Freedom from Fear, Issue No.3
  • E-ISSN: 25190709


Undoubtedly the responsibility to protect is a hot item. Endorsed and explained in two detailed paragraphs (138 and 139) of the unanimously adopted Outcome Document of the 2005 World Summit, it has since been reaffirmed by the General Assembly (resolution 60/1) and the Security Council (resolutions 1674 (2006) and 1706 (2006)), and the subject of a major speech (SG/SM/11701) and a major report (A/63/677) of UN Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon. The General Assembly is expected to take up the Secretary-General’s report, which lays out a comprehensive strategy for implementing the concept, in what promises to be a lively debate at some point in the next two months. Civil society networks for researching and advocating the responsibility to protect have sprung up in many parts of the world, as have any number of books, articles, and commentaries on the subject. It has acquired, as well, the ultimate symbols of trendiness: an acronym (or two really, RtoP for the UN and R2P for most everyone else) and a devoted academic journal, Global Responsibility to Protect. Not bad for a term first coined by Gareth Evans and the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (ICISS) less than eight years ago.

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