The Responsibility to Protect: Libya and Côte D’Ivoire

Monica Serrano


Over the course of four weeks the UN Security Council adopted a number of resolutions that evoked or explicitly referred to the Responsibility to Protect. In both Libya and Côte d’Ivoire, the R2P was a key ingredient in the decision by the Security Council to respond in a 'timely and decisive' manner to the spectre and evidence of mass atrocities. However, the difficulties faced in terms of anticipating, preventing and opening up the range of policy options available to the international community of states have made abundantly clear the need to further develop R2P as a policy tool. This article examines the problems of action faced when enforcing the Responsibility to Protect, the complications that arise when launching a military operation framed by the narrow goal of protecting civilians and the possible need to broaden the scope of authority for more forceful action when argumentation and persuasion prove insufficient.

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Copyright (c) 2011 Monica Serrano

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