The Responsibility to Protect – From Evasive to Reluctant Action ? The Role of Global Middle Powers

“In this document it was argued that R2P is becoming increasingly central to the way in which the international community thinks about and responds to the problem of genocide and mass atrocities. The short history of R2P shows this progress only too well, and a careful consideration of the heated debates about how best to respond to situations in Côte d ’Ivoire, Libya and Syria demonstrates that the world has moved on from the question of whether to accept and implement R2P to the (in some ways more difficult) question of how to realise its goals in specific situations. There is no easy one-size-fits-all solution as each situation – and therefore the appropriate combination of measures – is different. It is important, however, that lessons are learned from experience to address the risk of relevance in a way that maintains global consensus about R2P while permitting timely and decisive responses to genocide and mass atrocities when needed. Brazil’s RwP initiative is a useful vehicle for learning lessons from Libya, and we suggest three in particular that ought to become policy priorities for the coming months and years: strengthening the prevention of genocide and
mass atrocities; improving accountability; and enhancing analysis and assessment to guide decision-making.”