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The Responsibility to Protect

The Responsibility to Protect

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The Responsibility to Protect

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  1. The Responsibility to Protect Report of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty December 2001 United Nations

  2. The Commission Initiated by Lloyd Axworthy Gareth Evans, Co-Chair Mohamed Sahnoun, Co-Chair Gisèle Côté-Harper Michael Ignatieff Klaus Naumann Fidel Ramos Eduardo Stein Lee Hamilton Vladimir Lukin Cyril Ramaphosa Cornelio Sommaruga Ramesh Thakur

  3. The Report Address the question- When, if ever, is it appropriate for states to take military action against another, for the purpose of human protection of the resident peoples?

  4. New Internationalist, 1999 Open air graveEthiopia - Eritrea border

  5. The Report • Is there a right of intervention? • How and when should it be exercised? • Under whose authority? • Is intervention an assault on sovereignty? • One of the most controversial and difficult of all international relations questions.

  6. Synopsis

  7. Basic Principles • State sovereignty implies responsibility for protecting own people. • International responsibility when state is unwilling or unable to halt or avert the serious harm to its population.

  8. Foundations • Obligations inherent in the concept of sovereignty. • The responsibility of the UN Security Council.

  9. Foundations • Specific legal obligations: • human rights and protection declarations. • covenants and treaties. • humanitarian law. • The developing practice of states, regional organizations and the Security Council.

  10. Elements • The responsibility to prevent • address root causes. • The responsibility to react • respond with appropriate measures. • The responsibility to rebuild • full assistance with recovery, reconstruction and reconciliation.

  11. BBC, 1999 The Balkansburning oil, polluted water

  12. Priorities • Prevention is the single most important dimension. • Less intrusive and coercive measures always considered before more coercive and intrusive ones are applied.

  13. Principles for Military Intervention • Just cause threshold • Precautionary principles • Right authority • Operational principles

  14. Just Cause Threshold To warrant military intervention there must be serious and irreparable harm: • Large scale loss of life. • Large scale ethnic cleansing.

  15. New Internationalist, 1999 Bujumbura, Burundi 1996 ethnic massacre

  16. Precautionary Principles • Right intention: • primary purpose must be to halt or avert human suffering. • multilateral operations, clearly supported by the victims concerned. • Last resort: • every non-military option explored. • reasonable grounds for believing lesser measures would not have succeeded.

  17. Precautionary Principles • Proportional means: • scale, duration and intensity of should be the minimum necessary. • Reasonable prospects: • reasonable chance of success. • consequences of action not worse than the consequences of inaction.

  18. Right Authority • Security Council most appropriate body. • Authorization always sought prior to intervention. • Security Council should deal promptly with requests. • The Permanent Five members should agree not to apply their veto power.

  19. Right Authority • If a proposal is rejected or not dealt with in a reasonable time, alternative options are: • General Assembly consideration under the “Uniting for Peace” procedure. • action by regional or sub-regional organizations.

  20. Right Authority • The Security Council must always consider its immense responsibility. • inaction may lead to concerned states resorting to other means. • the nature and credibility of the United Nations may suffer.

  21. Operational Principles • Clear objectives at all times. • Common military approach among involved partners: • unity of command and clear communications. • Acceptance of limitations, incrementalism and gradualism: • objective human protection, not state defeat.

  22. Operational Principles • Proportional rules of engagement that adhere to international humanitarian law. • Force protection not the principal objective. • Maximum coordination with humanitarian organizations.

  23. Specific Issues

  24. The Right to Intervene? • Traditional term- has inherent problems. • Focuses on the claims, rights and prerogatives of the intervening states. • Does not account for preventive effort or follow-up assistance. • Intrinsically more confrontational.

  25. Objectives of a New Approach • Clearer rules, procedures and criteria for determining whether, when and how to intervene. • Legitimate military intervention when necessary and after all other approaches have failed.

  26. Objectives of a New Approach • Effective military intervention carried out only for the purposes proposed, that minimizes the human costs. • Eliminate the causes of conflict while enhancing the prospects for durable and sustainable peace.

  27. Human Security • Security of people: • physical safety. • economic and social well being. • dignity and worth as human beings. • human rights and fundamental freedoms. • The Universal Declaration of human Rights (1948) embodies the moral code, political consensus and legal synthesis of human rights.

  28. UPI/Bettmann

  29. Responsibility to Protect Responsibility for protecting the lives of citizens lies with: • The sovereign state. • Domestic authorities acting in partnership with external actors. • International organizations.

  30. Sovereignty • Sovereignty does not grant unlimited power to a state regarding its own people. • Implies a dual responsibility: • externally, respecting other states. • internally, respecting dignity and rights of own population.

  31. Genocide in Rwanda BBC, 2001

  32. BBC, 1999 Kosovar refugees

  33. Meaning of Intervention • “Intervention” potentially covers a large number of activities. • controversial term. • This report- “action taken against a state, without its consent, for claimed humanitarian or protective purposes.”

  34. UN Intervention • Legitimate because it is authorized by a representative international body. • Unilateral intervention illegitimate because of self-interests. • States must renounce unilateral use of force for national purposes.

  35. United Nations UN General Assembly

  36. Security Council (SC) Issues Authority and credibility questions: • Legal capacity to authorize military intervention. • Political will. • Generally uneven performance. • Unrepresentative membership. • Permanent Five veto power.

  37. United Nations UN Security Council

  38. SC Past Performance • Often fallen short of responsibilities. • Due to factors such as: • sheer lack of interest. • concern about political impacts. • disagreements between permanent 5 members. • reluctance to bear the financial and personnel burdens of international action.

  39. SC - Report Conclusions • Security Council most appropriate body for decisions about: • overriding state sovereignty. • mobilizing military resources. • Goal - to make the Security Council work better than it has.

  40. SC - Proposed Improvements • A “code of conduct” for the use of the veto. • a permanent member would not obstruct passing an otherwise majority resolution. • Clear, responsible and consistent leadership. • never abdicating responsibility. • valuing human life above politics.

  41. “If the collective conscience of humanity…cannot find in the United Nations its greatest tribune, there is a grave danger that it will look elsewhere for peace and for justice.” Kofi Annan World Health Organization, 2001

  42. Responsibility to Prevent • First with the sovereign state. • Failed prevention can have international consequences.

  43. Responsibility to Prevent • Strong support from the international community is often needed: • development assistance. • support for local initiatives to advance good governance, human rights and/or rule of law. • mediation efforts.

  44. Yes!, 1998 Dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians

  45. Prevention Resources • Organization of African Unity - 1993 Mechanism for Conflict Prevention , Management and Settlement. • Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe - developed a number of mechanisms for preventing conflict in Europe. • Increasingly significant role of NGOs.

  46. Responsibility to React • Intervention from a broader community of states: • in situations of compelling human need. • if prevention has failed. • Coercive measures include political, economic or judicial measures and, only in extreme cases, military action.

  47. Yes!, 1999 Nigerian UN Peacekeeping soldier

  48. Measures Short of Military Action • Sanctions • do not directly interfere with the capacity of a domestic authority to operate. • often indiscriminate - need to avoid doing more harm than good. • in Iraq sanctions are resulting in massive harm to the civilian population.

  49. Types of Sanctions • Military • arms embargoes. • ending military cooperation and training programs. • Economic • financial sanctions targeting assets. • restrictions on income generating activities. • aviation bans.

  50. Types of Sanctions • Political and Diplomatic • restrictions on diplomatic representation. • restrictions on travel. • expulsion from international or regional bodies.