIOLENCE
3. WORLD POLITICS REVIEWETTING TO A POST-MUGABE ZIMBABWE
II. R2P and the Next U.S. Administration
1. THE STANLEY FOUNDATIONAKING STEPS TOWARDS A RESPONSIBILITY TO PROTECT
2. AMERICAN MILITARY INTERVENTIONS
3. ENOUGHBAMA, AFRICA, AND PEACE
III. R2P and International Policy
1. THE JOURNAL OF CONFLICT AND SECURITY LAWHE R2P DOCTRINE AND HUMANITARIAN INTERVENTION
2. GLOBAL RESPONSIBILITY AND THE SHORTFALL OF INTERNATIONAL POLICY
3. GENOCIDE, POST FACTUM
I. Zimbabwe, R2P, and the International Criminal Court
1. Finally, an Urgency to Aid Zimbabwe
The Boston Globe
9 January 2009
Alexander Noyes is a researcher at the Council on Foreign Relations Center for Preventative Action.
THE TRAGIC cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe may prove to have a silver lining. For nearly a decade, Zimbabwe has been growing increasingly desperate, but international response to the crisis has been dilatory and wholly ineffective. In the last few weeks, however, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addressed the Security Council regarding Zimbabwe, and the United States and Britain announced they would no longer support any power-sharing agreement that left Robert Mugabe as president. The cholera epidemic provides the international community with an opportunity to act and protect the citizens of Zimbabwe. ()
If there were any lingering doubts about the utter failure of Mugabe's rule, the spread of cholera has again displayed him to be unable to fulfill the most basic precept of government: the responsibility to protect its citizens. The UN General Assembly and the Security Council have endorsed the responsibility-to-protect doctrine, deciding that if a state lacks the capacity or will to protect its people from mass atrocities then it is the responsibility of the international community to do so. The international community - led by the United Nations with strong South African and US support - must step into the leadership vacuum in Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe is fast becoming a failing state, yet the international community's response remains tepid. The Southern African Development Community's mediation effort, led by former South African president Thabo Mbeki, is widely considered a disappointment, with Mbeki refusing to condemn Mugabe's most egregious actions. Mbeki has insisted on engaging in backroom "quiet diplomacy" and repeatedly discouraged international sanctions. The fruit of his efforts, the flawed September agreement, appears to have no chance of implementation. Yet Mbeki continues to lead the mediation. Clearly a new negotiation framework is needed.
Under the auspices of the UN, a prominent figure such as Kofi Annan should lead a renewed diplomatic effort to end the crisis. Annan played a critical role in the Kenya negotiations in early 2008, which are seen as a successful example of how the responsibility-to-protect norm can be implemented. With the promise of immunity and credible threats of serious measures from the UN Security Council, Mugabe and his associates could be convinced to step down peacefully. If they still refuse to give up power, coercive force should be carefully considered.
Once Mugabe is out of the picture, a new negotiated transitional government should be put in place until internationally monitored elections can be held. The transitional government will require vigorous support from the international community, with the African Union, South Africa, and other SADC countries all playing essential roles.
Reports of the Security Council's recent closed-door session have been disheartening, as South Africa blocked the proposal of a nonbinding statement condemning Mugabe for his mishandling of the cholera epidemic. As more and more Zimbabwean refugees flow across their shared border, it is clear that South Africa's own interests, including its territorial integrity and capacity to protect its own citizens, are inextricably linked to ending the crisis in Zimbabwe. South Africa must recognize this and recalculate its stance. A robust response to the crisis in Zimbabwe is long overdue. The unfortunate cholera outbreak provides the international community with the imperative to act. It must do so.
2. We must save Zimbabweans from more rape and violence
Globe and Mail
Angelique Kidjo and Julio Montaner
4 January 2009
Anglique Kidjo is an award winning singer and songwriter from Benin, and the co-founder of the Batonga Foundation. The Batonga Foundation supports education and schooling for girls in Africa. Dr. Julio Montaner is president of the International AIDS Society and British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS. Both serve on the advisory board for the AIDS-Free World.
