Volume 42 | Issue 1 | Page 115

The Contested Emerging International Norm and Practice of a Responsibility to Protect: Where are Regional Organizations?

by Stephen Kingah and Eva Seiwert

The responsibility to protect (R2P) is a contested emerging international norm. It is in gestation but has garnered ample attention even if recent events have dampened the zeal that accompanied its initial reception in 2005. Some have argued that if well-articulated and implemented it has the potential to foster peace. However, this is a highly questionable claim especially in light of events that followed the removal from power of Col. Gaddafi in Libya. This article considers how regional organizations have fared on R2P in twelve locations regarded as (potential) humanitarian hotspots. These include: Afghanistan, Burundi, the Central African Republic (CAR), the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Iraq, Libya, Myanmar, northeastern Nigeria, South Sudan, Syria, eastern Ukraine and Yemen. After identifying some of the challenges faced in meeting the demands of the norm, this article presents structural and operational ways in which states, the United Nations, and especially regional organizations could adapt to better adopt and implement the tenets of the norm in a manner that will mitigate the difficult problems associated with the norm.

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