Free Custom «R2P Framework of the United Nations» Essay Sample

Free Custom «R2P Framework of the United Nations» Essay Sample


International organizations operating at the global level fulfil a large-scale mission. Their foundation and operation establish the tasks of the participating loyal countries that go beyond the boundaries of the national systems. The United Nations is an international organization, the activities of which are focused on international cooperation. The organization establishes the principle of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) that imposes certain responsibility on the international policy and action at the global level. This obligation has grown from a UN initiative. It enhances the role of the organization in contemporary global human rights governance and humanitarian interventions. This is especially crucial in the modern state of the legal framework. The paper concentrates on the sequential presentation of facts and materials, which highlight the value and the actual display of R2P principle, the functional role of the UN in the area of the adherence to human rights, and the practical issues of the implications of the R2P framework. Some states may not handle the protection of their peoples’ interests or may not be sufficient for the resolution of international disputes, so the United Nations is given the role of a mediator and an influential entity. Therefore, various practical challenges and the legal status of the principle initiated by the UN do not empower the organization, while its important functional value remains to carry out the norm of international law. Along with the attractiveness of the principle, there are problems with its legal interpretation and practical implications that cannot completely increase the role of the UN in governance of human rights and humanitarian interventions.


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R2P Framework

International legislation sets the common rules and guidelines for how international organizations combine the efforts of several states directed at protection of human rights, solution of political and socioeconomic issues, and ensuring the mutual humanitarian aid in the case of emerged occasions. International cooperation follows essential support at a global level. Therefore, the established norms of law are perceived as baselines exceeding and harmonizing national legislation and appropriate social support.

The principle of responsibility to protect was introduced by the UN 11 years ago. It comprises of the ruling principles indicating sovereignty as mostly the obligation of a state, not a declared privilege in international relations. Regarding this formulated thought, the power of sovereignty gives a state both the right to regulate and control internal affairs and the obligation to keep the responsibility to the people for their protection and adherence to all human rights and freedoms. In the cases when the willingness or the abilities of a state is not enough to protect its population, international community should take responsibility for the protection of people. However, the principle covers only those crimes that become large-scale and threaten the broad masses of the people representing the national community united in the state system. A range of these crimes include ethnic cleansing, wars, genocide, and anti-human crimes that are categorized as massive atrocities. The efforts of the UN are attracted intentionally or not intentionally to prevention and termination of these criminal acts that came out from under the control of the interior troops or occur without intervention or with the assistance of internal authorities. The aforementioned crimes are instances of serious violence that threaten the humanistic way of development.

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When considering the composition and functionality of R2P and alignment of the UN activity to its effectuation properly, factual performance of the international organization can be assessed from the perspective of the following conditions of R2P implementation:

A state is obliged to protect the population from massive criminal acts;

International community should terminate the aforementioned violence and contribute to the state unable to perform such protection;

In the case such support or the peacekeeping operation failed, the organization is able to introduce particular adequate enforcement measures referring to the economic sanctions or the military interventions as an extreme measure. These cases determine the dominant role of the international organization in humanitarian intervention and global governance of human rights as the authorized and acknowledged organization which is declared to be out of control of certain political interests. The framework of the UN is its participants including almost 200 countries. Some of them have headquarters in the organization. Its direct objectives include promotion of human rights, maintenance of peace, provision of humanitarian aid, etc. Therefore, the competence of the UN coincides with the areas of R2P fulfilment.    

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The concept indicates the lawfulness of intervention of the international organization in the internal affairs of other states in order to prevent humanitarian and natural disasters. According to the documented evidence of R2P, the national authorities are declared responsible to international community through the UN. The stated and emerged principle extends the power of the UN in its action even through violation of sovereignty. Such functional peculiarity is inherent to the UN as the strongest global organization with humanitarian goals. However, the UN adheres to a thoughtful and moderate approach in its mission and increasing role, because the organization establishes the procedures and criteria for determining the need to intervene in the situation in a particular country and appropriate tools, defining the legitimacy of extreme military input. It also ensures the effectiveness and less number of victims and damages, eliminates the sources and causes of emerged conflicts, etc. These steps are taken by the UN based on its international level of responsibility to national and global communities.

According to the described and mentioned principle, the participation of the UN is vital in international relations that concern the legitimacy of contemporary condition of adherence to human rights. Still, a significant number of active conflicts, mass violations of human rights, and fatalities worldwide increases the role of the UN in the performance of this principle, which activates a mechanism of international cooperation to reduce military tensions and ensure full humanitarian assistance. More than 164,000 fatalities worldwide and extremely slow decline in conflict levels make the work of the United Nations more urgent and necessary for the sustenance and retention of human rights of more than 12 million refugees (Armed Conflict Database., n.d.).

