Well Whaddya Know

By Callimachus | Related entries in United Nations

U.N. decides it should protect people after all.

UNITED NATIONS – The U.N. Security Council affirmed for the first time Friday that the international community has a responsibility to protect civilians from genocide, war crimes and ethnic cleansing when national governments fail to do so.

A resolution, which was unanimously approved by the 15-nation council, endorsed an agreement reached by world leaders at last year’s summit that was aimed at preventing tragedies like the 1994 Rwanda genocide.

But how, exactly, do they propose to enforce that responsibility?


This entry was posted on Friday, April 28th, 2006 and is filed under United Nations. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

9 Responses to “Well Whaddya Know”

  1. DosPeros Says:

    This is one of those “the sky is blue” proclamations. “Generic moral platitudes are easy to dispense when impotent.” — says DosPeros fortune cookie.

  2. Kofi Annan Says:

    … NEVER AGAIN ! …

    (will I use the word genocide)

  3. Daniel Berczik Says:

    This fits well with Mike Reynolds’ post on the rally. I wonder how future generations will look on us; how, in the face of genocide after genocide, we continually wait until it’s too late, if ever, to take action.

    Action means having to do more than just get unaninous agreement that murdering and raping millions is a bad, bad thing. Going after genocidal regimes would be considered preemptive, I suppose.

    Sooner or later, we may be faced with a choice between sovereignty and morality.

  4. Callimachus Says:

    A major problem with the U.N. — and the problem’s been articulated by many much better than I can do it — is that it was set up to contain and control conflicts between nation-states. Which was a logical thing to do with the stench of World War II still in the air. But state-on-state wars are not so common nowadays, and violent non-state actors (al-Qaida), failed states (Somalia) and bloody spill-over civil wars are the source of much global conflict.

    And the U.N. is inadequate to address them. Of course, you want to be careful and deliberate in granting a body like the U.N. power to break down anyone’s door. Given what it’s done with the power it does have, I’m half inclined to let it whither in ineffectiveness and create a new, streamlined, robust world body limited to democratic or non-totalitarian states, another idea that has been kicked around recently.

  5. GN Says:

    Cal,
    How could that work? We are Democratic, and we do this sort of thing selectively … usually with motives other than the ideas here. I do agree that the U.N. is not an effective arbiter for this. I think an undertaking like this would open a pandora’s box of philosophy (religion, etc.) I am not sure how we would maintain forces and monitor governance for something like this. For sure, it has been going on forever … and for sure it is more visible today with media and technology. It is also something that will be confronted more and more as world economics come to the fore.

    I don’t know the answer, but it is something that we will have to deal with.

  6. GreenGOP Says:

    What can we expect from a body dominated by anti-Americanists and that just elected Iran vice-chair of the UN Disarmament Commission.

  7. probligo Says:

    Cal, I agree.

    The present charter, for the reasons that you have outlined, does prevent the UN from “interfering in the internal affairs of an independant state”.

    I agree with the points that GN makes as well.

    However, can I point out that it matters not what powers an international body has there will always be instances (as with the Sudan at present) where there will be disagreement.

    If we use Sudan as an instance of the future, we have to ask the question -

    Why is China so vehemenently opposed to UN involvement in Sudan. Well I think it has nothing to do with human rights, or genocide, or “international morality”.

    It has nothing more tham self interest at heart. Exactly the same reasoning that led to the US side-lining the UN over Iraq, and potentially the same reult over Iran.

    In fact, if one thinks about it for a moment or three the parallel goes even further.

    If we look a little into the future, say no more than two years, then potentially there will be two of the largest oil producing nations occupied by and under the control of the US and their allies.

    Now what could be the greatest threat to China as an economic power?

    Refusal of access to cheap oil…

    What does the Sudan have?

    Follow the black drops…..

    The GND has just passed $8,344,500,000,000 and counting

  8. Callimachus Says:

    Agreed that China is playing a totally self-interested game in Sudan without the slightest regards for humanitarian consequences.

    As France did in Iraq three years ago.

    Nothing wrong with a little self-interest. It makes the world go round. Looking it in the eye and calling it for what it is doesn’t hurt, either.

    Now find a situation anywhere in the world where self-interest couldn’t be called as a block against intervention in a humanitarian crisis. Rwanda? They have resources somebody wants. Every place has something someone else covets. Unless you want humanitarian intervention to go no further than two penguins fighting over a barren rock.

    Does that mean we’re all excused from even trying? Or limited to the flaccid and fore-defeated exercise of “opening a dialogue” as a salve to your conscience?

  9. Dyre Portents Says:

    Darfur Rally Update

    Bush Administration Is Urged to Intervene in Sudan

    An unusually broad coalition of 164 humanitarian and religious groups, including Amnesty International and the National Association of Evangelicals, is planning a huge rally Sunday on the Mall to ca…

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