Dr. Aziz Erdogan* & Paul Weber**
The UN Charter is a certification of the system created with the Westphalian Treaty of 1648, in that the charter recognizes the state as an equal member of the family of nations. As such, the state is to be respected and not interfered in its interior matters or its territory. The state has the responsibility to accommodate her citizens with fundamental human rights be it man or woman and dignity according to the preamble of the UN Charter. In Article 2 (4) it is openly stated that any member of UN should refrain from threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations. This is mostly known as the non-intervention. The only exceptions for that have been codified under 51st article as self-defense and measures to be taken for the preservation of the international peace and security authorized by Security Council.
That being said, the world we live on has seen many wrongdoings by governments or through their negligence/inability. In many cases; that went unpunished as in Darfur and Rwanda. In Bosnia, despite active lobbying and having taken consent of Russia and China, US could not convince Europeans to support its ²Lift&Strike Plan², resulting in genocide in Srebrenica, mass killings throughout the country and an impartial remapping of the country based on ethnical lines. In Kosovo on the other hand, US led NATO forces moved to end atrocities without a mandate from UNSC as China and Russia opted to use their veto powers. UN Security Council has failed to react and take action to prevent humanitarian disasters in Congo and Syria. The question is ²Is it almost impossible for international community to be consistent when applying the rule of law in humanitarian intervention in the international system?² I do argue that nations pursue realism driven foreign policy so unilateral and even multilateral intervention decisions are based on national interests more than humanitarian considerations. In this work, I start with background of humanitarian intervention, then reflect evolution of the concept together with reactions to the issue from many sides. Then I discuss the issue of “Responsibility to Protect” (R2P) and its variants to give an insight about the trajectory of the issue.
2. Humanitarian Intervention in Retrospect
The world witnessed a shift in support for the notion of humanitarian intervention in the aftermath of the Cold War. The disintegration of the Soviets for many meant West’s victory together with its values and institutions. Francis Fukuyama’s The End of the History was basically a pronouncement of the victory of the liberal values. In that unipolar world where the U.S. and Europe became the showcase for welfare and human rights, common understanding forced the balance between sovereignty and responsibility to tip towards the latter. Even greater than that was the revitalization of the UN Security Council. UN’s organ with the responsibility of preserving international peace and security had been paralyzed by counter vetoes of western and eastern blocs until then. To be more precise, from the creation of UN up till May 31, 1990 right of veto had been used 279 times rendering the Council incapable.
After the end of the Cold War however, UN Security Council felt itself more freehanded to act as both an executive and legislative power. As the body was tasked to ²take such action by air, sea, or land forces as may be necessary to maintain or restore international peace and security” by Article 41, the Council started to interpret the notion of “threat to the peace” more broadly to include state failure, genocide, ethnic cleansing, putsch, humanitarian crises, civil wars to dovetail legitimacy with legality. In this context from 1989 to 2003, there has been eleven interventions.
In 1991 Operation Safe Haven was conducted to protect Kurds in Northern Iraq. Then in 1992, U.S. together with UNOSOM mission intervened in Somalia to withdraw its soldiers after losing 18 rangers in a fight in Mogadishu. In 1994, French misconduct motivated by national interest ended in around 800.000 Rwandan deaths. In 1995 atrocities in Bosnia culminated by Srebrenica massacre due to the misconduct of EU and wrong attitudes towards former Yugoslavia. Only after the massacre was the gravity of the situation understood, which prompted action. Coming to 1999, haunted with the ghosts of Srebrenica, NATO led an operation to stop atrocities in Kosovo without a UN Security Council resolution.
After NATO’s intervention in Kosovo to prevent duplication of new Bosnia, Secretary-General Kofi Annan found himself compelled to bridge the gap between the rhetoric and application of rule of law in the field of international relations. The toughness of finding a middle way between preventing genocide, and breaching a country’s sovereignty rights forced him to plead United Nations General Assembly in 1999 and 2000 to reach a consensus on this question: “…if humanitarian intervention is, indeed, an unacceptable assault on sovereignty, how should we respond to a Rwanda, to a Srebrenica – to gross and systematic violations of human rights that affect every precept of our common humanity?”
International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (ICISS) was formed under the sponsorship of Canadian government in 2000. Its aim was to find normative answers to the dilemma posed by Annan. The Commission was co-chaired by Mohamed Sahnoun and Gareth Evans, Australia’s former foreign minister and an international lawyer. On December 2011, the Commission came up with an overambitious ²Responsibility to Protect Report². The report was simply based on two basic principles which were:
State sovereignty implies responsibility, and the primary responsibility for the protection of its people lies with the state itself.
Where a population is suffering serious harm, as a result of internal war, insurgency, repression or state failure, and the state in question is unwilling or unable to halt or avert it, the principle of non-intervention yields to the international responsibility to protect. 
