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UPDATE: The Pope and the “responsibility to protect”

The Holy See has now published the entire speech the Pope held before the UN General Assembly in mid-April (we reported earlier). As has been noted by several international law interested people, inter alia on other blogs such as Opinio Juris and IntLawGrrls, some of the remarks could be interpreted as a strong support of what has been called the principle of the “responsibility to protect”. Now, I would probably not go as far as to say that the Pope actually endorses that principle in its original form. After all, the R2P (as it is sometimes called) is merely a theoretical model that faces strong opposition even among international law scholars and therefore is not likely to be enthusiastically received by the UN General Assembly. However, the Pope wisely used the triggering term of “intervention” and the reference to the “action of the international community and its institutions” as instruments to get across his fundamental point that human rights in the future need greater attention – not at least from the UN and its organs. The R2P is simply one idea how this could be achieved. 

One Comment

  1. ritam@berkeley.edu ritam@berkeley.edu 7 June 2008

    Is the R2P principle enshrined anywhere in any sort of treaty – EU? the Pope’s references? any multilateral treaty?
    Many thanks.
    Rita Maran

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