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Bellamy Alex J.

Abstract

Drawing upon talks delivered at the Second Global Action Against Mass Atrocity Crimes conference, held in Manila 2016, this paper examines the extent to which the Asia Pacific region has begun to translate its commitment to the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) into practice. It finds that the so-called “East Asian Peace” has transformed the region from one of the world’s deadliest to one of the world’s most peaceful. But many key challenges remain and there is much to be done to make R2P and atrocity prevention a daily lived reality. This chapter proceeds in three parts. The first briefly describes the dramatic decline of atrocity crimes in East Asia. The second points to some key challenges on the ideational and institutional fronts. The third section turns specifically to the need to develop national architectures for atrocity prevention.

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Alex Bellamy and Sara Davies

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Alex J. Bellamy

This article examines the role that groups played in the rise of Responsibility to Protect (R2P) within the United Nations (un) system. It focuses in particular on the role of informal groups of states in advancing a consensus on R2P, contrasting their role with that of formal regional and political groups, which — with the exception of the African Group — played a more marginal role. R2P has given rise to a multiplicity of informal groups of states. These informal groups operate alongside the formal regional and political groups and, with one or two exceptions, have tended to be significantly more influential, the main reason being the principle’s genesis. Arising out of fractious debates in the late 1990s about intervention and the relationship between sovereignty and fundamental human rights, R2P was from the outset a conscious attempt to bridge political divides between states in the un — especially the ‘North–South’ theatre.

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Alex J. Bellamy

Drawing upon talks delivered at the Second Global Action Against Mass Atrocity Crimes conference, held in Manila 2016, this paper examines the extent to which the Asia Pacific region has begun to translate its commitment to the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) into practice. It finds that the so-called “East Asian Peace” has transformed the region from one of the world’s deadliest to one of the world’s most peaceful. But many key challenges remain and there is much to be done to make R2P and atrocity prevention a daily lived reality. This article proceeds in three parts. The first briefly describes the dramatic decline of atrocity crimes in East Asia. The second points to some key challenges on the ideational and institutional fronts. The third section turns specifically to the need to develop national architectures for atrocity prevention.

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Ruben Reike and Alex Bellamy

Abstract

The article evaluates the relationship between the Responsibility to Protect (RtoP) principle and international law. We argue that although the principle is best understood as a political commitment to implement already existing legal commitments, the RtoP is not devoid of legal content as some of its critics claim. The principle contains two sets of legal responsibilities. The first – responsibilities owed by a state towards its own population – are well-established customary principles in international law. The second – responsibilities owed by states to populations in other states – are much less well established. We argue that although RtoP does not in itself create new legal duties, states already have international legal responsibilities that relate directly to the principle's second pillar. Moreover, we identify the emergence of nascent legal thinking which suggests that a wider set of legal duties might emerge in the future.

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Alex J. Bellamy

This article reflects upon the UN General Assembly’s 2012 informal interactive dialogue on the Responsibility to Protect (RtoP), which was on the theme of ‘timely and decisive response’. It shows that although Member States recognize that ‘timely and decisive’ responses to genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity could sometimes prove controversial, none disputed the occasional necessity of robust enforcement measures when properly authorized by the Security Council and used as a last resort. Against this backdrop, the paper identifies and engages with three of the key challenges that emerged in the dialogue: the relationship between the the three pillars of RtoP, the problem of consistency in the application of the principle, and the challenge of making prevention a ‘living reality’. The paper identifies ways of navigating these challenges and proposes a pathway for the further consolidation of RtoP in international practice.

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Alex J. Bellamy

This article examines the challenges and opportunities for mainstreaming RtoP within the UN system and proposes a way forward. First, it examines what is meant by ‘mainstreaming’ in the UN context and progress made thus far. Second, it reviews some of the principal dilemmas that have arisen in different parts of the UN system, notably in relation to the system’s political work, humanitarian activities, peacekeeping operations, human rights promotion and protection, and capacity-building. Third, it considers the extent to which the Secretary-General’s vision accommodates these concerns. Finding that, to a great extent, it does, the final section offers some recommendations for moving forward which harnesses the basic principles for mainstreaming outlined by the Secretary-General and develops into four areas: incorporating an ‘atrocity prevention lens’, information sharing, capacity building and lessons learning.