The report was a build-up upon the concept of “sovereignty as responsibility² originally developed by Francis Deng and Roberta Cohen for the issue of Internally Displaced Person (IDPs). As the concept was introduced for Africa in 1980s and took a different turn with Kofi Annan’s ²two sovereignties² in 1990s. The report tried to set some objective standards as triggers to push UN Security Council take action in order not to let happen new Rwanda. Accordingly, mass killings and ethnic cleansing were defined as two ²just cause thresholds² and if host state was not able or willing to stop atrocities, the responsibility would fall on UN Security Council to take action. The P-5 (Five permanent UN Security Council members) were not to use veto card if the conditions were met and vital national interests were not at stake. On the other hand, creating clear-cut conditions to respond would at the same time make it easier for governments to defend their decisions in front of local public. Last issue was publication of intents. According to the report, having based decisions on standards defined in the report, proponents of taking humanitarian action would openly tell the grounds for their decisions in the council whereas those opposing would openly vote against and publicly speak up about their concerns. The main idea behind this was that in a situation where openly human rights were abused; the nations would not so easily go against a humanitarian decision.
As can be guessed, the Responsibility to Protect Report of December 2001 caused severe discussions. The reactions were focused on two subjects. The legality and the legitimacy of the Humanitarian Intervention. Those critique are as follows:
3. Reactions to Humanitarian Intervention and Responsibility to Protect
a. Proponents (Interventionists)
The proponents of responsibility to protect, labeled as interventionists, can be studied under two subgroups based on their reference points or arguments. Those are:
For the legalists, the case for humanitarian intervention has become especially possible after the Cold War. The UNSC’s authority enshrined in Article 41 to “take such action by air, sea, or land forces as may be necessary to maintain or restore international peace and security” constitutes the legal basis for any such action. UN Security Council is the authority to decide what constitutes a ²threat to peace² under article 39 of the Charter. In a historical perspective, following the end of the Cold War; UNSC’s understanding of ²threat to peace² has added more ingredients to extend the legal base for humanitarian interventions through its interpretations. 
For many other legalists, unilateral or multilateral forcible humanitarian intervention is clearly permissible when UN Charter is read carefully. In this sense, the Charter gives equal weight to human rights as security. This is especially obvious in the preamble, Articles 1(3), 55 and 56 of the Charter. In all those articles, the UN has been directed to ensure and promote the observance for overall practice of fundamental human rights with no distinction of race, sex or ethnic roots. So, UN is actually responsible to interfere if any state does not allow the practice of those rights or does not have the capacity to guard those rights and values. If the state does not want to or cannot bear that responsibility, UN has to make it happen.
As being the co-chairs of the report, Gareth Evans and Mohamed Sahnoun emphasize the recent shift in understanding of sovereignty to hint at a change towards national and international accountability from a sovereign’s impunity. They argue that the sovereignty has transformed into a janus having faces or responsibilities looking in two directions. One is the responsibility towards other states in the form of respecting other states’ sovereignty. The other responsibility is towards its own people in the form of respecting their dignity and basic rights. So, image of an omnipotent state with no limits to determine its demeanor towards its people is outdated. The new norm is sovereignty as responsibility. Not reaching to the point of accepting responsibility to protect as an element of customary international law, they do claim it to be an emerging de facto norm in practice.
Moralists on the other hand argue that international community has a moral mission as to alleviate the grief of people suffering from atrocities. Claiming that the laws are made to restore order and preserve welfare, in cases where conformance to those laws will result in opposite of what they were meant for is nonsense and ill breeding.
Being a moralist; Michael Reisman, citing four unilateral interventions in 1979 tries to create a moral case for the issue. In 1979, Tanzania invaded Uganda to expel Idi Amin government to restore Milton Obote, French forces made a coup to expel Jean Bedel Bokassa and install a different president in Central African Republic, Vietnam entered Cambodia to remove Pol Pot government and install a pro-Vietnam government instead and last Soviet forces entered Afghanistan to support a government which would not survive if not for Soviet push. Efforts to make the Council condemn the first two attempts were rejected and two condemnations ensued for the last to attempts. Reisman argues that the laws are made to restore order. There may be cases where intervention in conflict with the Charter may be in perfect conformity of the soul of the rule as is the case for the first two of those actions above. 
Another moralist, Fernando R. Tesón, claims that sovereignty of the state is derived from the legitimacy of the social contract. In a situation where half the population is murdering the other half, both sovereignty and inviolability of a nation’s borders have lost their strength. Teson makes an analogy for better insight by giving an example. In the example there is a federal state, where a provincial government is ethnically cleansing a group and has raised a provincial army to resist the federal army in case the federal army tries to stop atrocities. He argues that non-interventionists will lament a civil war but still will not object to an intervention. He asks what if the same kind of atrocities are committed at a neighboring country. What kind of difference do the borders create in this case? He further argues that national borders derive their importance from justice and efficiency. If those values are assailed by tyranny and anarchy, treating the borders as sacrosanct will always bring about more problems.
Anne Orford, describing the zeitgeist in the aftermath of the atrocities in Rwanda and Srebrenica, argues that NATO’s intervention in Kosovo in 1999 was a welcomed event based on “a long overdue internationalization of the human conscience”. The UN’s allowing genocides in both states created discussions about the organization’s impartiality in the face of atrocities. The argument behind is that impartiality is exhibited before two or more equals. Aggressors and victims certainly do not fit this definition.
James Pattison, highlighting the great cost of non-intervention in Rwanda, claims that even the deeply skeptics about humanitarian intervention will justify any action if the humanitarian crisis is gravely serious. So, questions of legitimacy or legality of humanitarian intervention is outdated if not for all. There is widespread support for humanitarian intervention in cases where large-scale human suffering is relevant. The question that requires answers is not if or why, but it is “who should do it?”
