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Max Forte's List: The New Imperialism

    • Responsibility to Protect (R2P) is a recently developed concept in international relations which relates to a state's responsibilities towards its population and to the international community's responsibility in case a state fails to fulfill its responsibilities
    • to provide a legal and ethical basis for "humanitarian intervention"
    • Detractors argue that by justifying external breaches of state sovereignty, R2P encourages foreign aggression by stronger nations.

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    • Humanitarian intervention refers to armed interference in one state by another state(s) with the objective of ending or reducing the suffering of the population within the first state.
    • The claimed rationale behind such an intervention is the belief, embodied in international customary law, in a duty under certain circumstances to disregard a state's sovereignty to preserve our common humanity.

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  • Jul 27, 09

    Wikipedia entry on ICISS and R2P -- interestingly, the concept also involves a dimension of preemptive or "anticipatory" intervention to prevent "likely large scale" atrocities.

    • The International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (ICISS) was an ad hoc commission of participants which in 2001 worked to popularize the concept of humanitarian intervention and democracy-restoring intervention under the name of "Responsibility to protect."
    • The Commission was founded by Gareth Evans and Mohammed Sahnoun under the authority of the Canadian Government and consisted of members from the UN General Assembly. The purpose of the Committee was to arrive at an answer to the following question posed by Kofi Annan:

       
       

      if humanitarian intervention is, indeed, an unacceptable assault on sovereignty, how should we respond to a Rwanda, to a Srebrenica - to gross and systematic violations of human rights that affect every precept of our common humanity?

    • what scale of atrocity necessitates humanitarian intervention

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  • Jul 27, 09

    Wikipedia's too brief entry on "moral universalism" which is counter to cultural relativism, and is one of the philosophical premises for "Responsibility to Protect"

  • Jul 27, 09

    Wikipedia entry on the UN gathering that led to the adoption of "responsibility to protect" provisions.

    • the endorsement of the "responsibility to protect" (known by the acronyms RTP and R2P), a formulation of the "right of humanitarian intervention" developed by a U.N. commission [3] and proposed by Kofi Annan as part of his In Larger Freedom[4] reform package. The "Right to Protect" gives the world community the right to intervene in the case of "national authorities manifestly failing to protect their populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity"
    • an agreement that the international community has a "responsibility to protect" - the duty to intervene in when national governments fail to fulfill their responsibility to protect their citizens from atrocious crimes
    • Resolution 1674, adopted by the United Nations Security Council on 28 April 2006, "reaffirms the provisions of paragraphs 138 and 139 of the 2005 World Summit Outcome Document regarding the responsibility to protect populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity".
    • 139. The international community, through the United Nations, also has the responsibility to use appropriate diplomatic, humanitarian and other peaceful means, in accordance with Chapter VI and VIII of the Charter, to help protect populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity. In this context, we are prepared to take collective action, in a timely and decisive manner, through the Security Council, in accordance with the UN Charter, including Chapter VII, on a case by case basis and in cooperation with relevant regional organizations as appropriate, should peaceful means be inadequate and national authorities manifestly failing to protect their populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity. We stress the need for the General Assembly to continue consideration of the responsibility to protect populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and crimes against humanity and its implications, bearing in mind the principles of the Charter of the United Nations and international law. We also intend to commit ourselves, as necessary and appropriate, to help states build capacity to protect their populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity and to assist those which are under stress before crises and conflicts break out.
  • Jul 27, 09

    Document of the 2005 World Summit that created R2P provisions later adopted by the UN Security Council

  • Jul 27, 09

    UN Security Council Resolution 1674 (2006)
    Responsibility to Protect established

    • Bearing in mind its primary responsibility under the Charter of the United Nations for the maintenance of international peace and security, and underlining the importance of taking measures aimed at conflict prevention and resolution,
    • 4. Reaffirms the provisions of paragraphs 138 and 139 of the 2005 World Summit Outcome Document regarding the responsibility to protect populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity;
    • The term failed state is often used by political commentators and journalists to describe a state perceived as having failed at some of the basic conditions and responsibilities of a sovereign government. In order to make this definition more precise, the following attributes, proposed by the Fund for Peace, are often used to characterize a failed state:
    • loss of physical control of its territory, or of the monopoly on the legitimate use of physical force therein
    • erosion of legitimate authority to make collective decisions

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  • Jul 27, 09

    Website of the R2P Coalition

      • R2P Basic Principles

         

        The principles and elements of The Responsibility to Protect doctrine were elaborated in the 2001 report of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (ICISS). Its basic principles are two-fold:

         
           
        1.  
          Inherent in the concept of sovereignty is a state's responsibility to protect its populations; and
           
        2.  
        3.  
          If a population is suffering serious harm, and the state in question is unwilling or unable to halt or avert it, the responsibility to protect those people lies in the international community.
    • Three core elements define what is the R2P doctrine. First, states and the international community have the responsibility to prevent atrocity crimes, which requires action to address both the root causes and direct causes of internal conflict and other man-made crises putting populations at risk. Second, states and the international community have the responsibility to react during situations of compelling human need with appropriate measures, including the use of force. Finally, states and the international community have the responsibility to rebuild in the aftermath of atrocities.
    • The ICISS report articulates a well-measured and careful approach to the acceptance of military intervention for human protection purposes. Foremost, less intrusive and coercive measures must be exercised before more coercive and intrusive ones are applied. However, in cases of extreme circumstances - those that "shock the conscience of mankind, or which present danger to international security" - use of force can be considered.

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  • Jul 27, 09

    Key documents and bibliography for R2P

  • Jul 27, 09

    Kofi Annan on humanitarian interventions, problems, questions, imperatives.

    • The tragedy of East Timor, coming so soon after that of Kosovo, has focused attention once again on the need for timely intervention by the international community when death and suffering are being inflicted on large numbers of people, and when the state nominally in charge is unable or unwilling to stop it.
    • intervention must be based on legitimate and universal principles
    • We need to adapt our international system better to a world with new actors, new responsibilities, and new possibilities for peace and progress.

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  • Jul 27, 09

    Website for the SAVE DARFUR campaign

    • What  are  the limits  of    that  sovereignty ?  Does  the       United    Nations  have the  right to intervene in a  state ?
              If  so, how and  when  should  that  right    be  exercised ?       Under    whose  authority ?
    • In  1999,    Kofi Annan,  then  Secretary-General of  the   United  Nations ,  said  that:  "Surely  no    legal  principle  -  not  even  sovereignty    -  can  [ be allowed  to  shield  the    perpetrators
         of  these ]  crimes  against  humanity. "
    • In September 2000,  Canada, with the support of several    major  US  foundations,  the  assistance   of  the UK  and  Swiss  governments  –     and  the  co-operation  of  many  others    –   established   the  ' International     Commission
         on  Intervention  and   State   Sovereignty '    (  ICISS  )  -    which  I  co-chaired,  along  with the  Algerian    diplomat  and  respected UN Special Adviser, Mohamed   Sahnoun

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    • The question of humanitarian intervention has to be rethought thoroughly for our time. Today, it is nearly impossible to commit crimes against humanity in secret; efficient communication media will bring them to light immediately. We are more intimately engaged by them and with them than we were in the past. These acts that shock human conscience evoke the question of whether it is our responsibility to intervene, and what might be the moral justifications behind such intervention. By analyzing a range of examples, I want to discuss the question of humanitarian intervention in four regards: first, the nature of its occasions; second, the question of its preferred agents; third, the means how to meet the occasions; and fourth, the decision about the time to end the intervention.
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