Implementing the responsibility to protect: new directions for international peace and security?

Implementing the responsibility to protect: new directions for international peace and security?

The international peace and security architecture is undergoing a profound renovation in the twenty first century. The Responsibility to Protect (R2P) doctrine is being re-evaluated from political and operational perspectives, while the Responsibility while Protecting (RwP), a Brazilian initiative, can be a new direction for international peace and security.

A workshop organised in 2012 in Brasilia to review the conceptual and practical implications of R2P and RwP generated critical reflections on the opportunities and challenges presented by R2P and RwP. The current paper summarises the discussions made in that workshop.  

The document indicates that participants agreed about the importance of:

  • better controlling the narrative on RwP, making sure it is compatible with R2P and, above all, continuing engaging with the concept
  • recognising that while RwP is an important public good, it still needs backing, and this means constructively addressing changes from both proponents and dissenters
  • overcoming the gap between discourse and practice in relation to prevention – prevention needs investment, not only funding but also in terms of political support
  • moving from anecdotal reporting to authoritative and credible mechanisms to analyse situations on the ground using solid empirical data and analytics
  • underlining the need for the south countries to move beyond spreading good practices to more proactive engagement

Furthermore, all participants agreed that more discussion is needed to identify effective and legitimate alternatives to deal with twenty-first century wars.

 

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