James Pattison warns about the pitfall of confusing legality and legitimacy of any humanitarian intervention. According to him those two terms refer to different things in contrast with what is generally believed. Even though an intervention has been made in accordance with the norms, laws and procedures regarding the international law, that does not mean that it is morally justifiable. Any action to be legitimate should be morally justifiable.
b. Opponents (Restrictionists)
Scholars rejecting the legitimacy of any humanitarian intervention have a same stand for R2P also. To start with; a group of scholars do carry the apprehension that the nations willing to interfere would not do so taking into account the lifeless bodies sent back home as casualties. A government that does allow atrocities creates a negative image of a government whereas loss of life for strangers does the same thing. Public opinion is fickle. The US withdrawal from Somalia after losing 18 rangers in a fight in Mogadishu is a good example for that. So, they do believe that feigned benevolence on the side of great powers is just a disguise above their real intentions or calculated self-interests. That is to say, the decision for humanitarian intervention is actually a pretense. If not for self-interest, the history we know now would not have chapters on Rwanda and Darfur.
James Pattison argues that humanitarian intentions and humanitarian motives should be distinguished. He defines humanitarian intention as that ²the intervener has the purpose of preventing, reducing, or halting the humanitarian crisis”. Humanitarian motive is on the other hand ²underlying reason for undertaking humanitarian action”. South Africa may want to help terminate humanitarian crisis in Mozambique with an underlying motive of stopping refugees flooding within its borders. The intention in this case is humanitarian, but motive is self-calculation. Pattison warns that international community in many cases conflate those two terms to one to discredit any humanitarian intervention. A state’s ultimate pre-requisite for a legitimate intervention is to have a humanitarian intention. That state may not have a humanitarian motive.
Muhammad Ayoob on the other hand argues that humanitarian interventions are made selectively on the basis of self-interest calculations. Called selectivity in the literature, this phenomenon prevents reaching a uniform rule that can be applied to each case. As such this effect makes the intervention illegitimate. Anne Orford warns about the same hazard suggesting creation of standard criteria to be applied when conditions met. She suggests by this way no regions would be neglected. James Pattison claims that in many cases the intervener may select an option to use resources efficiently, not undertaking a task above its capacity or not be seen as an invader. In cases where two cases exist with same burden but one with obvious material returns to the intervener. As it had been mentioned before, an intervention with no humanitarian intention is illegitimate. Pattison questions what about the consequences. If the lives of millions are at stake does it really matter the intentions of the intervener?
Another paramount argument concerns unilateral humanitarian intervention. Accordingly, giving such authority to intervene on self judgement for states will bring about new problems where it will be used as a pretext to settle scores. To refresh memories, Hitler’s argument behind invasion of Czechoslovakia was to protect Germans in the country. Coming closer, motives behind US invasion of Iraq in 2003 was to eliminate weapons of destruction and cut country’s support for religiously oriented terrorists. As it turned out to be after the war, there were no weapons of mass destruction nor was there a tenable link between the government and religiously oriented terrorists.
Moving from the same example, Iraqi invasion created such conditions that there came religious extremists from all over the world to Iraq to make it a center for new terrorist organizations to thrive, Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) being one. In Syria, more than six million fled the country and about 500.000 people died. The country became a hotbed of terrorism and human rights abuses. Making deductions from similar examples, a fifth group contend that intervention does not work.
Another group consists of those who refuse humanitarian intervention but are against R2P based on reasons enumerated below:
However logical, legal or ethical humanitarian intervention might seem, restrictionists believe that the UNSC has been entitled to decide on that and act in accordance with Chapter VII of the UN Charter. So, there is no need for additional institutions or efforts, hinting at R2P.
Actually, this statement is not true based on past experiences. There have been cases like Bosnia, Rwanda and Kosovo in 1990s that it had not been possible to get a UNSC Resolution to stop atrocities. Actually, the case for Kosovo sets another precedent to support Moralists’ standpoint. The example of Bosnia and genocide in Srebrenica at hand, NATO did not stand idle waiting for a UNSCR to materialize while China and Russia blocked it. Evans and Sahnoun claim that the international order materialized in its most conspicuous way. However, UN cannot withstand another situation like the one in Kosovo again. The questioning of UN will bring an end to it.
A second group headed by Venezuela fear of abuse. Countries mostly composed of weak states contend that ²The Responsibility to Protect² was another convenience created for the powerful countries to interfere in weak states’ domestic issues without feeling necessity to seek international support. 
A third group comprised mostly of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) rejects the concept. India, a forerunner of the group, argues that the UNSC has sufficient assets and powers to intervene in humanitarian emergencies. They claim that past failures are not due to a lack of authority, but a lack of political will. Initially skeptical of the concept, India agreed with the first two tenets of the concept stipulating the state to protect its people and international community to monitor states and help build capacity to prevent humanitarian crises. However, the third pillar urging international community to act in a timely and decisive manner raises concerns for India. Attaching great attention to the prudent use of force, India is for questioning timeline of military interventions and their conducts. It aims to contribute to the issue in reaching a consensus on the conduct of such operations.
