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Author: 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.

In: The Hague Journal of Diplomacy
Author: 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.

In: Global Responsibility to Protect
Author: 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.

In: Global Responsibility to Protect
Author: 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.

In: Global Responsibility to Protect
In: Die Schutzverantwortung (R2P)
In: The Responsibility to Protect (R2P)
Author: 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.

In: Regionalism and Human Protection

Miliary intervention remains a controversial part of human protection. Indispensable in some circumstances, military intervention confronts significant structural challenges which means that it is used only rarely and has the propensity for causing unintended negative consequences. In this essay, we examine the place of humanitarian intervention within the human protection regime. Focusing on the case of Libya, we argue that the UN Security Council has now accepted that the use force, even against a sovereign state, is a sometimes legitimate response to mass atrocities. But the Libya experience also raised three major challenges – challenges of regime change, accountability, and selectivity – that will have be addressed if military intervention is ever to become a legitimate part of international society’s anti-atrocities arsenal. First, we show how increased international activism after the Cold War helped put downwards pressure on the incidence of mass atrocities worldwide. Second, we explain why armed intervention remained a controversial and rarely employed instrument of human protection. Third, we argue that the UN Security Council’s decision to authorise armed intervention in Libya represented a significant development in the place of armed intervention as a tool of human protection. Finally, we examine the political consequences of the intervention and argue that these will need to be addressed in order to rebuild sufficient trust to allow future considerations of the use of force for humanitarian purposes.

In: Global Responsibility to Protect
In: Global Responsibility to Protect