Maiba is in her late 40s. More than 20 children live under her care her own children and those of her deceased siblings. In June, she was captured, gang-raped and severely beaten by youth militia, members of Zimbabwe's ruling ZANU-PF party, as punishment for saying she had no food to give them. Afterward, they literally dragged her home and ransacked her house. She said what hurt her most was knowing that her attackers were young enough to be her sons. She said they threatened to kill her if she talked to the police, but she talked anyway. She felt she was already dead.
In the weeks before the sexual torture of Maiba (not her real name), there was still no clear winner from Zimbabwe's March 29 election, and President Robert Mugabe's future was in jeopardy. We have since seen a presidential runoff that ostensibly ended in a tie, months of power-sharing talks obstructed by Mr. Mugabe's lust for absolute authority, the terrible spectacle of a country disintegrating, assorted toothless bleating from world leaders. Meanwhile, the people of Zimbabwe, particularly the women, have been bloodied and broken under a nationwide campaign of sexual violence, meticulously orchestrated during the election period to maintain Mr. Mugabe's control. They endure intimidation, rape, torture, murder, the spectre of HIV and the fear of more to come. () Zimbabwe is a very loudly ticking time bomb. Health care and education are distant memories. Patients on HIV drugs can no longer get them. Cholera rages. Human-rights activists disappear for weeks on end while the government claims ignorance of their whereabouts. ()
In November, we learned from rights groups that the women raped between May and June, systematically and on orders of the government, number in the many hundreds and perhaps thousands. Interviews with survivors show clear patterns in the timing of the attacks, in the verbal threats against supporters of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, in the organized ways that groups of men methodically confiscated MDC materials, in the method of rampaging through homes, abducting the women and brutalizing them at orture bases for hours or days.
Testimony has been handed to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. An urgent letter was faxed to members of the Security Council, which met but took no action. It's time for the UN to do its job because, we can assure you, the siege against women is about to resume. ()
It need not happen. Although the people of Zimbabwe have been rendered powerless, the leaders of the world have unanimously agreed that UN member states have a responsibility to protect when a government is unable or unwilling to protect its own citizens from precisely these sort of threats. Member states have legions of experts on peace and justice at their disposal. They could decide to send peacekeepers to Zimbabwe. They could further ostracize Mr. Mugabe. They could appoint a new negotiator to work out a viable power-sharing arrangement. They could let women into those negotiations, since women are bearing the most extreme brunt of the crisis. It's not for us to decide. But it is for us for all of us to remind our elected leaders of their responsibility to protect. For the raped women of Zimbabwe, for the people of Zimbabwe and for us, so we can stand without shame.
3. Getting to a Post-Mugabe Zimbabwe
World Politics Review
1 January 2009
Pray for Zimbabweans. Their economy, shrinking for a decade, is suffering hyperinflation of more than 230 million percent. The government, which has no money to keep most primary and secondary schools open, has even closed down several hospitals during a cholera epidemic. The disease has left nearly 1,200 people dead and more than 23,000 others infected, according to the United Nations. ()
Given the depths of Zimbabwe's catastrophe, however, such actions seem insufficient. Not surprisingly, more robust solutions are now being proffered to dislodge Mugabe, including the threat of military force, invoking the U.N. principle of "responsibility to protect," and charging Mugabe with crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court for mass atrocities. While theoretically legitimate, all three options demonstrate an idealistic approach to international affairs that is ill-suited to Zimbabwe. ()
Start with the ICC. Though very few individuals are more deserving of being brought before it than Mugabe, the court has no army or police force to arrest suspects. Charges would likely strengthen the will of Mugabe and his compatriots to cling even more stubbornly to power, relying on allies such as China for their bankroll. Threatening force, meanwhile, requires military capacity and political will. But which country, if any, will supply the troops to level the threat?
