The un Secretary-General and the Forgotten Third r2p Responsibility

in Global Responsibility to Protect
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The responsibility to rebuild needs to be re-elevated to prominence as an integral component of r2p: conceptually, normatively and operationally; and its institutional homes in the un system and the Secretary-General’s role clarified. The 2009 three pillar formulation of r2p works well in most contexts, but is problematic in that it buries and loses sight of the critical importance of the original iciss third ‘responsibility to rebuild’ and reconstruct war-raved societies to the point of being viable and self-sustaining once again. We derive some key lessons from the major international interventions of the twenty-first century and recall the context in which r2p was originally formulated in order to highlight the distinctive features of its contribution to international policy. We then describe three dimensions of the responsibility to rebuild – recovery, reconstruction and reconciliation – and the strategies and steps needed for the rebuilding agenda. Recalling that Security Council authorisation of r2p coercive operations is a nonnegotiable prerequisite, we suggest that the responsibility to rebuild can be reintroduced and implemented through the administrative and political leadership roles of the Secretary-General.

The un Secretary-General and the Forgotten Third r2p Responsibility

in Global Responsibility to Protect




Timor Sharan‘The Dynamics of Elite Networks and Patron-Client Relations in ­Afghanistan’Europe-Asia Studies 63:6 (2011) pp. 1109–27.


Brahma Chellaney‘Surge, bribe and run’Times of India3 February 2010.


 See Cole Moreton‘Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign’Independent25 January 2015. For my own collection of newspaper op-eds see Ramesh Thakur War in Our Time: Reflections on Iraq Terrorism and Weapons of Mass Destruction (Tokyo: United Nations ­University Press 2007).


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Jo Becker and Scott Shane‘The Libya gamble – Part 1: Hillary Clinton, “smart power” and a dictator’s fall’New York Times Magazine27 February 2016.


 Quoted in Jeffrey Goldberg‘The Obama Doctrine’The AtlanticApril 2016


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Timothy DonaisPeacebuilding and Local Ownership: Post-Conflict Consensus Building (London: Routledge2012).


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Collier‘Development and Conflict’ pp. 8–9.


Astri Suhrke and Mats BerdalThe Peace in Between: Post-War Violence and Peacebuilding (London: Routledge2012). See also Jonathan Goodhand Astri Suhrke and Srinjoy Bose ‘Flooding the lake? International Democracy Promotion and the Political Economy of the 2014 Presidential Election in Afghanistan’ Conflict Security and Development 16:6 (2016 forthcoming).


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Luck‘Getting There Being There’ p. 303.


Luck‘Getting There Being There’ p. 291.


Ibid. p. 294.


Rob JenkinsPeacebuilding: From Concept to Commission (New York: Routledge2013) p. 12.


Luck‘Getting There Being There’ p. 290.


Ibid. pp. 306–07.


Collier‘Development and Conflict’ p. 1.


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