responsibility-to-protect

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The
Responsibility
to Protect
Report of the International
Commission on
Intervention and State
Sovereignty
December 2001
United Nations
The Commission
Initiated by Lloyd Axworthy
Gareth Evans, Co-Chair
Mohamed Sahnoun, Co-Chair
Gisèle Côté-Harper
Michael Ignatieff
Klaus Naumann
Fidel Ramos
Eduardo Stein
Lee Hamilton
Vladimir Lukin
Cyril Ramaphosa
Cornelio Sommaruga
Ramesh Thakur
The Report
Address the questionWhen, if ever, is it appropriate for states
to take military action against another,
for the purpose of human protection of
the resident peoples?
New Internationalist, 1999
Open air grave
Ethiopia - Eritrea border
The Report
•
•
•
•
•
Is there a right of intervention?
How and when should it be exercised?
Under whose authority?
Is intervention an assault on
sovereignty?
One of the most controversial and
difficult of all international relations
questions.
Synopsis
Basic Principles
•
State sovereignty implies responsibility
for protecting own people.
•
International responsibility when state is
unwilling or unable to halt or avert the
serious harm to its population.
Foundations
•
Obligations inherent in the concept of
sovereignty.
•
The responsibility of the UN Security
Council.
Foundations
•
Specific legal obligations:
–
–
–
•
human rights and protection declarations.
covenants and treaties.
humanitarian law.
The developing practice of states,
regional organizations and the Security
Council.
Elements
•
The responsibility to prevent
–
•
The responsibility to react
–
•
address root causes.
respond with appropriate measures.
The responsibility to rebuild
–
full assistance with recovery, reconstruction
and reconciliation.
BBC, 1999
The Balkans
burning oil, polluted water
Priorities
•
Prevention is the single most important
dimension.
•
Less intrusive and coercive measures
always considered before more
coercive and intrusive ones are applied.
Principles for Military Intervention
•
Just cause threshold
•
Precautionary principles
•
Right authority
•
Operational principles
Just Cause Threshold
To warrant military intervention there
must be serious and irreparable harm:
•
•
Large scale loss of life.
Large scale ethnic cleansing.
New Internationalist, 1999
Bujumbura, Burundi
1996 ethnic massacre
Precautionary Principles
•
Right intention:
–
–
•
primary purpose must be to halt or avert
human suffering.
multilateral operations, clearly supported
by the victims concerned.
Last resort:
–
–
every non-military option explored.
reasonable grounds for believing lesser
measures would not have succeeded.
Precautionary Principles
•
Proportional means:
–
•
scale, duration and intensity of should be
the minimum necessary.
Reasonable prospects:
–
–
reasonable chance of success.
consequences of action not worse than the
consequences of inaction.
Right Authority
•
•
•
•
Security Council most appropriate body.
Authorization always sought prior to
intervention.
Security Council should deal promptly
with requests.
The Permanent Five members should
agree not to apply their veto power.
Right Authority
•
If a proposal is rejected or not dealt with
in a reasonable time, alternative options
are:
–
–
General Assembly consideration under the
“Uniting for Peace” procedure.
action by regional or sub-regional
organizations.
Right Authority
•
The Security Council must always
consider its immense responsibility.
–
–
inaction may lead to concerned states
resorting to other means.
the nature and credibility of the United
Nations may suffer.
Operational Principles
•
Clear objectives at all times.
•
Common military approach among
involved partners:
–
•
unity of command and clear communications.
Acceptance of limitations, incrementalism
and gradualism:
–
objective human protection, not state defeat.
Operational Principles
•
Proportional rules of engagement that
adhere to international humanitarian law.
•
Force protection not the principal
objective.
•
Maximum coordination with humanitarian
organizations.
Specific Issues
The Right to Intervene?
•
•
•
•
Traditional term- has inherent
problems.
Focuses on the claims, rights and
prerogatives of the intervening states.
Does not account for preventive effort
or follow-up assistance.
Intrinsically more confrontational.
Objectives of a New Approach
1.
Clearer rules, procedures and criteria
for determining whether, when and
how to intervene.
2.
Legitimate military intervention when
necessary and after all other
approaches have failed.
Objectives of a New Approach
3.
Effective military intervention carried
out only for the purposes proposed,
that minimizes the human costs.
4.
Eliminate the causes of conflict while
enhancing the prospects for durable
and sustainable peace.
Human Security
•
Security of people:
–
–
–
–
•
physical safety.
economic and social well being.
dignity and worth as human beings.
human rights and fundamental freedoms.
The Universal Declaration of human
Rights (1948) embodies the moral code,
political consensus and legal synthesis
of human rights.
UPI/Bettmann
Responsibility to Protect
Responsibility for protecting the lives of
citizens lies with:
1. The sovereign state.
2. Domestic authorities acting in
partnership with external actors.
3. International organizations.
Sovereignty
•
Sovereignty does not grant unlimited
power to a state regarding its own
people.
