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Cyclones and Humanitarian Crises: Pushing the Limits of R2P in Southeast Asia

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The devastating cyclone that hit Myanmar in May 2008 and the lack of immediate action on the part of the military junta to respond to the humanitarian crises triggered not only international dismay but renewed debates on the utility of the R2P. But given the lack of international consensus on the R2P on the one hand, and the urgency to act to provide humanitarian relief and protection on the other, this paper argues that it is about time that a R2P variant be explored—if indeed the ultimate objective of the R2P is the protection and promotion of human security. This paper therefore examines the idea of a R2P-Plus that is responsive to different kinds of human security threats, such as those caused by intentional state neglect in times of natural disasters, and sensitive to the political context in Asia. The notion of a R2P-Plus is aimed at finding convergence between the advocates of the strict interpretation of the R2P and those who argue for an R2P that is more attuned to the realities of Asia.


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