4. Where Are We?
The creators of responsibility to protect report had to take into account the critiques. In this respect, to give it a chance to survive, a draft had to be drawn answering those concerns. To start with; as being the countries mostly to be expected to contribute for any humanitarian intervention, P-5 except for UK were skeptical about the report from outset. The U.S. did not want to make a recommitment, China and Russia showed UNSC as the proper platform not to allow any unauthorized action, UK and France were worried that a consensus on criteria would not suffice for an efficient response. India on the other hand held the position that UN had the authority to act in case of need and claimed that previous failures were not due to lack of authority but lack of political will. Though generally supporting, Western civil society was more concerned about the vagueness of the responsibility to protect in case that UNSC refuses to take action. Last, headed by African countries, the weak states were more concerned that adoption of the concept would facilitate strong states’ interventions by creating a pretext.
In order to appease P-5, the commissioners insisted that any intervention should be authorized by Security Council. They omitted their previous insistence that P-5 commit themselves to limit the use of veto card where just cause war was met. Canadian ex-Prime Minister Paul Martin argued that The Responsibility to Protect “is not a license for intervention; it is an international guarantor of international accountability.” Canadian government’s position was more elaborately reflected in the “non-paper,” submitted to the High Level Panel (HLP).² The non-paper reiterated the centrality of sovereignty, going as far as to articulate the pluralist view that if humanitarianism can only be “undertaken at the cost of undermining the stability of the state-based international order,” then sovereignty should trump humanitarian action.² Looking from the other side, an ICISS commissioner Ramesh Thakur argued that the criteria set were obstacles to prevent states from abusing humanitarian action, using it as a pretext to attain their geopolitical purposes.
With the invasion of Iraq where U.S. acted without a UNSCR, the debate about the legality of interventions again exacerbated. In response, Kofi Annan convened High Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change. The Panel created a report with the name ² A More Secure World: Our Shared Responsibility² to become a remarkable one in that it originated from UN itself and offered an extraordinary shift from traditional thinking about international law. Repeating the ICISS Report, the report posited that there existed a norm with the name ²responsibility to protect² in cases of “genocide and other large-scale killing, ethnic cleansing or serious violations of humanitarian law.” Before 2005 World Summit, Annan released a report for debate with the name: ² In Larger Freedom: Towards Development, Security and Human Rights for All². The report reflected ICISS report by reiterating the main arguments of the former. Together with many issues, responsibility to protect was also discussed by states and it carved out its space in the 2005 UN World Summit Outcome in two paragraphs, 138 and 139. 
The Outcome read:
- Each individual State has the responsibility to protect its populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity. This responsibility entails the prevention of such crimes, including their incitement, through appropriate and necessary means. We accept that responsibility and will act in accordance with it. The international community should, as appropriate, encourage and help States to exercise this responsibility and support the United Nations in establishing an early warning capability.
- The international community, through the United Nations, also has the responsibility to use appropriate diplomatic, humanitarian and other peaceful means, in accordance with Chapters VI and VIII of the Charter, to help protect populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity. In this context, we are prepared to take collective action, in a timely and decisive manner, through the Security Council, in accordance with the Charter, including Chapter VII, on a case-by-case basis and in cooperation with relevant regional organizations as appropriate, should peaceful means be inadequate and national authorities manifestly fail to protect their populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity. We stress the need for the General Assembly to continue consideration of the responsibility to protect populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity and its implications, bearing in mind the principles of the Charter and international law. We also intend to commit ourselves, as necessary and appropriate, to helping States build capacity to protect their populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity and to assisting those which are under stress before crises and conflicts break out.
With this outcome document, UN General Assembly defined the responsibilities of both nations and the international society against the case of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing in three pillars. The first pillar comprised state’s responsibility to preserve rights and dignity of its people. The second was international society’s responsibility to help any state to keep the first pillar intact. The third pillar stipulated international society to take action in a spectrum from mild to the harshest including the use of force in accordance with UN Security Council mandate to help protect the population if state fails to do so.
It is possible to claim that the rise of R2P has not been so easy. After its adoption by UN General Assembly, the concept was fiercely debated especially because it threatened the state sovereignty set by Westphalia. Russia and China were extremely averse to the concept together with developing countries like India, Egypt, Venezuela, Sudan, Cuba and Malaysia. After six months of intense discussions in the Council, the concept was adopted unanimously in the Security Council this time.
5. Responsibility to Protect, Its Variants and Beyond
Having been born as a norm in the UN World Summit in 2005, the responsibility to protect was used as the legal basis for French intervention in Ivory Coast in 2011, in Mali in 2013, and for NATO-led operation in Libya in 2011. However good motives behind the concept, today it is possible to claim that it has lost its shine it had in 2010. According to Gareth Evans, one of co-chairs of the report, the implementation of the norm in Libya and ensuing debates in the Security Council has led to the debacle of the consensus about the norm. According to him, the apprehension of countries headed by BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) became solid after they realized that the P3 (US, UK and France), responsible for the implementation of the norm would not settle unless Qaddafi was removed from office. To be more precise; interveners rejected serious ceasefire offers, bombed facilities that had no obvious military significance [like the compound in which Gaddafi`s relatives were killed], killed fleeing personnel that posed no immediate risk to civilians, supported the rebel side to exacerbate the conflict resulting in a civil war and ignored the very explicit arms embargo in the process. What’s more, interveners used two UNSC Resolutions as an open check to do whatever they wanted without feeling the necessity to brief the Council about the developments and consult it. To an extent, P3 produced explanations for accusations, however they had no answer for accusations concerning the breaching of arms embargo and the process followed after the authorization of UNSCRs. 
