The European Union and the R2P Norm: A Marriage of Convenience

Sam Greet, University of Leeds, UK

Sam Greet is a final year undergraduate student in International Relations at the University of Leeds, with a year exchange at KU Leuven, Belgium. His main interests include the R2P, Terrorism Studies and China’s role in global power politics.

Abstract 

The European Union’s (EU) fulfilment of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) largely follows the logic of ‘marriage of convenience’. The Union’s bureaucracies have been committed – and somewhat successful – champions in developing the norm and its principles since the Report of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (ICISS) in 2001 and its inclusion in the subsequent UN World Summit Outcome Document (WSOD) in 2005. It has demonstrated considerable capacity in its ability to assist in the responsibility to prevent as well as employing more indirect coercive measures as an economic power. Yet, in practice, the disingenuity of its rhetoric shows the EU and its member states only deliver R2P when it is convenient to do so, based on matching pre-existing resource allocation to other normative pursuits or the foreign policy interests of both the EU as a whole and its individual member states. The EU can be seen to demonstrate inconsistent application and illegitimate inaction in delivering its R2P capacity, as well as bringing detriment to the norm’s development when its member states misuse its invocation for their national benefit. Whether in dereliction of its ‘special responsibility’ towards refugees on and beyond its borders, lack of prioritisation of mass atrocity prevention in South Sudan, continued aid support for Myanmar despite ongoing genocide and ethnic cleansing, or its arms sales to Saudi Arabia used to commit war crimes in Yemen, the EU is a hollow R2P advocate. Until the R2P and its principles are genuinely internalised into both EU and member states’ priorities in the international arena, this marriage of convenience is unlikely to change.

Introduction

The Responsibility to Protect (R2P) emerged as a solution to the flaws of humanitarian (non)intervention, and as an international norm has faced both its life and repeated ‘death’ (Reiff, 2011). Indeed, R2P has been conceptually developed, misapplied, not applied, praised and criticised. The European Union (EU) has played a prominent role in this process. ‘Fulfilment’ of R2P is judged based on coherent and repeated contributions towards norm development, implementation and legitimacy (henceforth consistency, Wheeler, 2000, p.305), with a wide range of case studies chosen to show trends in the EU’s R2P approach. The extent to which these efforts are fulfilled is benchmarked against the principles of R2P agreed at the UN, as well as by the standards publicly advocated for by the EU. Upon analysis, the extent to which the EU can be claimed to ‘fulfil’ its R2P becomes clearly limited to situations when the norm aligns with the EU and its member states’ existing domestic and foreign policies. Firstly, this is demonstrated through the stark contrast between the EU’s external norm championing and its limited internal capabilities and commitment. Secondly, disingenuous R2P fulfilment through ‘norm clustering’ is exposed when one compares the EU’s Responsibility to Prevent potential to case studies where they could tangibly deliver it. Lastly, illegitimate inconsistency in R2P action abroad, when challenged internally, reaffirms the conclusion that R2P fulfilment is a means to other ends rather than an end in itself for the EU.

The EU and R2P Norm Development 

International Norm Champion

The EU has been a key proponent of the R2P norm and its development since its inception in the ICISS Report (2001) and was a critical player in ensuring its provisions in Article 138 and 139 were included in the World Summit Outcome Document (WSOD) (UNGA, 2005)(Brockmeier et al., 2014, pp.436-439; Bellamy, 2009, p.60). The WSOD agreed on conditional sovereignty within the international community to prevent and react to four mass atrocity crimes: ethnic cleansing, genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. This responsibility emerges from every state’s agreement to ‘responsible sovereignty’ (Pillar I) alongside the international community’s responsibility to support (Pillar II) – and if necessary, intervene (Pillar III) – if other states are ‘manifestly failing’ to protect their citizens, otherwise articulated as the ‘Three Pillars of R2P’ (UNSG, 2009). R2P has been and remains a ‘contested’ norm without definitive meaning (Welsh, 2013). The EU has been a prominent voice at the UN to try to develop and ‘cascade’ the norm internationally towards worldwide internalisation (see Finnemore and Sikkink, 1998, pp. 895–6 for norm development process).