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The principle outlines the basic right of the UN as a third-party to elide the sovereignty of a state regarding the security of its population challenged by cases of harassment and violence. As intervention should be used in the case of massive violation of human rights, ethnic cleansing and other crimes that are considered to be a threat to international and national security, the role of the UN in the global peacekeeping process reveals to be an increasing one due to the intensified rate of conflicts, especially in new international relationships.

The report declared that the R2P indicates the increasing role of the UN in ensuring protection only in the cases of the state inability. The decision was considered and made by the UN Security Council as the specified structural element of the organization. The R2P framework is the trigger of this principle which depends on the Security Council, as they make decisions about the appropriateness of the intervention in order to ensure human rights and provide humanitarian assistance in the context of the conflict. It should be noted that there is a direct correlation to the level of state control. If a state uses more authority in governing the country and the population takes on this leadership, the internal conflicts are minimal. However, if government forces are antagonistic towards the people, the threat of internal conflict is intensified.

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The concept invoked a range of discussions. The international community still considers the place of the R2P in the UN Charter as a stable guideline and changes in its provisions regarding the cases of extreme interventions and the legitimacy of their status as appropriate. Therefore, the concept remains in its basic and framed form without any legal content. If noting that the R2P refers to the key parameters and conditions of international security, these guidelines should be maximum clear and concrete in their legal basis. Military interventions require special consideration by the international community, because they are accompanied by the invasion of third-party troops in the national boundaries and domestic affairs. In addition, the widely used term “international community” is also questioned. Does the UN have a value and significance in its international role if it permits any other international organization in the R2P framework? Therefore, who is involved in this ter: NATO, the UN, any regional organizations, etc? These questions are essential and important, as an approximate determination of the conceptual provisions and participants of the framework may cause serious international consequences. Therefore, the international authority and responsibility of the UN can be shared with other international and regional organizations.

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Nevertheless, the R2P guides the actions of the UN in practical measures. Thus, the intervention in the internal conflicts in Libya was guided by the humanitarian principles and the R2P that was called by the UN general secretary as the new rule in international security that was invoked by the earlier inability of the national system to ensure protection of its population and to prevent the mentioned crimes against humanity and ethnicity (Chesterman 2011). Consequently, this statement and established principle of R2P untie the hands of the UN in humanitarian deployments and governance of human rights in other countries. The role of the United Nations, having recognized this principle guiding to action, increases in the world. The statement is important due to its position in the international legislative system. If it is the new norm referring to international security, it can be easily translated to the norm of international legislation.

Expansion and dissemination of the adopted principle are gaining greater suspicious momentum. This is reflected in what international benefits are brought by this principle to other affiliated groups of countries, including international and regional ones. Therefore, the United Nations’ role in this matter ceases to be dominant.  Along with the United Nations, the African Union declared the adherence to the R2P framework. Their Charity contains the fixed right of the Union to intervene in domestic affairs and conflicts of the participating countries if these states commit war crimes, genocide, and crimes threatening humanity. This intervention is justified due to the protection of human and civil rights as the priority tasks of the Union. In addition, the AU strengthened the R2P in its particular consensus, indicating the concept to be the tool in prevention of massive crimes and victims. Therefore, the principle initiated by the UN was supported and disseminated by other regional organizations. Similar strengthening of the R2P is made by the UN in the documents dated back to 2006 and the introduction of the special post of the general advisor on R2P and appropriate advisor on genocide prevention. Later, these positions were united into a single position of the advisor responsible for the aforementioned crimes.

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The R2P framework was challenged by the conflict that emerged in Burma in 2007. China and the Russian Federation vetoed a peacekeeping operation, motivating their responses with the arguments that this particular situation did not threaten the world and regional security and that the affairs of domestic competence do not refer to the UNSC competence (Cottey 2008). These countries insisted that the Council on Human Rights should take care of the situation. This situation challenged the role of the UN in the solution of similar conflicts, while the experience gained by the UN in the operations of peace enforcement determines frequent regularity of interventions in the internal affairs related to the domestic competence. Therefore, the legal justification of the issue is that it needs to be considered and admitted properly as the R2P represents the intervention in domestic affairs of a state that shapes the premise for humanitarian intervention (Focarelli 2008). This phenomenon is ambiguous and dangerous. Therefore, its thoughtful and accurate determination and legal interpretation would establish and state the specified conditions of its execution.

