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Responsibility to Protect and Obstacles in Its Implementations - Essay Example

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[Author’s Name] Responsibility to Protect and Obstacles in its Implementations Introduction The centuries-old dialectic between sovereignty and human rights appeared to undertake a fundamental re-alignment when the General Assembly recognized the new concept of "responsibility to protect"1 at the 2005 UN Summit…
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Responsibility to Protect and Obstacles in Its Implementations
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Download file to see previous pages In so doing, the Assembly deliberately rejected the old paradigm that viewed sovereignty and human rights as diametric opposites of a horizontal continuum, and embraced the notion that the two principles necessarily reinforce each other. In paragraph 139 of the Document, the Security Council was recognized as possessing the right to authorize force under Chapter VII to prevent genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and crimes against humanity where "national authorities manifestly fail" to protect their own populations" (World Summit Outcome 31). This recognition has decisively broadened the legal effect of Article 39 of the Charter - it is now fully settled in law that the Security Council may use force in contained domestic crises where atrocities are being committed. The principal argument of this paper is that notwithstanding the advancements of "responsibility to protect", the doctrine in its present form has serious shortcomings that could leave the Security Council without clear parameters and guidelines for dealing with future genocides. R2P fails to meet the needs of civilians due to the non-intervention norm enshrined within the Charter. It is vital that more work be done to develop clearer standards and benchmarks in the determination of responsibility to protect. Barriers Implementing R2P R2P, while specifically addressing humanitarian interventions, is a doctrine which is not legally binding. R2P merely serves to clarify the criteria permitting intervention. The criteria are just cause, right intention, last resort, right authority, proportional means, and reasonable prospects. Just cause determines the grounds under which humanitarian interventions may occur. The ICISS identified genocide and large-scale ethnic cleansing, actual or imminent. Right intention prohibits intervention for the sake of regime change or other national interests. The intervention must be solely based on humanitarian motives. The last resort criterion determines that all non-military means of conflict prevention must be exhausted before relying on the use of military force. The right authority criterion clarifies that while the UN Security Council is the primary vehicle for authorising intervention, it may also, in the case of UNSC paralysis, be authorised by regional organisations such as North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), the European Union (EU), or the African Union (AU). Proportional means is the idea that the scale, duration, and planned military intervention are the minimum of what is necessary to secure the defined objective. This assures the country in which the intervention is taking place that the intervention is merely temporary and that sovereignty will be returned in the shortest time possible. The final criterion; reasonable prospects, is perhaps the most important. It is the idea that an intervention will only take place if the consequences of such action will not be worse than doing nothing (Matt 31). However, like all legal conventions, R2P is subject to interpretation. There is nothing in R2P which prevents states from arguing that the just cause threshold has not been crossed or that the responsibility to protect lies with the host state and not the international community. It is stated within the R2P report that it is a pro-sovereignty doctrine, and that the responsi ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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