A Victory for Common Humanity? The Responsibility to Protect after the 2005 World Summit

Nicholas Wheeler

Allbwn ymchwil: Cyfraniad at gynhadleddPapur

233 Wedi eu Llwytho i Lawr (Pure)


Amidst the general disappointment that accompanied last month’s world summit, there were several important rays of hope. One of these, and perhaps in the longer-term the most important, was the General Assembly’s (GA) endorsement of the ‘responsibility to protect’. One hundred and ninety one states committed themselves to the principle that the rule of non-intervention was not sacrosanct in cases where a government was committing genocide, mass killing and large- scale ethnic cleansing within its borders. Moreover, some state leaders boldly claimed that had such a declaration existed in 1994, this would have prevented the Rwandan genocide and the massacres a year later at Srebrenica. For example, the United Kingdom’s Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Jack Straw, stated in his speech to the Labour Party conference on 28 September that, ‘If this new responsibility had been in place a decade ago, thousands in Srebrenica and Rwanda would have been saved’. This paper seeks to critically reflect on this claim by considering how far the GA’s adoption of the responsibility to protect significantly changes the parameters shaping humanitarian intervention in contemporary international society. Here, I argue that the UN’s endorsement of this new norm fails to address the fundamental question of what should happen if the Security Council is unable or unwilling to authorise the use of force to prevent or end a humanitarian tragedy, and secondly, it fails to address the question of how this norm could be better implemented to save strangers in the future.
Iaith wreiddiolSaesneg
Nifer y tudalennau13
StatwsCyhoeddwyd - 2005

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