At the UN-level since the WSOD, the EU pursued ‘high-level coordination’ for the seminal 2009 GA debate (Brockmeier, et al., 2014, pp.443-444); it was the first region to have its own ‘Focal Point’ to champion the norm (Ralph and Staunton, 2019, p.8); its member states are prominent in the ‘R2P Group of Friends’, and the EU and member states have consistently contributed to the UNGA debates, ‘Interactive Dialogues’ and UNSG ‘Annual Reports’ (ibid; Newman and Stefan, 2019). At the EU-level, the R2P has been repeatedly recalled across numerous documents (EU, 2016a; 2008; 2007; 2006; European Parliament, 2011; 2009a; 2009b, Council of the EU, 2008; European Commission, 2017) as a shared value and crucial objective the EU is ‘determined to make operational’ (EU, 2009). This is perhaps most notable recently in its inclusion within the EU Global Strategy (EUGS), where the union commits to ‘promote the responsibility to protect’ alongside other key normative judicial commitments such as ‘international humanitarian law, international human rights law and international criminal law’ (EU, 2016b, p.42). It has helped establish at least Pillar I as an accepted norm in that the question is now not if there is a R2P against the four crimes but rather what circumstances justify assistance or intervention (Bellamy, 2015, p.289; Powers, 2015, p.1274). If ‘rhetoric is action’ for norms (Franco and Rodt, 2015, p.50), then the EU has fulfilled its R2P through leveraging its diplomatic tools towards the norm’s promotion and continued relevance.

Between Rhetoric and Reality

Promotion of the norm has been an active EU foreign policy decision (Brockmeier et al., 2014, 431), because the spirit of R2P is in keeping with the EU’s pursuit of ‘normative’ and ‘ethical’ power perceptions (Newman and Stefan, 2019, pp.5-6; Manners, 2008; 2006). Its ‘constructive ambiguity’ (Shannon, 2000, p.294) and foundations as a ‘principled’ or ‘political’ ideal (Ercan, P. G. and Gu ̈nay, 2019, p.492; Betts and Orchard, 2014) – rather than an accountable legal obligation for any particular state or party (Welsh, 2019, p.54) – has allowed for easy EU norm acceptance and advocacy (Franco et.al. 2015, p.1006). ‘Internalisation’ at the EU-level refers to the bloc and its member states’ incorporation of the norm into its internal apparatus, decision-making, actions and reporting. Rarely does the EU’s R2P go beyond simple platitudes and reaffirmation of what was agreed at UN-level (Smith, 2018, p.3; TFotEUPoMA, 2013), with the European Parliament’s (2013) rallying cry for ‘consensus’ doing little to engender change towards genuine internalisation and implementation. The semantics of the EUGS committing to ‘promote’ the R2P norm alongside other laws is indicative of this agreement to endorse the norm in principle (EU, 2016b, p.42) but without a pledge to ‘deliver’ or ‘enforce’ it in practice. This is demonstrated by the absence of explicit reference to R2P in the 2019 EUGS report, which implies it is not a global strategy feature to which the EU is truly committed to convert from ‘Vision to Action’ (EU, 2019). Whilst the EU advocates the ‘never again’ discourse of R2P at the global level (Mogherini, 2018), it actively chooses to pursue ‘procedural’ rather than ‘substantive’ R2P outcomes when given the opportunity (Brockmeier et al., 2014, p.444). This erroneously fuels over-expectant R2P discourses (Gallagher, 2015a; Paris, 2014, p.579). Additionally, the EU has only pursued the norm’s development once existing UN power structures favouring EU member states were guaranteed (Brockmeier et.al.,2014, p.438). This demonstrates values-based ‘norms’ such as R2P serve as a useful foreign policy tool for Europe, yet not enough that it would risk changing the status quo it benefits from to see it fulfilled.

