ABSTRACT

In the aftermath of the intervention led by NATO in Libya, the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) doctrine has received considerable blowback. Various states, most notably some of the BRICS states (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa), claimed that NATO exceeded the mandate given to it by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 1973.1 It was also suggested that the United Kingdom (UK), the United States (US), and France-the socalled “P3”—acted bombastically and arrogantly in the UNSC, ignoring reasonable concerns.2 Regardless of the actual merits of these claims (I do not take a position on this issue here), these allegations have since framed some of the recent discussions about R2P, and there has been a worry that future action on R2P will be foreclosed as these concerns about the use of force under R2P remain. In this context, in November 2011 Brazil presented the “responsi-

bility while protecting” (RwP) initiative. RwP is designed to address several of the worries about R2P after Libya. According to its Brazilian drafters, RwP offers “an additional conceptual step” and “a new perspective” on R2P and the protection of civilians more generally.3 In short, RwP has three main claims. First, those considering undertaking humanitarian intervention need to consider alternative measures first. Second, interveners need to take extra care when using military force to protect civilians. Third, interveners should report continually to the

UNSC. In making these claims, RwP also defends the need for guidelines for humanitarian intervention for the UNSC. Subsequently, RwP has been cited in various discussions on R2P. For

instance, it was subject to a section of the UN Secretary-General’s recent report on Pillar III of R2P, Responsibility to Protect: Timely and Decisive Response.4 In addition, there was an “Informal Discussion” on RwP at the UN in February 2012. RwP was also frequently mentioned in the General Assembly (GA) debate on the report on Pillar III of R2P in September 2012. RwP has been subject to varying reactions. On the one hand, it has

been seen as a vital addition to R2P, strengthening it at a time when it was facing a difficult period. Some states have claimed that RwP is central to R2P. For instance, India has stated that it sees RwP as key for R2P: if R2P “is to regain the respect of the international community, it has to be anchored in the concept of RwP.”5 Perhaps most notably, in the Interactive Dialogue in September 2013, China noted that it “supports discussions at the United Nations to discuss RwP by Brazil.”6 RwP is heavily referred to in the notion of “responsible protection,” which was proposed by Chinese scholar Ruan Zongze, and which some see as representing somewhat the Chinese position on R2P.7