As the international law does not interpret the internal competence of a state, it remains to be determined by sovereignty and national acts. Therefore, the role of the UN as the initiator of the R2P framework and its dissemination can be promoted by the interpretation of the concept as the measure of international organizations and states that are directed at international entities making decisions that are not included in its legal competence. Internal affairs exclude the acts threatening the world security and violating international values and norms. Therefore, the described commitments invoke the necessity to apply coercive enforcement measures. Regarding this framework, the UN and related regional and international organizations that share the R2P concept are responsible for further commitment and can execute their right to intervene.

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The role of the UN in the global governance of human rights protection and intervention is determined by the dynamics of the mentioned crimes, the possibility of different member countries of the UN dictating their decisions because of their own political interests, and the number of related international and regional organizations that legally joined the realization of this principle. As their jurisdiction expanded to numerous states–participants, the responsibility of the UN can coincide with the responsibility of the regional organizations. Herein, the UN is not characterized as a single responsible entity for protection and humanitarian intervention. Furthermore, the concept that downplays the role of the UN in resolving internal conflicts was widely discussed.

Input of troops of the AU and the UN in Darfur was sanctioned by the resolution of the international organization dated by 1769 that was not accompanied by the linkage with the R2P framework (Hehir 2008). Therefore, the acts of the organizations did not follow complete procedure of the principle implementation. The critique of the concepts that the UN faced came from the emerged opponents. For example, the Russian Federation questioned the legal reasoning and non-confrontational meaningfulness of the concept along with other opponents. The cornerstone of the R2P is the state sovereignty that regulates international relations, indicates the possibility of humanitarian intervention, determines the boundaries of international competence, and designates the role of the UN in global governance of humanitarian affairs (Pattison 2010; Soros 2004). This notion is relatively old and still actual for certain states. If a state is delegated the power of population and does not meet these requirements, their relations may turn into a confrontation. Regarding this situation, the intervention of the UN is legitimate in the R2P framework. On the other hand, not all states are accountable and democratic towards their citizens. Therefore, internal conflicts are of domestic competence for these states that may propose claims to the organization of wrongful acts on the territory of the state. If taking into account that the UN is shaped by a large number of countries, such interventions may be politically motivated and advanced by response suspicions (Devereux 2009). Therefore, the UN does not have such a strong influence on decreasing war and criminal conflicts globally.

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The attempts to increase the role of the UN in the global peacekeeping process were made through the resolution of UNSC, which authorized the introduction of the Libyan no-fly zone, based on the linkage with the R2P framework (Orford 2011). The resolution formulated the measure in accordance with the need to protect the civilian population. It was justified by the inability of the Libyan government to ensure protection of the population and adhere to human rights and international legislation. Furthermore, the actions were estimated and perceived as the crimes that violated the humanity principles. The concept was additionally documented in the case of Côte d'Ivoire.  The aftermaths of the presidential election were fixed in the UNSC resolution in 2011 that indicated the responsibility of the followers of the candidates for the violation of human rights (Bellamy & Williams 2011). Furthermore, the peacekeeping operation was prolonged with the utilization of all military weaponry. Therefore, it seems obvious that the justification of the conflicting situations and appropriate intervention should rely on the R2P concept.

Despite active implementation and wide justification of large-scale national conflicts with the R2P, it cannot be completely positioned as a new norm of legislation. But it can be perceived mostly as an international mapping algorithm determining and justifying the actions and measures that can be taken in order to protect population with the existing and available political norms and legislation (Stahn 2007). In addition, the R2P concerns the sovereignty of the state boundaries and foreign relations, especially regarding the dominant power of the UN in its execution (Bellamy 2008). Consequently, the concept should be considered more properly by the global community in order to avoid the monopoly in enforcement measures made by the international organization and abuse of power of the regional organizations during its practical application.

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The increasing role of the UN should be considered such due to the non-legitimacy of humanitarian intervention and controversial legal and political issues (Chesterman 2002). Along with confrontations in the interpretation of sovereignty by the Western politicians, the decision-making processes of the UN leadership is critically accepted by the opponents of humanitarian interventions and indicated as the arbitrary nature inherent to the UN military operations (Bellamy & Wheeler 2008). Therefore, the peacekeeping mission of the international organization is not popular.  In addition, a humanitarian intervention may invoke the separatism phenomenon that motivates radical forces to exacerbate the ethnical and religious conflicts, hoping to win the assistance of peacekeeping troops intervened in the national boundaries (Evans 2009).  In addition, the stable regulation of international relations and the world socioeconomic tensions overshadow humanitarian intervention as a way of resolving the conflicts that have developed during the last decades.

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