The Responsibility to Protect Essay

1100 Words5 Pages
You are a strong man with a gun. You see a weaker man with a machete assaulting a women. Should you intervene? now consider the following: You are the world's superpower, you see militants slaughtering thousands of innocent people in a third world country. Should you intervene? The answer to the first question for most of us would obviously be "Yes." Similarly, the answer to the second question should also be "Yes", but unfortunately the debate surrounding sovereignty and human rights stands in the way of Western nations' obligation to intervene in other nations' genocidal wars. There are three reasons why Western nations' do have an obligation to intervene, they are as follows: the Responsibility to Protect doctrine, human rights, and globalization. Responsibility to Protect Doctrine (RTP) In an attempt to ensure early intervention, so as not to repeat the atrocities of Rwanda (Pattison 2), the United Nations (UN) introduced the Responsibility to Protect doctrine (RTP) during the 2005 UN General Assembly meeting. In agreement were 150 countries (3), who unanimously united and agreed that they bore a "responsibility to protect" populations around the world from mass killings as seen in Rwanda. Part of the reason the RTP doctrine was enacted was to create a balance between sovereignty and human rights. Sovereignty was one of the main reasons states did not intervene in another states affairs, resulting in senseless mass killings that could have been prevented. This reasoning can be attributed to the Westphalia sovereignty doctrine. The doctrine was named after the Peace of Westphalia, signed in 1648, which ended the Thirty Year' War. The doctrine was based on the principal of international law that states each state has sovereignty over its domestic affairs, and should expect no interference by any other country (ICISS 2001). In an attempt to
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