How the United Nations Secretary-General Promotes International Norms

Persuasion, Collective Legitimisation, and the Responsibility to Protect

In: Global Responsibility to Protect
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The United Nations Secretaries-General (unsg), Kofi Annan and Ban Ki-moon, have devoted themselves to the development and diffusion of the responsibility to protect (r2p) norm for over a decade since the concept first appeared in 2001. However, it still remains unclear what roles they have actually played in promoting its normative development. By focusing on the notion of norm entrepreneurship proposed by social constructivist scholars in international relations, this article explores the process in which they have engaged and what effects their activities have had on the emergence and dissemination of r2p, especially the adoption of the un General Assembly resolutions on r2p in 2005 and 2009. The research concludes by arguing that the unsg can play a contributing role in enhancing norms by persuading and encouraging member states to collectively legitimise the norms, and stating theoretical implications pertaining to the role of the unsg in developing international norms.

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