Is er een toekomst voor R2P in de Veiligheidsraad?


Year of publication: 2013
Author(s): Tim Haesebrouck, Goedele De Keersmaeker
Appeared in: Internationale Spectator, vol.: 67, issue: 2, 38-43


Download: 20130200_is_art_haesebrouck__2_.pdf


Tim Haesebrouck and Goedele De Keersmaeker reflect on the peculiar paradox that the UN Security Council is both ineffective and indispensable in the implementation of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P). Despite a disappointing track record in dealing with mass atrocities in the 1990’s, the Security Council was ascribed a central role when the principle was internationally accepted in 2005. Unfortunately, this record has not significantly improved since 2005. This has led to increasing criticism on the Council’s role in the application of R2P. It is however often overlooked that the Council not only has to respond to crisis situations, but also has to manage the relationship between its five permanent members. When confronted with a humanitarian crises, its added value is mostly situated in the latter task. It provides the permanent members a formal structure that enables them to anticipate each other’s reaction to possible humanitarian interventions, thereby avoiding disputes and indeed conflicts between them. The council therefore reacts in an inconsistent way to humanitarian crises. This inconsistency is however rather caused by the nature of international politics, then by the formal role of the Security Council. Since it cannot be blamed for selective reactions to mass atrocities, but does help the permanent five to manage the consequences of humanitarian interventions on their mutual relationship, this article concludes that the Council still plays an important and positive role in international reactions to mass atrocities.