The contrast between external championing and limited internalisation (De Franco et al., 2015, pp.995-998; Wouters and De Man, 2013, p.17) has created the EU’s own external ‘capabilities-expectations gap’ between rhetorical support and the reality of what EU foreign policy is capable of (see Gallagher, 2015a, p.259; Hehir, 2012, p.88). In failing to properly integrate R2P strategies into key internal policy documents beyond simple ‘promotion’ and consistently failing to ‘live by example’ the EU, now 15 years into the norm’s existence, is continuing to undermine its potential to be a ‘credible international leader’ (Newman and Stefan, 2019, pp.3-4; Smith, 2018, pp.20-21). In expecting certain external norms to be upheld by others yet not genuinely seeking to deliver them themselves, the EU exposes the ‘double standards’ (Newman and Stefan, 2019, p.13) that emerge from its disjunction between normative projections compared to the practical reality a recurring trend in wider European foreign policy (Pace, 2007, p.1061; Diez, 2005, p.625). There is scope for defence of the EU in that it has a far too complex and conflicted foreign policy apparatus, as well as external pressures and internal member state divergences, to deliver R2P in a consistent manner (Fabbrini, 2014; De Baere, 2012, p.23). However, if this was the case then why does it continue to ‘unambiguously’ commit to the norm so explicitly (Carment et al., 2016, p.10)? Whilst norm localisation – its ‘mainstreaming into existing policies and resource allocation’ (Franco and Peen Rodt; 2015, p.46) – might ‘prune’ the EU’s available options (Acharya, 2009), it still has ‘enormous capacity’ to fulfil R2P (Evans, 2008; see Ercan and Gu ̈nay, 2019, pp.495-500; Smith, 2018, p.1,6-7 for tools available). In fact, international-level advocacy for R2P from the EU bureaucracies has continued despite member states’ failed internalisation of the norm and an internal ‘expectations vacuum’ (Newman and Stefan, 2019, pp.12-14; Gallagher, 2015a, p.260), with member states holding at best internal ‘ambivalence’ (Newman and Stefan, 2019, p.2) and at worst outright disagreement (Smith, 2018, p.4) over the R2P norm. One example is the disinterested case of Germany, which despite being the ‘core’ of the EU project (Bartlett and Prica, 2016), saw the R2P as a largely external norm project. Alongside China and Russia, Germany abstained from one of the most flagrant R2P cases in Libya (De Baere, 2012, p.9). Practical commitment to deliver the R2P has been slow and sparse, acted upon only when convenient (Dembinski et al., 2014, pp.368-370). The EU should be held accountable to the level of international expectation it espouses for itself and for others. As such, it is not fulfilling the R2P to the extent that its international support for the norm predicates it should.

The EU, Norm Clusters and the Responsibility to Prevent

The EU’s Prevention Toolbox

This is not to say that the EU has not taken any action to fulfil its R2P. Regarding Pillar II, we have observed an extensive role foreseen and in part delivered through its ‘Responsibility to Prevent’. Given its limited military instruments and NATO facilities (see Keukeleire and Delreux, 2014, Chapter 3), it would be unfair to judge the EU based on its unfulfillment of ‘rapid and timely’ intervention as this option is not readily available, agreed upon between member states or something the EU has only suggested it could deliver (Fabbini, 2014; Welsh, 2014, p.136). The EU Global Strategy, whilst not directly referring to the R2P norm, notes that ‘we need to collectively take responsibility for our role in the world’ (EU, 2016, p.3). Whilst largely in reference to their extensive ‘civilian power capacities’ in their ‘diplomatic’, ‘development cooperation’ and ‘trade’ tools (EU, 2016, pp.3-4), the EU recognises the combination of ‘soft and hard power’ it can offer for the delivery of global norms through their more structural, long-term military and civilian foreign policy operations (EU, 2016, p.4). This non-explicitly recognises its capacity to operate as Pillar II support of states’ security apparatus, in that it may not be able to intervene directly or rapidly, but it does have the military and civilian apparatus to support other states in their delivery of their own R2P should they request for assistance.

