The idea of a "responsibility to protect" (July 24 2012) The idea of a “responsibility to protect” (July 24 2012)

Joseph Samuel Nye the 75 year old American political science Professor and co-founder of the international relations theory neoliberalism, developing the concepts of asymmetrical and complex interdependence. Nye has published an article on the Project Syndicate where he discusses with reference to Syria, when should States intervene militarily to stop atrocities in other countries. Nye states, …The idea of a “responsibility to protect” (R2P) was adopted unanimously at the UN’s World Summit in 2005, but subsequent events showed that not all member states interpreted the resolution the same way. Russia has consistently argued that only Security Council resolutions, not General Assembly resolutions, are binding international law. Meanwhile, Russia has vetoed a Security Council resolution on Syria, and, somewhat ironically, Annan has been called back and enlisted in a so-far futile effort to stop the carnage there. …In fact, R2P is more about struggles over political legitimacy and soft power than it is about hard international law. Some Western lawyers argue that it entails the responsibility to combat genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes under the various conventions of international humanitarian law. But Russia, China and others are reluctant to provide a legal or political basis for actions such as what occurred in Libya. …There are other reasons why R2P has not been a success in the Syrian case. Drawn from traditional “just war” theory, R2P rests not only on right intentions, but also on the existence of a reasonable prospect of success.”


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