ESF-LiU Conference The Responsibility to Protect: From Principle to Practice (ESF-LiU Conference T)

Venue: Scandic Linköping Vast

Location: Linköping, Sweden

Event Date/Time: Jun 08, 2010 End Date/Time: Jun 12, 2010
Registration Date: Mar 08, 2010
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Five years after its acceptance by the 2005 World Summit, it is time to consider the contribution that the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) has made and could make to the prevention of mass atrocities.
The consensus among the Member States of the United Nations, as reflected in the General Assembly debate in the summer of 2009 is broad but not necessarily deep. While there is considerable general support for R2P along the three pillars suggested by the UN Secretary-General (responsibility of states to protect their own populations, assistance and capacity building and timely responses), fundamental questions remain. For instance: what does R2P add to the already existing obligations of states and to the substantial arsenal of instruments at the possession of the international community to prevent and respond to mass atrocities? Does R2P entail a risk of opening the door to external intervention? And how can R2P be operationalised and implemented in concrete circumstances?

Knowledge of the impact of the principle is limited. Recent practice shows both instances of where the international community succeeded (Kenya) and failed (Darfur) to prevent mass atrocities, but in neither of these cases it is obvious that success or failure could be attributed directly to the use, or lack of use, of the concept of R2P.

The aim of the Conference R2P: From Principle to Practice is to discuss selected aspects of R2P with a view to identify the added value of R2P as well as the challenges for the practical application of R2P.
The Conference will have a strong focus on international law. To the extent that R2P finds a basis in international law, this may foster consensus. Likewise, to the extent that states fear for abuse of R2P as legitimizing intervention, it is the development of international legal rules and procedures that may help placate such fears. However, the Conference recognizes that R2P moves beyond international law, and will integrate insights from political science, international relations and moral philosophy.

The Conference will bring together many internationally acclaimed experts on the Responsibility to Protect (R2P), academics as well as policy makers, from all regions of the world. It will identify new research lines that can help to understand and develop R2P, as well as provide concrete ideas that may be used by policy-makers.


Additional Information

Chaired by: Prof. Andre Nollkaemper - Amsterdam Center for International Law, University of Amsterdam, NL