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Andrew Garwood-Gowers (QUT)

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1 Andrew Garwood-Gowers (QUT)
The BRICS and R2P: contestation, re-interpretation and norm entrepreneurship Andrew Garwood-Gowers (QUT)

2 Overview BRICS’ perspectives on R2P The BRICS and pillar III during the Libyan and Syrian crises Recent normative initiatives: - Brazil’s “Responsibility while Protecting” (RwP) - China’s semi-official “Responsible Protection” (RP) An assessment of RP’s significance Shifts in global power and the promotion of non-Western normative preferences : - implications for normative development in the international system - implications for R2P’s future development and implementation

3 Central arguments All five BRICS generally comfortable with pillars I and II but cautious about coercive pillar III measures Controversy over pillar III implementation reflects deeper contestation over R2P’s content, scope and its implications for international order Brazil’s RwP and China’s RP initiatives represent more restrictive interpretations of pillar III Global shifts in power point to the emergence of a more diverse, pluralistic international order Recent practice on pillar II measures suggests pillar III controversy has not “infected” the whole of R2P

4 R2P - a “complex norm” A multi-faceted political concept based on existing principles of international law Evolution: 2001 ICISS to 2005 WSOD paras 138, 139 3 pillar structure (SG 2009 R2P Report): - pillar I: protection responsibilities of the state - pillar II: international assistance and capacity- building - pillar III: timely and decisive response Pillar III coercive responses operate through existing UN Security Council mechanisms on a “case-by-case” basis

5 BRICS’ perspectives on R2P
Similar but not identical perspectives on R2P Influenced by historical, cultural and political values and experiences, as well as national interests in specific cases In general, BRICS emphasise primacy of pillars I & II, with cautious approach to non-consensual pillar III measures Both pragmatic and normative concerns over pillar III: - risk of abuse by powerful (Western) states - emphasis on regional organizations - scepticism about the efficacy of military force - preference for non-coercive civilian protection measures (e.g. dialogue) Pluralist resistance to an assertive, liberal vision of R2P

6 BRICS and R2P in Libya and Syria
All 5 BRICS were on UN Sec Council in 2011 – a window into the future of civilian protection? Libyan crisis suggested possibility of a unified BRICS position (despite SA’s affirmative vote on res 1973) But on Syria the BRICS gradually splintered into 2 sub-groups: - RC (4 double vetoes) - IBSA (more flexible, unpredictable stances) BRICS’ concerns: - externally-facilitated “regime change” - unbalanced nature of draft resolutions - use of force as a humanitarian protection strategy

7 Brazil’s RwP: norm entrepreneurship
RwP concept note: - decision-making guidelines - accountability mechanisms Initial reactions – criticism, hostility from Western powers and RC Refinement: - retreat from “strict sequencing” of pillars to “prudential sequencing” - apparent narrowing to exclusive UN Sec Council authorisation 2012 UN Sec Gen R2P report – detailed discussion of RwP

8 China and R2P 3 main phases 2001-2005 2005-2011 2011-present
Various classifications of China’s position towards R2P – “rejectionist” (Claes) vs. “cautious supporter” (Quinton-Brown) a “dichotomous” view, depending on which pillar of R2P is discussed

9 China’s “Responsible Protection” (RP)
Developed by Ruan Zongze, vice-president of China Institute for International Studies (CIIS) in mid-2012 Dual purposes: - an explanation of China’s position on Syria - distinctive Chinese contribution to the normative debate How “official” is the concept? CIIS is the think-tank linked to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs CIIS hosted an international conference to discuss RP (October 2013) Some references to “responsible protection” by officials Not yet formally adopted by China

10 RP: elements 1 & 2 First, the object of RP must be made clear. Of course, it is the people of the target country and peace and stability of the relevant region. The objects of protection must be the innocent people, not specific political parties or armed forces. Only such kind of protection is rightful and well-intentioned and is protection in its true sense Second, the legitimacy of the “protection” executors must be established. The government of a given state bears the primary responsibility of protecting its citizens. Besides that, the UN Security Council is the only legitimate actor to perform this duty while no countries have such a right, let alone the legal status to do so

11 RP: element 3 Third, the means of “protection” must be strictly limited. The prerequisite for invoking protection should be exhaustion of diplomatic and political means of solution. Non-military means like diplomatic efforts, though time- consuming, produce long-lasting results with lesser side effects. On the contrary, using military force at every turn would not only cause huge civilian casualties but also bring severe damage to infrastructure and downturn of national economy in the country or region to be “protected”, eventually aggravating humanitarian disasters and plunging the object of “protection” into protracted and distressful post-crisis reconstruction.

