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How the Responsibility to Protect Influences the Security Council’s Powers, Limits and Dynamic

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image of Journal of International Humanitarian Legal Studies

In 2005, the Responsibility to Protect was adopted in the World Summit Outcome with the aim to enable an efficient response to humanitarian crises by making the Security Council “work better”. The swift reaction to the events in Libya sparked the hope that the new concept enabled the Security Council to function this smoothly in the future. The debates within the Council in relation to the NATO intervention demonstrate that the Responsibility to Protect was able to contribute to this success in certain, limited ways. At the same time, these debates were herald to the problems experienced in relation to the events in Syria. Through an analyses of the debates concerning Libya within the Council, debates in other UN bodies related to the new concept, State practice, and relevant documents, this article will outline the potential of the Responsibility to Protect to make the Council “work better”, as well as its limitations.

Affiliations: 1: Phd candidate at the Bucerius Law School, Hamburg, Germany,


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