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Responsibility To Protect? Essay

1633 words - 7 pages

Did the R2P Doctrine Create an Opportunity for Western Powers to act Inaptly. ?

Chandler argues that the invasion and occupation of Iraq highlighted the dynamic behind the concept of R2P. He states that the R2P that emerged in the period after the Iraq invasion reflected more intensely the crisis that that emerged within the ICISS report giving Western governments some form of authority and confidence. He argues that the ICISS report aimed to restore confidence to the UN however it just made R2P appear not as a ‘non-bureaucratic ’ and a non-legalistic’ justification for intervention. There is currently a focus on 'good governance' as a form of prevention and also on institutional reform to ...view middle of the document...

The Iraq Invasion, which was unfortunately and wrongly attached to the R2P, seems to be an ideal case study in showing how the R2P principle is invoked for selfish interests. The Iraq Invasion according to the United Nations was illegal because it lacked UN sanction. According to common belief the USA intervened in Iraq for the oil resource available there although the USA claimed they intervened to rid Iraq of a ‘monstrous dictator’ Saddam Hussein.

The lack of focus and clarity in the definitions of the boundaries of r2p is another reason as to why it can be seen that western powers use the concept of r2p to act unsuitably. The other reason being that of self interest like in the case of the Iraq Invasion.

How do the arguments sit with the R2P Discourse?

Chandler (2009) states “R2P appears to be no more about mass atrocities than it is about establishing a right of humanitarian intervention”. Thus this shows that from its very creation there was always that emphasis of a continued authority of ‘humanitarian intervention’. Chandler (2009) notes that even though the UN’s inability in the Kosovo issue was a flaw on their part, they were able to regain support from the international community by their discrediting of the Iraq invasion. Evans (2002) supports this idea as well. He states that their discrediting of the Iraq invasion revived the UN’s clout over the issue and encouraged succeeding secretary-generals to recuperate the leverage over the moral agenda of ending mass atrocity crimes

Chandler(2009) continually states that the international communities oversight towards the concept of R2P is the most crucial. He states that the UN turned the idea of humanitarian intervention which was seen as a more radical idea into the idea of R2P which is seen as their moral grounds in which they are allowed and seen as a strong power going into states located in the global south to rid them of their mass atrocities. Lyon(2009) also agrees with this idea. He labels R2P as normative name for Humanitarian Intervention.

Cilliers et al (2009) have a quite controversial argument. They argue that the International Criminal Courts continue to invoke r2p even without the cooperation of the African Union. This is quite a negative view because Africa is the continent that has had the most r2p interventions and thus their continent organizing body should be able to have a say in its affairs.

Current R2p Discourse and Possible Solutions to Make it More Effective.

“The State remains the bedrock of the responsibility to protect, the purpose of which is to build responsible sovereignty, not to undermine it”(UN 2009) thus can it be said that the new doctrine of R2P is promoting a state that practices good governance and can protect its sovereignty? As Bellamy noted, the current R2P is really about “international assistance to help build responsible sovereigns with appropriate capacity”(2009) As previously noted by Baer (2011) the idea of humanitarian...

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