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The People vs. The State

Reflections on UN Authority, US Power and the Responsibility to Protect

image of The People vs. The State
Responsibility to Protect (R2P) aims to convert international conscience into timely and decisive collective action to rescue vulnerable communities. The choice is not whether international interventions will take place but where, when, how and under whose authority. Given the nature and victims of modern armed conflict, protection of civilians and populations at risk of mass atrocities is a core United Nations imperative. But while the UN has international authority, it lacks military power. Although its military might well have unmatched global reach, the United States acting unilaterally lacks international authority. This publication argues that progress towards good international society requires that force be harnessed to authority as the R2P moves from a universally validated principle to a routinely actionable norm.

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The ICC: When guilt goes beyond crime

If you kill one person, an old joke goes, you get sent to jail. Kill 20, you get sent to a mental asylum. Kill 20,000, you get sent to Geneva for peace talks. The story is very much a reflection of the mass atrocities of the twentieth century. The search for universal justice is rooted in the determination to get rid of the source of such cynicism.

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