12 RP: elements 4, 5 & 6 Fourth, the purpose of “protection” must be defined. Just as doctors should not kill patients by means of treatment, the purpose of protection must be to mitigate humanitarian catastrophe. It is absolutely forbidden to create greater humanitarian disasters because of protection, let alone to use protection as a means to overthrow the government of a given state Fifth, the “protectors” should be responsible for the post- “intervention” and post-“protection” reconstruction of the state concerned. They should absolutely not smash and go, leaving a terrible mess to the country and people subject to “protection” Sixth, the United Nations should establish mechanisms of supervision, outcome evaluation and post factum accountability to ensure the means, process, scope and results of “protection”

13 Comparing ICISS/RwP/RP
Principle/ guideline ICISS 2001 R2P Report Brazil’s RwP China’s Responsible Protection (RP) Just cause "unwilling or unable" prevent or halt large scale loss of life/ethnic cleansing N/A (but assumes 2005 WSOD standard of "manifestly failing" with respect to 4 mass atrocity crimes) Right intention "primary purpose must be… to halt or avert human suffering" N/A (but implied by requirement that military action be “limited to the objectives established by the Security Council”) Element 1: "the objects of protection must be the innocent people" and "peace and stability of the region" Element 4: "the purpose of protection must be to mitigate humanitarian catastrophe" Last resort Force only after non-military measures have been "explored" exhaust all peaceful means; logical sequencing of 3 pillars (later relaxed to require “prudential sequencing”) Element 3: "exhaustion of diplomatic and political means of solution" Proportional means scale of military action should be minimum necessary to achieve protection aims use of force must produce “as little violence and instability as possible” Element 3: "the means of protection must be strictly limited”

14 Comparing ICISS/RwP/RP
Principle/ guideline ICISS 2001 R2P Report Brazil’s RwP China’s Responsible Protection (RP) Reasonable prospects "reasonable chance of success"; "consequences of action not likely to be worse than the consequences of inaction" “under no circumstance can it [military force] generate more harm than it was authorized to prevent” Element 1: must consider "peace and stability of the region" Element 3: avoid military force “aggravating humanitarian disasters” Element 4: "absolutely forbidden to create greater humanitarian disasters because of protection" Right authority authorization by UNSC or in exceptional circumstances by UNGA/regional organization authorization by UNSC or UNGA (under Uniting for Peace resolution) Element 2: "UN Security Council is the only legitimate actor to perform this duty" Monitoring mechanism N/A “Enhanced Security Council procedures are needed to monitor and assess the manner in which resolutions are interpreted and implemented” Element 6: “establish mechanisms of supervision, outcome evaluation and post factum accountability” Post-intervention responsibility “The responsibility to rebuild… provide full assistance with recovery, reconstruction and reconciliation” Element 5: “the protectors should be responsible for the post-intervention and post-protection reconstruction”

15 The significance of RP Like RwP, RP seeks to provide safeguards against abuse of pillar III Resurrects decision-making criteria or guidelines from earlier R2P proposals (ICISS, High Level Panel etc.) Is RP a valuable normative contribution OR “a mere spoiling operation with a more sophisticated face”? (Evans, Daily Star, 28/10/2013) RP’s elements are framed more restrictively than RwP and ICISS guidelines Nevertheless RP remains significant: Deeper insights into Beijing’s current position How China views itself and its role in the world

16 RP as norm entrepreneurship?
Internal debate about how active China should be in contributing to R2P’s normative development RP is explicitly framed as China “contributing its public goods to the international community” Conference on RP in Beijing in October 2013 Remains unclear whether China is seeking to assume a more prominent role as a norm entrepreneur

17 Rising powers and normative development
RwP and RP illustrate increasing willingness of emerging powers to assert their own normative preferences on sovereignty, intervention and global governance Implications: - a need for the West to adapt to and accommodate non-Western perspectives - towards Burke-White’s “multi-hub” system of international law? A more diverse, pluralistic international order?

18 R2P in the future? Risk of pillar III controversy “infecting” the whole R2P concept? (Gareth Evans; Justin Morris) Evidence of UN Security Council and Gen Assembly practice since Libya indicates greater use of pillar I and II e.g.. Cote d’Ivoire, Yemen, Mali, CAR, South Sudan (Bellamy, 2014) “Norm resistance spin-off effect” – pillar III contestation has strengthened support for, and implementation of, pillar II - precedent in Bush Doctrine debate? Rejection of claims to pre-emptive self-defence produced stronger consensus on narrower right of anticipatory self- defence The international community’s role likely to involve pillar II measures, rather than coercive pillar III action

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