This way, the operation in Libya created a twist of fate for R2P. The argument that R2P is just another tool to give a good pretense for imperial ambitions of superpowers was felt strongly after the intervention.
Actually, Libya does not constitute the only example for deterioration of the concept. To start with, Russia made a unilateral intervention in Georgia in August 2008. Russian claims directed towards Georgian Government were allegedly to commit atrocity crimes against South Ossetians. Labeling Georgian actions as ²genocide², Russian Government pretended feeling compelled to react. Foreign Minister Lavrov openly stated that their actions were an exercise of responsibility to protect. Russia’s ironic use of R2P in its offensives in Georgia provided counter-arguments and undermined the concept. In its latest intervention in Ukraine, military annexation of Crimea, Russian claims were that there were genocidal neo-Nazis in the region threatening the livelihood of ethnic Russians. So, Putin raised R2P rhetoric to support his acts in Ukraine. In the Outcome Document of 2005 General Assembly, it is clearly stated that any country to address a R2P situation has to seek UNSC Consent or Resolution. There may be dire situations where a country blocks a resolution by vetoing the action as it is the case in Syria. Russian case does not fit that situation. The Russian side did not even try to bring the matter to the Council. Apparently, R2P added a new argument in those interventions for justification.
Abiodun Williams claims that R2P has been invoked several times since 2005. In December 2007, it was invoked for crisis in Kenya rightfully with intended results. In May 2008, it was invoked after a cyclone (Nargis Cyclone) hit Myanmar killing some 140.000 people. There was no consensus on R2P to be applied for natural disasters. So, this can be classified as an inappropriate invocation. In summer of 2010, it was invoked rightfully about the crisis in Kyrgyzstan, but did not accomplish intended goals. The fourth example is the bloodiest conflict since WWII in DRC, where unarmed civilians were killed, mass rapes were committed, and child soldiers were used. In the explicit transpassing of R2P thresholds, there has been no invocation yet. 
In light of the dismal statistics, Evans Gareth warns the international society about the abuse of the term coined and created after a hard work not to have other Rwandas or Bosnias. Be it genuine or cynical, misapplication of R2P has the potential to sow the ill understanding that the term is just another tool for great powers to project power.
Anne Orford on the other hand argues that R2P is not a law that imposes duties upon states or UN. It is rather a form of law that confers powers and allocates jurisdiction. That is why critiques made on the imperfections in exercise does not reflect a correct understanding. What has been achieved in the World Summit is a normative convenience providing legal authorization for certain kinds of activities. The outcome is not an order binding with orders and expecting obedience. R2P develops the idea that while states are responsible from their own populations’ well-being, UN do the same for the whole international community. 
In an attempt to bridge the gap between the good will and problems of abuse, Brazilian Prime Minister on September 21, 2011 spoke at the UN General Assembly, introducing a new term, namely “Responsibility While Protecting-RWP”. She posited that to add substance to discussions about the conduct of the Operation in Libya based on UNSCRs 1970 and 1973 and the look to the operation itself from different countries’ perspectives; responsibility while protecting should be developed together with responsibility to protect. What she demanded was to make feel the Western countries the apprehension of the other states, especially of BRICS and developing countries. On November 9, 2011 the concept was expounded by a concept paper to the Security Council. On the same day the ²Responsibility While Protecting² was explained by Foreign Minister of Brasil, Antonio de Aguiar Patriota in the General Assembly.
What Brazil suggested was complementing of R2P via the principles of the proposed RWP. The concept paper in this sense stipulated:
All three pillars of the R2P “must follow a strict line of political subordination and chronological sequencing” (para. 6);
All peaceful means have to be exhausted; a “comprehensive and judicious analysis of the possible consequences of military action” (para. 7) must precede the consideration of the use of force;
The use of force can only be authorized by the Security Council according to Chapter VII of the Charter, or (and this is noteworthy) “in exceptional circumstances, by the General Assembly, in line with its resolution 377 (V)” (para. 11 c);
The authorization of the use of force must “be limited in its legal, operational and temporal elements”, and the enforcement must remain true to “the letter and the spirit” of the explicit mandate (para. 11 d);
To ensure proper monitoring and assessment of the interpretation and implementation of the Responsibility While Protecting, “enhanced Security Council procedures are needed” (para. 11 h). The Security Council is also obliged to “ensure the accountability of those to whom authority is granted to resort to force” (para. 11 i).
Brazil’s offer was initially given a cold shoulder especially by Western powers, mostly seeing RWP as an element to degrade the notions in R2P. Western approach to all three pillars with the same importance was being gradualized and precautions not entailing force were being prioritized in RWP. In a report General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon stated that those pillars had equal importance. On February 2013, US representative to the Open Dialogue on RWP criticized the temporal approach of Brazilian government for ignoring the need for a comprehensive approach to risks and costs and for causing results that may cause the international community not to take action as required, based on unrealistic perfectionist expectations and methods. France, UK and Germany were of the same ideas positing that mass atrocities had the probability to be made in just a few days as was the case in Rwanda and very strict procedural bindings would prevent flexible action. 
