Operationalising Protective Intervention

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Authored by: Nicholas J. Wheeler , Tim Dunne

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.ch7

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Abstract

The Responsibility to Protect (R2P) has proved to be a remarkably resilient idea. In a series of speeches and articles in the late 1990s, Kofi Annan condemned the fact that sovereignty had become a warrant for tyranny. ‘Sovereignty,’ he insisted, ‘implies responsibility’ (Bellamy 2009: 28–29). 2 Over a decade later, and despite the resurgence in national security thinking associated with counter-terrorism, R2P has become accepted as a principle for responding to humanitarian atrocities. Such a claim can be evidenced by the widespread acceptance that all states must protect their citizens, and should they fail to do so, the responsibility then falls upon others to assist or enforce depending on the specific context. The clarity of UN Security Council (UNSC) backing for ‘all necessary measures’ to protect Libyan civilians indicates how far the UN order has travelled in relation to operationalizing protective intervention in certain cases. 3

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