The Responsibility to Protect and Its Inconsistency within the United Nations




Davila, Blake

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The purpose of this project is to analyze what underlying issues exist in the implementation of the norm responsibility to protect and its inconsistent application across a series of humanitarian crises throughout the years. For this project, the method of research being conducted consists of qualitative analysis in the form of comparable case-studies. A summary of the conclusion finds that there exists a division between the veto holding permanent members of the Security Council regarding state sovereignty, non-intervention, and the overall responsibility the SC has in handling humanitarian crises. This stems from the ambiguity and obscurity relating to the values of the norm R2P and on differing interpretations of the UN mandate related to Chapter VII of the UN Charter. By tracing the development of the norm over the course of the case studies, the study finds that while the norm is not perfect, it is still developing, and its principles remain cited throughout dialogue on how best to alleviate situations with civilians in peril. China and Russia still openly acknowledge their support for the protection of civilians in conflict zones, and thus the potential for a breakthrough in quick, effective, and consistent responses to humanitarian crises through R2P is still possible. Whether it will take more time, dialogue, and development on the part of those members locked in disagreement over what the norm entails or whether it ends up in the dust bin of history, this project seeks to account for where the trajectory of R2P is headed.


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Humanitarian Crises, Responsibility to Protect, United Nations



Political Science and Geography