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Interpreting R2P

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COMMENTS

29 March 2011 13:34

Ben Coleridge notes the important differences between the norm of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) and humanitarian interventions:

There are several different stages of R2P that can be activated before military intervention is considered.To begin with, R2P emphasises the need for analysis and thus for advanced warning of developing crises.

...R2P also underlines the need for political and diplomatic strategies which can be employed to defuse crises. Diplomatic intervention and mediation can be used alongside economic leverage and social strategies to prevent antagonistic parties from resorting to violent means. While the current intervention in Libya and the 1999 intervention in Kosovo are R2P related, a better example of the principle in action is seen in the efforts of the Christian community of Sant Egidio in Mozambique.

...By confusing R2P with the blanket 'right to intervene', we lessen the possibility that the more comprehensive R2P doctrine might be adopted by governments who have hitherto held reservations....Ultimately, a meaningfully swift response to crises is dependent upon there being an international norm with a sound theoretical foundation, clear parameters, and consensus support.