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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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What Annan has contributed to world

If a week is a long time in national politics, then a decade is an eternity in international politics. The world has witnessed many profound changes in the 10 turbulent years of Kofi Annan’s term as secretary-general of the United Nations. Many – but not all – were for the good. Thus, he oversaw an explosion in UN peace operations as testament to the numerous demands and expectations on the organization, yet many operations were dogged by charges of ineffectualness, financial corruption and sexual exploitation.

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