Ethics, Law, and the Responsibility to Protect

Opening Lecture

Michael Doyle

Video:

Audio:

Campus Westend, Neues Hörsaal Gebäude HZ3

One of the truly striking evolutions in international norms of our time is the development of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P or RtoP). Articulated as part of the UN GA Outcome Document (GA A60/1) that expressed the consensus of the United Nation’s 192 members at the 2005 Summit, its core commitments are to prevent or stop “genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.” I examine the roots of R2P in international law and international ethics. I then explore how it evolved out of the crisis in Kosovo and the question of its policy significance today in cases in which it has been invoked, ranging from Myanmar to Kenya and Guinea – sometimes explicitly, sometimes implicitly, successfully and not.

 

Michaealtl W. Doyle is the Harold Brown Professor of International Affairs, Law and Political Science at Columbia University. His current research focuses on international law and international relations. His major publications include Ways of War and Peace (W.W. Norton); Empires (Cornell University Press); Making War and Building Peace (Princeton Press); and Striking First: Preemption and Prevention in International Conflict (Princeton Press, 2008). He served as Assistant Secretary-General and Special Adviser to United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan where his responsibilities included strategic planning (the ‘Millennium Development Goals‘), outreach to the international corporate sector (the “Global Compact”) and relations with Washington. He is currently an individual member and the chair of the UN Democracy Fund, elected by the members and appointed by UN Secretary-
General Ban Ki-moon.


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