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Edward Luck

Abstract

This article is part of a forum on the report of the United Nations Secretary-General, 'Implementing the Responsibility to Protect', which was released on 12 January 2009. The report was written as a response to 'one of the cardinal challenges of our time, as posed in paragraphs 138 and 139 of the 2005 World Summit Outcome: operationalizing the responsibility to protect'. The forum seeks to provide a range of perspectives on the report. It features contributions from Jennifer Welsh, Hugo Slim, David Chandler and Monica Serrano, and it concludes with a response from Special Advisor to the Secretary-General Edward Luck.

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Edward C. Luck

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Edward C. Luck

No Access

Edward C. Luck

No Access

Edward C. Luck

Abstract

It is early for definitive assessments of RtoP's future as a policy instrument. Like a maturing child, we know more about its talents and aptitudes than about how they will be nurtured or stunted in the years ahead. The generally positive dialogue in the General Assembly in July 2011 suggests that the Member States understand the difference between a principle and the tactics to implement it. Building on conceptual and political progress, the United Nations is applying RtoP perspectives to a growing number of situations. In five of these, it appears to have helped save lives. Big challenges and uncertainties lie ahead, however. Perceptions of RtoP's political clout are proving to be a mixed blessing, while questions of selectivity, sovereignty, and possible misuse remain. Five near-term priorities are identified.