As for the extreme edge of the responsibility to protect, an actual military intervention would require approval from the U.N. Security Council or from the African Union and the Southern African Development Community, according to the International Crisis Group, a conflict-prevention organization. Neither option is likely because of China and Russia's veto at the Security Council, and the respect Mugabe commands from his neighbors for having liberated Zimbabwe from colonial rule.
Negotiation, as tepid it has been, may be the most viable option. The International Crisis Group proposed the establishment of an 18-month "transitional administration, run by non-partisan experts, in which neither Mugabe nor Tsvangirai would have any position." The government should be led by a Chief Administrator who would be banned from running for office or serving as prime minister. Its chief tasks would be to implement economic and political reforms, and to prepare new presidential elections. In exchange for Mugabe leaving the presidency, he would receive guarantees of immunity from domestic prosecution and extradition, along with security for his family. This amnesty would also apply to senior military commanders who accepted retirement and did not threaten Zimbabwe's stability.
That final plank horrified AIDS-Free World, a U.S.-based advocacy group that focuses on HIV/AIDS. "Amnesty is deeply offensive to anyone who has even an inkling of the devastation this man has wrought," it said in a press release. "The idea that if the top ranks of ZANU-PF retire quietly, the rest will stop the carnage and blithely rebuild their country while the world watches in approval, is ludicrous."
AIDS-Free World has instead called on southern African countries to "end . . . Africa's failure to solve Africa's problem" by pressuring Mugabe to step down. () Sadly, the best option for Zimbabwe requires swallowing the poison pill of granting immunity to Mugabe. But that is relative and offers little reason to expect the situation to improve. No wonder hope is in dreadfully short supply.
II. R2P and the Next U.S. Administration
1. Taking Steps Toward a Responsibility to Protect
The Stanley Foundation
The Stanley Foundation is a nonpartisan foundation dedicated to advancing rincipled multilateralism as well as working on global governance and peace and security policy. The Courier is a quarterly magazine that the Stanley Foundation releases on their priority projects and publications. The following article examines the policy challenges ahead of the incoming U.S. administration in addressing conflict and the Responsibility to Protect.
The 1990s were supposed to bring a great eace dividend after the end of the Cold War. In a world no longer divided by bipolar ideological conflict, then-UN Secretary-General Boutros-Boutros Ghali oversaw the greatest expansion of UN peacekeeping missions ever to conflict-torn areas.
However, this hope for greater world peace was soon dashed on the rocks of war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity in the former Yugoslavia, Somalia, Rwanda, Darfur, and the Congo. () Amidst this seemingly endless strife, global peacekeepers and troops from major powers alike soon found themselves in untenable situations of neither peace nor all-out interstate warfare, without the proper doctrine, tools, or training to keep the conflicts from escalating into mass human atrocities. It was not only the legitimacy of peacekeeping that was threatened. Traditional forms of refugee protection often proved to be a band-aid at best, as even UN refugee camps were soon used and abused by unscrupulous militias, paramilitaries, and other state and nonstate disputants to gather UN supplies for their own benefit and leverage the refugees desperate plights to their own violent ends. ()
Moving From Words to Deeds
ctualizing the Responsibility to Protect was the topic of the Stanley Foundations 43rd conference of the United Nations of the Next Decade. It is also the subject of a recent article by Edward C. Luck, senior vice president and director of studies at the International Peace Institute and special adviser to the UN secretary-general, in which he primarily focuses on the responsibility to protect.
It has been Kofis successor, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who has spoken repeatedly of his determination to perationalize the responsibility to protect and to translate it rom words to deeds. And this brings in the absolutely crucial question of the US role in preventing mass atrocities, mitigating them when they occur, and rebuilding conflict-torn nations after conflict subsides.
