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The Responsibility to Protect Report of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty December 2001 United Nations.

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Presentation on theme: "The Responsibility to Protect Report of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty December 2001 United Nations."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Responsibility to Protect Report of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty December 2001 United Nations

2 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

3 The Report Address the question- When, if ever, is it appropriate for states to take military action against another, for the purpose of human protection of the resident peoples?

4 Open air grave Ethiopia - Eritrea border New Internationalist, 1999

5 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.

6 Synopsis

7 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.

8 Foundations Obligations inherent in the concept of sovereignty. The responsibility of the UN Security Council.

9 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.

10 Elements The responsibility to prevent – address root causes. The responsibility to react – respond with appropriate measures. The responsibility to rebuild – full assistance with recovery, reconstruction and reconciliation.

11 The Balkans burning oil, polluted water BBC, 1999

12 Priorities Prevention is the single most important dimension. Less intrusive and coercive measures always considered before more coercive and intrusive ones are applied.

13 Principles for Military Intervention Just cause threshold Precautionary principles Right authority Operational principles

14 Just Cause Threshold To warrant military intervention there must be serious and irreparable harm: Large scale loss of life. Large scale ethnic cleansing.

15 Bujumbura, Burundi 1996 ethnic massacre New Internationalist, 1999

16 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.

17 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.

18 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.

19 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.

20 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.

21 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.

22 Operational Principles Proportional rules of engagement that adhere to international humanitarian law. Force protection not the principal objective. Maximum coordination with humanitarian organizations.

23 Specific Issues

24 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.

25 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.

26 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.

27 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.

28 UPI/Bettmann

29 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.

30 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.

31 Genocide in Rwanda BBC, 2001

32 Kosovar refugees BBC, 1999

33 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.”

34 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.

35 UN General Assembly United Nations

36 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.

37 UN Security Council United Nations

38 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.

39 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.

40 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.

41 “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 World Health Organization, 2001

42 Responsibility to Prevent First with the sovereign state. Failed prevention can have international consequences.

43 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.

44 Dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians Yes!, 1998

45 Prevention Resources Organization of African Unity 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.

46 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.

47 Nigerian UN Peacekeeping soldier Yes!, 1999

48 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.

49 Types of Sanctions Military – arms embargoes. – ending military cooperation and training programs. Economic – financial sanctions targeting assets. – restrictions on income generating activities. – aviation bans.

50 Types of Sanctions Political and Diplomatic – restrictions on diplomatic representation. – restrictions on travel. – expulsion from international or regional bodies.

51 The International Court of Justice Disarmament and Security Centre

52 Military Action Should only occur in extreme situations. – what constitutes ‘extreme’ situations? The starting point should be the principle of non-intervention. – equivalent to the Hippocratic principle - ‘do no harm’. Need to satisfy the threshold conditions and precautionary principles.

53 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.

54 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.

55 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.

56 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.

57 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.

58 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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