The recent United Nations authorization of military strikes in Libya and Cote d’Ivoire is the result of an emerging understanding of the “Responsibility to Protect” or R2P. This significant UN action is taken only after repeated attempts at appropriate diplomatic, humanitarian, and other peaceful means have failed. Even though the United Nations charter recognizes as preeminent the sovereignty of each nation, member states are more quickly taking strong action to intervene in order to protect the lives of citizens who are being attacked by their own governments. Diplomats are seeing the legal and moral dimensions of protecting civilians even when it means stepping into the internal affairs of other countries.

This  new understanding follows from the 2005 adoption of a UN resolution to assist the international community to prevent genocide. “There is a new trend in the Security Council in which the responsibility to protect principle is gaining a new hold,” said Stéphane Crouzat, spokesman for the French mission to the United Nations. Invoking past conflicts in Rwanda, Darfur and Bosnia, he added: “There is a desire to intervene before war crimes or ethnic cleansing can take place.”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: