The Responsibility to Protect and United Nations Peacekeeping

Feb 3rd, 2012
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The purpose of this research paper is to discuss what impact the United Nation’s 2005 initiative Responsibility to Protect will have on UN Security Council decisions to mandate and deploy peacekeeping operations. R2P is a response to the growing international consensus that mass human atrocities (i.e., genocide and ethnic cleansing) must be prevented and stopped from occurring. Central to R2P are debates concerning moral obligation, state sovereignty, political will and state interest. The impact of R2P on peacekeeping is assessed by a review of these themes in the literature and a case study of the 2011 Libyan intervention which is cited as the first application of R2P. This research concludes that when applied R2P will have a dramatic affect on the characteristics of UN peacekeeping operations. However, the 2011 Libyan intervention confirmed fears and perceived abuses possible under R2P.

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