•
Implies a dual responsibility:
–
–
externally, respecting other states.
internally, respecting dignity and rights of
own population.
BBC, 2001
Genocide in Rwanda
BBC, 1999
Kosovar refugees
Meaning of Intervention
•
“Intervention” potentially covers a large
number of activities.
–
•
controversial term.
This report- “action taken against a
state, without its consent, for claimed
humanitarian or protective purposes.”
UN Intervention
•
Legitimate because it is authorized by a
representative international body.
•
Unilateral intervention illegitimate
because of self-interests.
•
States must renounce unilateral use of
force for national purposes.
United Nations
UN General Assembly
Security Council (SC) Issues
Authority and credibility questions:
•
•
•
•
•
Legal capacity to authorize military
intervention.
Political will.
Generally uneven performance.
Unrepresentative membership.
Permanent Five veto power.
United Nations
UN Security Council
SC Past Performance
•
•
Often fallen short of responsibilities.
Due to factors such as:
–
–
–
–
sheer lack of interest.
concern about political impacts.
disagreements between permanent 5
members.
reluctance to bear the financial and
personnel burdens of international action.
SC - Report Conclusions
•
Security Council most appropriate body
for decisions about:
–
–
•
overriding state sovereignty.
mobilizing military resources.
Goal - to make the Security Council
work better than it has.
SC - Proposed Improvements
•
A “code of conduct” for the use of the
veto.
–
•
a permanent member would not obstruct
passing an otherwise majority resolution.
Clear, responsible and consistent
leadership.
–
–
never abdicating responsibility.
valuing human life above politics.
World Health Organization, 2001
“If the collective
conscience of
humanity…cannot
find in the United
Nations its greatest
tribune, there is a
grave danger that it
will look elsewhere
for peace and for
justice.”
Kofi Annan
Responsibility to Prevent
•
First with the sovereign state.
•
Failed prevention can have international
consequences.
Responsibility to Prevent
•
Strong support from the international
community is often needed:
–
–
–
development assistance.
support for local initiatives to advance good
governance, human rights and/or rule of
law.
mediation efforts.
Yes!, 1998
Dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians
Prevention Resources
•
•
•
Organization of African Unity - 1993
Mechanism for Conflict Prevention ,
Management and Settlement.
Organization for Security and
Cooperation in Europe - developed a
number of mechanisms for preventing
conflict in Europe.
Increasingly significant role of NGOs.
Responsibility to React
•
Intervention from a broader community
of states:
–
–
•
in situations of compelling human need.
if prevention has failed.
Coercive measures include political,
economic or judicial measures and, only
in extreme cases, military action.
Yes!, 1999
Nigerian UN Peacekeeping soldier
Measures Short of Military Action
•
Sanctions
–
–
–
do not directly interfere with the capacity of a
domestic authority to operate.
often indiscriminate - need to avoid doing more
harm than good.
in Iraq sanctions are resulting in massive harm
to the civilian population.
Types of Sanctions
•
Military
–
–
•
arms embargoes.
ending military cooperation and training
programs.
Economic
–
–
–
financial sanctions targeting assets.
restrictions on income generating activities.
aviation bans.
Types of Sanctions
•
Political and Diplomatic
–
–
–
restrictions on diplomatic representation.
restrictions on travel.
expulsion from international or regional
bodies.
Disarmament and Security Centre
The International Court of Justice
Military Action
•
Should only occur in extreme situations.
–
•
The starting point should be the
principle of non-intervention.
–
•
what constitutes ‘extreme’ situations?
equivalent to the Hippocratic principle - ‘do
no harm’.
Need to satisfy the threshold conditions
and precautionary principles.
Responsibility to Rebuild
•
In the past:
–
–
–
–
responsibility to rebuild not recognized.
exit of the interveners poorly managed.
commitment to reconstruction inadequate.
underlying problems that produced the
original intervention action not addressed.
The Responsibility to Rebuild
•
Genuine commitment to reconstitute
public safety and order needed if
military intervention is taken.
•
International and local partnerships with progressive transferring of authority
and responsibility to local authorities.
Responsibility to Rebuild
•
•
True reconciliation is best generated by
ground level reconstruction efforts.
Requires more than purely diplomatic and
military action:
–
–
–
–
creation or strengthening of national
institutions.
monitoring elections.
promoting human rights.
providing for reintegration and rehabilitation
and development.
Responsibility to Rebuild
•
Critical priorities to avoid resurgence of the
conflict:
– reconciliation and respect for human rights
of all populations.
– political inclusiveness and national unity.
– repatriation and resettlement of refugees
and displaced persons.
– reintegration of ex-combatants into
productive society.
– domestic and international resources for
reconstruction and economic recovery.
Responsibility to Rebuild
Without an exit strategy for the intervening
troops there are, at best, unsettling
implications for the country and a
possibility of discrediting even the positive
aspects of the intervention itself.
Development with Justice
If you have come to help me
you are wasting your time.
But If your have come because
your liberation is bound
up with mine then let us work
together.
Lilla Watson, Australia
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