DOI: 10.5176/0000-0000_AAAE14.21

Authors: Nicholas Ferriman


Despite good intentions, armed humanitarian intervention has too frequently done more harm than good. The UN no-fly zone over Libya was purported to prevent serious crimes being perpetrated by the Gaddafi regime on its people. Instead, it mutated into regime change with catastrophic consequences for the civilian population. This paper argues that the UN’s Responsibility to Protect (R2P) has been abused to justify armed intervention so as to advance the self-interest of the Global North at the expense of citizens in the Global South. As a consequence, it has made humanitarian intervention in the future very much more difficult. If R2P is to succeed over the long-term, the decision to implement it must be taken by a UN which is much more democratically accountable than it is at present.

Keywords: Treaty of Westphalia; US; UN Security Council; Rwanda; Cambodia

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