After its membership tenure terminated, Brazil did not do much to champion the RWP, but rather let the process unfold by itself. However, the discussions and the quest for a solution shared by both the West and the East did not cease to exist. A Chinese journalist, Ruan Zongze published the stipulation of a concept called ²Responsible Protection² to complement R2P. The main sense behind the article was that R2P was an overly elusive great idea. It should be garnered with more down-to-earth precautions not to let any action based on it get off handle. The article basically built on RWP. Before a mandate allowing military action was granted, every kind of effort running the gamut from diplomatic to economic should be exhausted. Then if of no avail, last resort, legitimate intention, balance of consequences and proportionality principles should be satisfied accordingly. After a mandate; effective supervision not to stray from the focus of protection should be implemented. Chinese Foreign Ministry stood behind this concept. On October 2013, the ministry’s think tank, the China Institute of International Studies arranged a two-day meeting in Beijing to refine RP. Then at the end of the same month, in Moscow this time, the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs hosted a meeting bringing the most important people about R2P including UN Special Adviser on R2P, Professor Jennifer Welsh to discuss the issue and the developing new concepts, namely RWP and RP. Arranged by the initiative of Minister Lavrov himself, the meeting reflected a Russian need to align itself with the concept as confessed by the Minister.
All these developments and discussions during those meetings point at several facts that needs to be taken into account for a better insight and better solutions based on that. First from the way it has been supported by actors both from East and the West; it is understood that sovereignty as responsibility, the main theme behind R2P has taken roots in the international community. Second, the Operation in Libya in 2011 created a disillusionment on the side of East including BRICS causing a more precautious approach to R2P. The sides’ struggle to complement it with RWP or RP does not aim at undermining the concept but rather to shed light upon their feelings about the concept and willingness to make it one shared by both East and the West.
Reverting back to Syria, is the deadlock in the Security Council resulting in an inaction a result of this difference of understanding? This question has found many answers varying in proportions of truthfulness. An analyst in SIPRI, Xenia Avezov attracts our attention back to one of the main problems of humanitarian intervention, escaping the debates of historical spiral. It is the matter of selectivity that blocks an action she claims. Accordingly, the most solid ground for inaction indicates the unwillingness for costly, problematic interventions with fairly no guaranteed success and timeline. Apparently, no country feels itself solid enough to undertake such an enterprise in face of nearly no incentive.
Here comes the clash of ideals and realities in play. On the one hand we have an operation in Libya which took 6 months from planning to the termination, whereas in Congo where the greatest bloodshed has been committed since WWII has not seen any intervention yet. What is more, all that debate on R2P, RWP or RP does not address this issue of selectivity.
A bold confession about the future of R2P comes from Gareth Evans. He says:
What punctured the optimism that the world might be on its way to ending internal mass atrocity crimes once and for all is the controversy that erupted in the security council in 2011 about the way the norm was applied in the NATO-led intervention in Libya, and the paralysis that in turn generated in the council’s response to Syria. I believe that – like most midlife crises – this one will prove survivable … but I can’t pretend that its full realization will not be a work in progress for a long time to come.
UN Security Council was effectively paralyzed by counter vetoes during the Cold War. After the dismantling of the Soviet Republic, the Council revitalized to act as both an executive and legislative power. As the body was tasked to ²take such action by air, sea, or land forces as may be necessary to maintain or restore international peace and security² by Article 41, the Council started to interpret the notion of ²threat to the peace² more broadly to include state failure, genocide, ethnic cleansing, putsch, humanitarian crises, civil wars to dovetail legitimacy with legality. In this context from 1989 to 2000, the UNSC authorized eleven interventions each having different ratio of success. There were also cases where the body was unable to reach a consensus resulting in inaction. This failure to react properly in Bosnia and Rwanda caused hundreds of thousands of deaths.
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s plea in the General Assembly in 1999 and 2000 to breach the gap between preventing new Rwandas, Kosovos and preserving the nations’ sovereignty rights certified by Westphalia Treaty resulted in an overambitious ²Responsibility to Protect Report² on December 2011. The report stipulated that the state was responsible from its own populations’ well-being, and in doing so the other states had the responsibility to help. If this inability reached the point of serious harm, the principle of non-intervention transforms into the international responsibility to protect.
The reactions, apart from UK, Canada and some others, were totally averse from different points of view. To dispel apprehensions of the sides; the report was redrafted in a way to make UNSC mandate compulsory for any action. Then, the responsibility to protect became an international norm with 2005 UN World Summit Outcome in paragraphs, 138 and 139. The norm was used as the legal basis for French intervention in Ivory Coast in 2011, in Mali in 2013, and for NATO-led operations in Libya in 2011. Russian interventions both in Georgia and Ukraine were made under the pretext of R2P without feeling the necessity to take consent of UNSC. The coalition forces in Libya conducted the operations using the mandate as a blank check without feeling the necessity to inform or take consent of UNSC in progress. The backlash was felt strongly especially by BRICS countries. In this sense, Brazil introduced its RWP focusing more on the timeline and conduct of the operation whereas China developed its RP more focused on implementation narrowing the scope to protection.
Today, it is claimed that the inactivity towards the atrocities in Syria is basically an offshoot of the misconduct in Libya. That may be in part true. However, the main reason behind the inaction is non-existence of a volunteer. All those aforementioned normative efforts to objectively define and determine atrocities to be acted upon do not address this selectivity issue.
