This series gathers six policy briefs on the so-called emerging powers' approach to the protection of civilians under international humanitarian law. In some cases there is a gaping divergence between international rhetoric and domestic practice. The series covers Brazil, India, Russia and Turkey, as well as a brief on the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.
The tragedies in Rwanda in 1994 and Srebrenica in 1995, and the ineffective international responses to halting them, resulted in two major new international initiatives aimed at improving the protection of civilian populations. On the one hand, the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) dealt squarely with the political controversies surrounding intervention and sovereignty.
New York: A timely and decisive response is vital in the face of genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity, top United Nations officials stressed Wednesday, highlighting the need to act when a State fails to protect its own people. “This is the ultimate test of the responsibility to protect,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in his remarks to an informal interactive dialogue of the General Assembly on the principle agreed at a summit of world leaders in 2005.
London: This is a summary of discussions that took place in a closed-door study group bringing together experts from Chatham House's Middle East and North Africa, International Law and International Security programmes. With little or no prospect for a negotiated end to the civil conflict in Syria, the discussion focused on the prospects for foreign intervention across a range of options, taking into account the current diplomatic stalemate, existing lines of support to conflicting parties, and alternative international approaches that may emerge as the situation deteriorates.
Two acronyms are prominent current currency – and they happen to be the two sides of the same coin. The Responsibility to Protect (RtoP) and the less controversially discussed sibling Rule of Law (RoL) are for obvious reasons complementary.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today paid his respects to the victims of Srebrenica and called on the world to learn the lessons from the 1995 massacre and stop the ongoing bloodshed in Syria. "We must learn from the lessons of Srebrenica," Mr. Ban said as he visited the memorial site for the 8,000 Muslim men and boys who were killed by Bosnian Serb forces who overran Srebrenica – the largest such massacre on European soil since the founding of the United Nations.
Abuja: The Federal Government, yesterday, said it had not lost control of the security situation in the north, owing to attacks by the Islamist sect, Boko Haram, as suggested in some quarters, faulting calls for foreign assistance. Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru, who spoke in Abuja, said the Nigerian situation has not fallen short of the principles of the United Nations Responsibility to Protect, which, among others, provides for international intervention with coercive measures if a state fails to protect its citizens from mass atrocities.
United Nations: The 193-member General Assembly is expected to vote on a resolution - described as "historic" - requesting the five permanent members (P5) of the Security Council to consider "refraining from using their vetoes on action aimed at preventing or ending genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity". But the P5 has already indicated that the General Assembly, the U.N.'s highest policymaking body, has no business offering such recommendations to the Security Council.
Damascus : Syria has said it was ready to facilitate UN monitors, but stressed that a majority of them should be from "neutral countries" like BRICS, which also includes India. Syria also stressed that while it was committed to the UN-backed peace plan, the Western powers wanted it to fail due to their own agenda.
Submitted by Sanusha Naidu on Mon, 16/04/2012 - 12:56
As part of a broader inquiry on the possibilities for emerging powers to assume greater global leadership, SAFPI recently participated in a roundtable discussion co-hosted by the University of Pretoria Department of Political Science and the Stanley Foundation on synergies between Pretoria and Washington in the 21st Century.