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3 Global Resp. Protect 425 (2011)
The Responsibility to Protect and its Critics: Explaining the Consensus

handle is hein.journals/gloresp3 and id is 435 raw text is: MARTINUS                                                              G1l
NIJHOFF
P U B L I S H E R s  Global Responsibility to Protect 3 (2011) 425-437  brill.nl/gr2p
The Responsibility to Protect and its Critics:
Explaining the Consensus*
M6nica Serrano
Director of the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
MSerrano@gc.cuny.edu
Abstract
While critics have claimed that the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) is a North-South polarising
issue and is therefore controversial, this is a deliberate misrepresentation in a rhetorical war led
by a small minority of UN member states. The first section of this article briefly reviews the
evolution of this emerging norm from its inception in the 2001 report by the International
Commission on State Sovereignty and Intervention (ICISS), to its endorsement in 2005 by
more than 150 heads of states in the 2005 World Summit Outcome Document, to its more
recent configuration in a three-pillar structure.' The next part seeks to identify the main criti-
cisms that have been levelled at R2P. It touches on some of the myths and allegations that have
long accompanied R2P, as well as on the chief legitimate concerns underlying the shift towards
implementation. The third and concluding section briefly touches upon the impact of the inter-
ventions in Libya and C6te D'Ivoire upon the evolving R2P consensus, and critically assesses the
implications of a normative strategy that has put a premium on unanimity and unqualified
consensus.
Keywords
2005 World Summit, ICISS, General Assembly, United Nations, Consensus, Normative
Strategy
A Norm is Born: The Genealogy of R2P
Although R2P has not yet achieved the status of a legally binding norm, it
has emerged as a key feature of today's ambitious normative international
* An earlier version of this paper was published in Development Dialogue, No. 55, March
2011.
International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty, The Responsibility to
Protect (Ottawa: International Development Research Centre, 2001) and '2005 World Summit
Outcome', UNGA Res. 60/1, 16 September 2005.

@ Koninldijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2011

DOI 10. 1163/18759841 1X602017

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