Solid gains from the process that was triggered by Kofi Annan’s plea in 1999 has been the institutionalization of the ²sovereignty as responsibility” understanding. Today the three pillars of the concept are de facto international norms. However, as Orford puts it, understanding R2P as a standard key to open the door for solutions in any problem is naïve. Instead, the concept creates an avenue of approach to the solution. The difference of views has been tried to be bridged by RWP and RP. If we see a consensus on a new form of R2P integrating its variants and shared by all sides and if there exist volunteers with humanitarian intentions, it may be possible to effectively deal with any atrocity around the globe.
Are we going to see a consensus on a new form of R2P integrating its variants? Most probably. However, this will not be too soon. Coming to the question of selectivity or finding volunteers, this will not be solved any sooner.
* Dr. Aziz Erdogan is a non-resident fellow at Beyond the Horizon ISSG.
** Paul Weber is a non-resident research fellow at Beyond the Horizon ISSG.
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Evans, Hon Gareth. “Mass Atrocity Crimes After Syria, The Future of the Responsibility to Protect.” Asia Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, November 06, 2013, Lecture.
Mohan, Garima. “India and the Responsibility to Protect.” Asia Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect AP R2P Brief, Vol.4 No.3 (2014).
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Interview by Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov to In BBC. Moscow: last modified August 9, 2008. www.un.int/russia/new/MainRoot/docs/off_news/090808/newen2.htm. Accessed December 25, 2014.
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Orford, Anne. International Responsibility and the Responsibility to Protect. New York, Cambridge University Press, 2011.
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CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS
WE THE PEOPLES OF THE UNITED NATIONS DETERMINED to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind, and to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, and to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained, and to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,
AND FOR THESE ENDS to practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbours, and to unite our strength to maintain international peace and security, and to ensure, by the acceptance of principles and the institution of methods, that armed force shall not be used, save in the common interest, and to employ international machinery for the promotion of the economic and social advancement of all peoples,
HAVE RESOLVED TO COMBINE OUR EFFORTS TO ACCOMPLISH THESE AIMS
Accordingly, our respective Governments, through representatives assembled in the city of San Francisco, who have exhibited their full powers found to be in good and due form, have agreed to the present Charter of the United Nations and do hereby establish an international organization to be known as the United Nations.
The Purposes of the United Nations are:
- To maintain international peace and security, and to that end: to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace, and to bring about by peaceful means, and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations which might lead to a breach of the peace;
- To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace;
- To achieve international co-operation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian character, and in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion; and
- To be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations in the attainment of these common ends.
The Organization and its Members, in pursuit of the Purposes stated in Article 1, shall act in accordance with the following Principles.
- The Organization is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its Members.
- All Members, in order to ensure to a of them the rights and benefits resulting from membership, shall fulfil in good faith the obligations assumed by them in accordance with the present Charter.
- All Members shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and. justice, are not endangered.
- All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.
- All Members shall give the United Nations every assistance in any action it takes in accordance with the present Charter, and shall refrain from giving assistance to any state against which the United Nations is taking preventive or enforcement action.
- The Organization shall ensure that states which are not Members of the United Nations act in accordance with these Principles so far as may be necessary for the maintenance of international peace and security.
- Nothing contained in the present Charter shall authorize the United Nations to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state or shall require the Members to submit such matters to settlement under the present Charter; but this principle shall not prejudice the application of enforcement measures under Chapter VII.
The Security Council shall determine the existence of any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression and shall make recommendations, or decide what measures shall be taken in accordance with Articles 4 and 42, to maintain or restore international peace and security.
The Security Council may decide what measures not involving the use of armed force are to be employed to give effect to its decisions, and it may call upon the Members of the United Nations to apply such measures. These may include complete or partial interruption of economic relations and of rail, sea, air, postal, telegraphic, radio, and other means of communication, and the severance of diplomatic relations.
Should the Security Council consider that measures provided for in Article 41 would be inadequate or have proved to be inadequate, it may take such action by air, sea, or land forces as may be necessary to maintain or restore international peace and security. Such action may include demonstrations, blockade, and other operations by air, sea, or land forces of Members of the United Nations.
Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security. Measures taken by Members in the exercise of this right of self-defence shall be immediately reported to the Security Council and shall not in any way affect the authority and responsibility of the Security Council under the present Charter to take at any time such action as it deems necessary in order to maintain or restore international peace and security.
With a view to the creation of conditions of stability and well-being which are necessary for peaceful and friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, the United Nations shall promote:
- higher standards of living, full employment, and conditions of economic and social progress and development;
- solutions of international economic, social, health, and related problems; and international cultural and educational co- operation; and
- universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion.
All Members pledge themselves to take joint and separate action in co-operation with the Organization for the achievement of the purposes set forth in Article 55.
 Gülnur Aybet, “Small States: Bosnia” (Ph.D. lecture, Strategical Research Institute, Istanbul, Turkey, December 11, 2014).
 Anne Orford, Reading Humanitarian Intervention: Human Rights and Use of Force in International Law (Melbourne: Cambridge University Press, 2003)p.3.
 James Pattison, Humanitarian Intervention & Responsibility to Protect: Who Should Intervene? (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010) p.1-2.
 International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (ICISS). The Responsibility to Protect. Ottawa: IDRC, 2001.
