If you can not read this email? Click here 27/08/2012 

The responsibility to protect:
a new concept for old practices?

by Julie Lemaire

31 January 2012


Torn between the conflicting notions of national sovereignty and humanitarian intervention, the international community has long been in search for a way to cope with mass atrocities. The debate around the UN response to crisis situations has evolved quite substantially through the years. In 2000, the introduction of the concept of “responsibility to protect”, as a new milestone, paved the way to a possible reconciliation of national sovereignty and humanitarian intervention in particular crisis situations. Adopted by UN Member States in 2005, this new principle was first put into practice in 2011, in Libya and Ivory Coast. Yet, it remains to be seen whether this implementation resulted from a new and larger consensus within the so-called international community, or simply reflects the mere pursuit of national interests by UN Member States through interventionist policies.

Key words : Responsibility to protect, protection of civilians, sovereignty, intervention, interference.
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