Essay On Humanitarian Intervention

2216 Words9 Pages
Since the end of World War II, the phrase “never again” has been ingrained in our collective memory as a promise that the atrocities of the Holocaust will never be repeated. The world learned an unforgettable lesson about the importance of protecting human rights in the face of aggression. The United Nations was subsequently created in dedication to maintaining this promise to humanity. On March 17, 2011, the UN’s role as peacekeeper was put to the test when Resolution 1973 was adopted authorizing military intervention in Libya in an attempt to protect civilians from imminent mass atrocities perpetrated by former president Muammar Gaddafi.
There is still division on the justification of this resolution, as well as debate over the success of the intervention. Some hail it as a good model to follow, while others claim there was not sufficient “just cause” to intervene. Despite the lack of consensus, it is certain this military operation, morally justified by the protection of human rights, has set a very important precedent for future humanitarian interventions. This paper gives a brief overview of the history of humanitarian interventions carried out by the United Nations, particularly the formation and adoption of the notion of “the responsibility to protect” (R2P). Next, it uses the 2011 intervention in Libya as a case study to examine the adoption, implementation, legitimacy, and legality of R2P. Lastly, it explores the impact the Libyan intervention will have on the future of UN humanitarian interventions.

Humanitarian Intervention & the Responsibility to Protect

Since its creation in 1945, under the UN Charter, the UN Security Council is a committee of states charged with maintaining a number of peacekeeping missions: ...

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...en serious about solely protecting the lives of civilians, it would have used its power to influence the rebels into at least considering the regime’s peace offering.

Future Consequences of Intervention

Since the 2011 humanitarian intervention, Libya The most recent dispute is centered on the best steps to take in Syria, which is very similar in nature to the 2011 conflict in Libya. The UNSC was not able to come to a consensus on what measures to take to stop the violence against civilians in Syria after over three years of civil war resulting in a number of human rights violations, just as experts are not about to come to a consensus on when and how to conduct humanitarian interventions. It’s easy to agree that all people are deserving of life, liberty, and security, although when under threat, the question of when and how to intervene is not easily answered.
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