 Peter Beaumont, “Yes, the UN has a duty to intervene. But when, where and how?,” The Guardian, The Observer, 4 May 2013, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/may/04/un-syria-duty-to-intervene, accessed on December 14, 2014.
 ICISS, The Responsibility to Protect.
 Yang Razali Kassim, The Geopolitics of Intervention: Asia and Responsibility to Protect (Singapore: Springer, 2014), 10.
 Alex J Bellamy, “Whither the Responsibility to Protect? Humanitarian Intervention and the 2005 World Summit,” Ethics & International Affairs 20 no. 2: 143-169.
 N.J. Wheeler, Saving Strangers: Humanitarian Intervention and International Relations, (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000), 32-41.
 John Baylis et al., The Globalization of World Politics: An Introduction to International Relations 4th ed., (New York: Oxford University Press, 2008), 524-528.
 Gareth Evans and Mohamed Sahnoun, “The Responsibility to Protect,” Foreign Affairs 81, no. 6 (Nov. – Dec., 2002): 99-110.
 W. Michael Reisman, «Criteria for the Lawful Use of Force in International Law,» Yale Journal of International Law (Yale Law School) 10 (1985): 279-285.
 Fernando R. Tesón, «The Liberal Case for Humanitarian Intervention,» chez Humanitarian Intervention: Ethical, Legal, and Political Dilemmas, éd. J.L. Holzgrefe et Robert O. Keohane, 100-110 (New York: Cambridge University Presss, 2003).
 ICISS, The Responsibility to Protect, p. vii.
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 John Baylis et al., The Globalization of World Politics, 524-528.
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 Muhammad Ayoob, “Humanitarian Intervention and State Sovereignty,” International Journal of Human Rights, no. 6/1: 81–102.
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 John Baylis et al., The Globalization of World Politics, 524-528.
 Evans and Sahnoun, “The Responsibility to Protect,” 99-110.
 Bellamy, “Whither the Responsibility to Protect? Humanitarian Intervention and the 2005 World Summit,” 143-169.
 Garima Mohan, “India and the Responsibility to Protect,” Asia Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
AP R2P Brief, Vol.4 No.3 (2014).
 Bellamy, “Whither the Responsibility to Protect? Humanitarian Intervention and the 2005 World Summit,”.
 Statement by Paul Martin, Prime Minister of Canada, at the General Debate of the 59th General Assembly, September 22, 2004; available at www.un.org/webcast/ga/59/statements/caneng040922.pdf, accessed January 07, 2014.
 Bellamy, “Whither the Responsibility to Protect? Humanitarian Intervention and the 2005 World Summit,”.
 Jonah Eaton, “An Emerging Norm? Determining The Meaning and Legal Status of The Responsibility to Protect,” Michigan Journal of International Law 32, no.765 Summer 2011, 766-804.
 UNGA, “2005 Summit Outcome,” A/60/L.1, 20 September 2005, paras. 138–39; available at http://responsibilitytoprotect.org/index.php/component/content/article/35-r2pcs-topics/398-general-assembly-r2p-excerpt-from-outcome-document.
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 Kassim, The Geopolitics of Intervention, 12.
 Beaumont, “Yes, the UN has a duty to intervene. But when, where and how?,”.
 Kassim, The Geopolitics of Intervention, 5.
 Gareth Evans, “Russia, Georgia And The Responsibility To Protect,” Amsterdam Law Forum University of Amsterdam 1, No:2 (2009), http://amsterdamlawforum.org/article/view/58/115, accessed December 14, 2014,
 “Interview by Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov to BBC”, Moscow, 9 August 2008, available at www.un.int/russia/new/MainRoot/docs/off_news/090808/newen2.htm, accessed January 01, 2014.
 Simon Katterl, “From ‘Words to Deeds’: The Status of R2P,” 19 September 2014, https://www.academia.edu/9105263/From_Words_to_Deeds_-_The_Status_of_R2P, accessed December 14, 2014
 Evans, “Russia, Georgia and The Responsibility to Protect.”
 Abiodun Williams, “The Responsibility to Protect and Peacemaking,” in The Responsibility to Protect: challenges&opportunities in light of the Libyan intervention, ed. Alex Stark, (UK: E-International Relations, 2011), 31.
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 Kassim, The Geopolitics of Intervention, 3.
 Thorsten Benner, “Brazil as a norm entrepreneur: the ‘Responsibility While Protecting’ initiative,” (Working Paper, Global Public Policy Institute, Berlin, March 2013), http://old.gppi.net/publications/research_paper_series/brazil_as_a_norm_entrepreneur/, accessed January 07, 2014.
 Jennifer Welsh, Patrick Quinton-Brown and Victor MacDiarmid, “Brazil’s ‘Responsibility While Protecting’ Proposal: A Canadian Perspective,” Canadian Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, July 12, 2013, http://ccr2p.org/?p=616, accessed January 08, 2014.
 Hon Gareth Evans, “Mass Atrocity Crimes After Syria, The Future of the Responsibility to Protect,” Asia Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, November 06, 2013, Lecture
 Avezov, “Jan.13: ‘Responsibility while protecting’: are we asking the wrong questions?,”.
Thilo Thielke, “Bloodshed in Congo: The Forgotten War,” Der Spiegel, February 5, 2005, http://www.spiegel.de/international/spiegel/bloodshed-in-congo-the-forgotten-war-a-339763.html, accessed January 16, 2014.
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