Core questions for the future of US foreign policy and US national security doctrine include:
Does the United States view as central to its policies the security threats posed by fragile, weak, failing, and failed states in sensitive regions of the globe, including states weakened by such problems as drug trade, terrorism, human trafficking, money laundering, and other various forms of illicit behavior?
Does the United States believe that the Genocide Convention should be enacted, which in practical terms would include prosecuting perpetrators of this crime at the International Criminal Court?
Does the United States ever want to get to the point of having the US military intervene in such conflicts to prevent or stop mass violence?
Does the United States want better civilian capacities to deal with these conflicts in terms of diplomatic prevention and post-conflict peacebuilding and reconstruction?
Does the United States care to improve its relationship with the United Nations, both in terms of supporting individual UN agencies on the ground in ountries at risk and in terms of supporting the Secretariat in New York in pressing forward on this agenda?
One thing is certain: whether or not the United States truly embraces this evolving legal and normative framework, the globe will be plagued for an indefinite period by the specter of weak and failing states.
Nontraditional conflicts in these areas are likely to involve mass and illicit violence against unarmed civilians. In this circumstance, the responsibility to protect has a chance of providing the international community, including the United States, with the conceptual platform for concerted action. ()
Actualizing the Responsibility to Protect, Report of the 43rd Conference of the United Nations of the Next Decade, sponsored by the Stanley Foundation:
Edward Luck: The United Nations and the Responsibility to Protect, The Stanley Foundation: http://www.stanleyfoundation.org/publications/pab/LuckPAB808.pdf
2. American Military Interventions
Rana F. Sweis
18 December 2008
A year after the September 11, 2001 attacks on Washington and New York, President Bushs national security strategy was clear: US interests triumph all else and international institutions would not hinder military actions deemed necessary. Therefore, when contemplating humanitarian interventions, the US would weigh the potential benefitsn terms of foreign lives savedgainst the likely costs to the United States. Even if US strategic interests intertwine with internationally accepted humanitarian criteria for humanitarian interventions, it may have consequential effects on the notion of the responsibility to protect. However, according to experts like Thomas Weiss, author of "Military-Civilian Interactions", the September 11th attacks and subsequent US led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, led to two world organizations: he United Nations, global in members; and the United States, global in reach and power. ()
But military intervention without a UN mandate raises questions over a countrys motives and capabilities to rebuild in the post-conflict period. The implication of such a reality has also posed a dilemma for the notion of eutrality once forces are deployed on the ground and raises concern among independent aid agencies. ()
Romeo Dallaire wrote in a New York Times op-ed entitled ooking at Darfur, Seeing Rwanda that () owerful nations like the United States and Britain have lost much of their credibility because of the quagmire of Iraq." As a result, 'right intention' may be only one of the principles that will be primary in future humanitarian interventions, even if the US justifies the humanitarian intervention for strategic reasons, or a 'little bit of both', due to its significance.
It is safe to conclude that few Americans believed that the threat of terrorism could affect them directly until September 11, 2001. And it is true, in general, complex humanitarian emergencies are affecting neighboring countriesreating ad neighborhoodsnd threatening the globe as in the case of Sudan, Iraq and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Somalia shows how events in a place of little or no apparent strategic interest can have enduring effects. During the current Iraq war, statistics have shown that about twenty five percent of oreign fighters detained are from Africa, especially from East Africa. Conditions in the occupied Palestinian territories humanitarian complex emergencyave affected the Middle East region for decades. itizens victimized by genocide or abandoned by the international community do not make good neighbors, as their thirst for vengeance and their acceptance of violence as a means of generating change can turn them into future threats, warns Power. ()
Does this mean that naturally, in most cases, every humanitarian intervention would be strategic? That may be true in some cases and that is an advantage to those who argue for a combination of both strategic and internationally accepted humanitarian criteria for interventions. The Rwandan genocide destabilized the entire Great Lakes region and it continues to do so today. It created massive refugee camps in eastern Congo and triggered a cycle of warfare in much of central Africa. But the international community has generally failed to come up with rules on how and when to intervene, and under whose authority. And these debates will not go away. Yet, it is imperative to understand that a humanitarian intervention is unique in its core missionhe responsibility to protect, to prevent, to react and to build.
