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date: 15 November 2018

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter focuses on the Security Council’s special responsibilities in relation to R2P. It argues that the adoption of R2P in 2005 reflected a growing commitment to human protection on the part of the Council, already evident in its adoption of the protection of civilians as a thematic agenda in Resolution 1265 (2000). Nevertheless, the Council was initially reluctant to embrace, let alone act upon, the responsibilities laid out by R2P largely owing to fears on the part of Russia, China, and some non-Western non-permanent members that the new concept masked an interventionist political agenda. Over time, the Council has grown significantly more supportive of R2P and comfortable with its use in both thematic and operational resolutions to the point where the inclusion of R2P language in Council resolutions has become almost habitual in situations characterized by the threat or commission of atrocity crimes.

Keywords: United Nations, Security Council, responsibility to protect, great powers, protection of civilians, mass atrocities

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