From Sovereign Responsibility to R2P

Authored by: Roberta Cohen

THE ROUTLEDGE HANDBOOK OF THE RESPONSIBILITY TO PROTECT

Print publication date:  June  2012
Online publication date:  June  2012

Print ISBN: 9780415600750
eBook ISBN: 9780203117637
Adobe ISBN: 9781136304873

10.4324/9780203117637.ch1

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Abstract

In his Millennium Report to the United Nations General Assembly in 2000, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan asked: “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 offend every precept of our common humanity?” 1 Annan’s question reflected how far the international community had come since the end of the Second World War when the UN Charter made non-interference in the internal affairs of states a bedrock principle, affirming in Article 2(7):

[n]othing contained in the present Charter shall authorize the United Nations to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state.

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