3. Obama, Africa, and Peace
John Prendergast and John Norris
13 January 2009
Enough's latest strategy paper, "Obama, Africa, and Peace", argues that a renewed emphasis on diplomacy and peacemaking is the critical difference between simply managing the crises in Sudan, Eastern Congo, and Somalia, and ending them. ()
"Because expectations are so high throughout Africa, President Obama will have an unprecedented opportunity to forge a global commitment to end the deadliest wars in the world. Africa's wars require outside-the-box thinking in this era of diminishing resources. ()
Full Report: http://www.enoughproject.org/files/publications/Jan1309ObamaAfricaPeace.pdf
III. R2P and International Policy
1. The Responsibility to Protect Doctrine and Humanitarian Intervention: Too Many Ambiguities for a Working Doctrine
Journal of Conflict and Security Law
15 December 2008
Carlo Focarelli is an international law professor at Perugia University and Rome University in Italy.
The question about possible remedies, including military intervention, to avoid or to put an end to massive violations of human rights committed by a state towards its own citizens or in situations where state authorities critically lack effectiveness has been extensively debated since the issuance in 2001 of the report of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (ICISS) on the responsibility to protect. After a succinct and critical review of the ICISS report and the subsequent international instruments dealing with the responsibility to protect, this contribution focuses on the positions adopted by states, especially over the last three years at the General Assembly and at the Security Council of the United Nations on humanitarian intervention as a corollary of the responsibility to protect doctrine. () Given its extreme and multifaceted ambiguity, which is discussed in the last section of this contribution, the innovative content of the purported emerging norm on the responsibility to protect, as well as its prospect to emerge in the future, remain rather unclear.
2. Global Responsibility and the Shortfall of International Policy
Middle East Times
Robert Murray and David Kilgour
5 January 2009
Robert Murray is a Department of Political Science Doctoral Fellow at the University of Alberta, while David Kilgour is a former Canadian Secretary of State for Africa, Latin America, and the Asia-Pacific.
Recently there has been plenty of attention given to the issue of humanitarian crisis, intervention and the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) at the global level. The R2P, which was originally articulated in 2001 by a commission created and supported by the government of Canada, is designed to articulate and enforce what terms like sovereignty, human security and global responsibility actually mean and just how short the international community has fallen in its efforts to protect vulnerable populations worldwide. ()
The current situations in the Darfur province of Sudan, Burma, Zimbabwe, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and elsewhere effectively demonstrate the human insecurity which continues to plague international society. Canada has admonished these governments for their abuse of human rights, as has the United Nations. Each of these nations are in desperate need of global attention and perhaps even intervention according to the stipulations of the R2P, as included in the 2001 report and the 2005 U.N. document, yet the United Nations has elected instead to place its weight and limited financial resources behind regional organizations, like the African Union, or is sending diplomats to urge change, knowing that none will come.
From the knowledge that genocide and human rights abuses have occurred since 1945, and transpire to this present, there is a fact that is very clear the United Nations, and Canada, are not willing to make the normative shift necessary to operationalize the R2P and enforce human security. Invoking arguments about national and international obligations is not merely an ethical issue. Prof. Marco Sassoli and Dr. Siobhan Wills have pointed out that R2P represents a fundamental change from states choosing intervention, to states having the responsibility under international law to prevent egregious human rights violations. This legal argument emphasizes that R2P is intended to remind and encourage states to live up to their responsibilities rather than have the most powerful nations select when and where humanitarian law will be enforced.
