Responsibility To Protect (R2P)

1304 Words 6 Pages
Humanitarian intervention in the 1990s established that international issues could not be dealt with on an inconsistent, ad hoc basis, resulting in the making of the doctrine Responsibility to Protect (R2P). R2P was introduced by the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty in 2001, and endorsed by United Nations (UN) member states during the 2005 World Summit. The doctrine affirmed the collective responsibility to protect when “national authorities are manifestly failing to protect their populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity”. Yet R2P has failed to consistently act and protect citizens, as the cases of Darfur, Libya and Syria will prove. These inconsistencies weaken the …show more content…
President Bashar al-Assad has used chemical weapons against his own people, yet the international community has not upheld its responsibility to protect. This is a direct violation of the R2P doctrine. It is true that the situation in Syria is complicated, with many different players and international objectives involved. As such, it is difficult to respond effectively. However, this shows the R2P doctrine has no actual value when the interests of major powers are at stake. For instance, Gaddafi was politically isolated while Assad has close military and commercial ties with Russia and China, two nations with veto power in the UNSC. Indeed, Russia and China have consistently vetoed UNSC resolutions that call for action in Syria. Therefore, even though the war in Syria is the very type of situation R2P was designed to prevent, it is unlikely R2P will be authorized to use force in Syria. This calls into question whether R2P is meant to protect all nations that experience acts of mass violence or just nations with weak allies. Hence, the case of Syria is evidence of the international community’s failure to maintain the R2P doctrine and establish R2P as a norm in humanitarian …show more content…
The international community took too long to respond to the violence in Darfur and when it finally did, the peacekeeping force suffered from a lack of resources, which nations were reluctant to commit more resources to for a long time as well. Due to these insufficiencies, more civilians in Darfur were killed and harmed. While the response to Libya was much faster, the effects of the R2P mission caused a regime change in Libya, thus overstepping its own mandate and authority, which led to disorder and violence, thereby failing to protect civilians. Presently, no action is being taken to help Syria, though the war there perfectly fits all R2P criteria, thus the international community is failing its obligation to protect. It also questions the future of R2P: if it is not being used to protect in a case when it should be used, will it be used at all in the future? This evidence determines that R2P is not an established norm, which weakens its impact. In other words, R2P is not used in all situations it could be used in and remains uncertain from a normative point of view. Furthermore, R2P was created to prevent the inconsistent humanitarian intervention of the 1990s, yet R2P is itself inconsistent and has often failed to

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