It is difficult to argue against the need for normatively driven policy like R2P on the basis of protecting humanity, but why is it that we still have not seen a shift from nations like Canada or from the United Nations? A major concern that tends to be overlooked in these discussions is the threat to international order and the system of states posed by ethically responsible policies. ()
Finally enforcement of any such ethic is virtually impossible and undesirable due to the long-term implications of intervention and peacebuilding, evidenced by the increasing displeasure among Canadian politicians and citizens alike regarding the mission in Afghanistan. As a result of these factors, along with a number of others, the R2P has remained purely rhetorical in nature in favor of states basing their national security decisions upon traditional, power-based, concerns.
There is also need to consider what happens if R2P is never practiced. Ignatieff reminds us that the desire for humanitarian intervention still exists, but the resources needed for such missions have dissipated. When policies like the R2P get ignored, it is not a series of abstract political concerns which get forgotten; instead, we see the consequences of not acting on R2P in the daily statistics released which tell the sad story of death, injury and terror among populations from various regions across the world. ()
While the end of the Cold War may have brought with it a sense of idealism and opportunity in the humanitarian intervention debate, reality dictates that in order for states to maintain or increase their position in the international system, they cannot base their foreign policy strategies on concepts like human security. To do so would require a global consensus and international willingness to implement the normative elements of the R2P. At present, this is simply not the case and thus humanity will continue to suffer while the international community does nothing.
3. Genocide, post factum
ISN Security Watch
8 January 2009
The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, adopted in response to the Holocaust in 1948 to prevent state-driven campaigns of mass-murder, has one rather obvious problem: It doesnt work. Drastic reforms of the way the international community responds to genocide and ethnic cleansing should be made, with depoliticizing the process as the first priority.
Since its adoption, the Convention has not prevented a single instance of genocide. Atrocities in Cambodia, East Timor, Iraq, Rwanda, Bosnia and most recently, Sudan, all took place with wide coverage by the world media and often with the connivance of international institutions. ()
The international communitys response to genocidal campaigns and the application of genocide law, including the International Criminal Court, which indicted Sudanese President Omar el Bashir, is reactive, not proactive. The international community has established mechanisms for prosecuting the perpetrators of genocide post factum, but not a mechanism for intervening in genocide when it happens.
Although individual statesmen may be important as the preachers of hatred and inciters of mass murder, it is only when such destructive ideologies are implemented by state structures that genocide takes place. Since genocide is likely only with state support, it can be stopped only by other states. ()
What is needed is a major paradigm shift in the way we think about sovereignty and the responsibility of the international community to intervene in genocide as it happens. As long as the decisions on humanitarian interventions are made collectively by governments that follow their own narrow interests, there are bound to be disagreements and political deadlocks that often come at an appalling human cost.
We have seen that swift decisions in response to genocide are nearly impossible through traditional diplomacy, while action through international courts and issuing injunctions against political leaders take too much time.
Ideally, to avoid political deadlocks, decisions on interventions should be depoliticized. Clear criteria for humanitarian interventions should established, with the final decision being made by an independent body.() What is needed is an independent body under UN auspices with powers to authorize the use of force as a measure of last resort to stop genocide. The UN already has examples of such independent bodies. ()
Another recent move to put the onus of eradicating genocide on the international community is the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) approach, established by the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty. R2P calls for the transfer of the responsibility to protect to the international community in case a state is unwilling or unable to stop or prevent genocide or other massive human rights violations. Although R2P provides clear guidelines for determining when intervention by external actors must be deemed necessary, it falls short of calling for an independent body that could determine when the use of force is a moral imperative and leaves the final decision up to the Security Council.
The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide has not prevented a single instance of genocide in its six decades of existence. If anyone is found guilty of genocide in Darfur after the conflict, either by prosecutions through the International Criminal Court or in an ad hoc international tribunal, it will only confirm this perception.
The international community must be proactive rather than reactive in responding to genocide and crimes against humanity. Sadly, it has yet to develop an effective legal mechanism for doing so.