Both commentators (Smith, 2018, p.1; Brosig, 2011) and the EU itself (2018) recognises its primary tools and expertise centre on the delivery of prevention, mainly through ‘structural’ support i.e. in addressing root causes, ‘operational’ support i.e. early warning systems, and ‘direct’ efforts i.e. economic reward/sanctions (see Carment et.al., 2016, p.3; UNSG, 2013; Haugevik, 2009, p.352, EU, 2016, pp.28-32 for prevention tools). For the EU, ‘development, governance, civil society and human rights are all relevant to reducing the risk of atrocities occurring’ and sees its R2P in part fulfilled by the long-term work on these agendas (De Benedictis, 2015; De Baere, 2012, p.22). If the UNSG is correct that ‘development is the best prevention’ (UNSG, 2011), then the EU as the largest aid donor is fulfilling important R2P prevention work (Eggleston, 2014). The EU has also been a prominent supporter of the International Criminal Court (ICC), coined the ‘legal arm’ of R2P (Adams, 2019), as a method of prevention based on prosecution against impunity (Ercan and Gu ̈nay, 2019, p.500; Ford, 2010). Under a wider understanding of R2P action, the EU could be perceived to be fulfilling its responsibility to prevent quite extensively. However, the fact that these actions are rarely – if ever – framed under R2P auspices both hinders norm development (Newman and Stefan, 2019, p.7; Badescu 2014; 2011) and suggests EU ‘R2P’ is simply ‘reframing’ existing EU action (ibid, p.11; Barqueiro et al., 2016, p.37) rather than genuinely committing to specific mass atrocity prevention at the expense of resources, other normative pursuits or foreign policy goals.

The Problem of Norm Clustering

The extent to which the EU is fulfilling its R2P is characterised by a ‘norm clustering’ that groups its mass atrocity prevention with numerous existing actions (Staunton and Ralph, 2019, pp.1-6,17; Lantis and Wunderlich, 2018), most notably becoming synonymous with conflict prevention (Cuyckens and De Man, 2012, p. 111). This conflates the two despite the necessary responses (Badescu and Weiss, 2010, p.451) and risk factors (Ralph, 2014) differing significantly. This allows for easy if somewhat disingenuous ‘implementation’ of R2P without significant change in EU or member states commitments. Both within member states and the EU’s internal apparatus there has been ‘deep rooted suspicion’ over R2P’s added value beyond existing human rights, conflict prevention, governance and humanitarian work (Wouters and De Man, 2013, p.4,19; Cuyckens and De Man, 2012). This scepticism and failure to recognise the uniqueness of atrocity prevention, as well as prioritisation of other interests, has grave consequences.

The Rohingya in Myanmar have faced ‘slow burning genocide’ and ‘ethnic cleansing’ (Darusman, 2019; UNHCR, 2017, UN News, 2017), orchestrated by the military and enabled by the government. The EU pursues democracy promotion and development as their priorities in Myanmar, allocating 688 million in financial support for 2014-20 (EEAS, 2018b). Whilst in theory this is delivering structural prevention, this ‘norm clustering’ only serves to detract from specific mass atrocity action and fails to bring in ‘democracy’ in any more than a procedural sense (Adams, 2019, p.8; Southwick, 2015, p.150). The EU’s position stems from a strategic decision to prioritise norms of democracy (Adams, 2019, p.3; GCR2P, 2017) and other foreign policy gains (Staunton and Ralph, 2019, p.10; Haacke, 2016, p.819) over mass atrocity prevention, despite repeated warnings of the consequences (Green et al., 2018; Zarni and Cowley, 2014). Europe’s role in brokering the repatriation of Rohingya refugees from Bangladesh despite no guarantees of safety from further atrocity crimes (EEAS, 2017; Cappaert and Qu, 2018) and continued minimal conditionality on the aid it provides (Staunton and Ralph, 2019, p.12; Gallagher, 2015b) – despite recently withdrawing aid from Burundi on human rights grounds (Barbière, 2016) – demonstrates the EU’s inconsistent regard for its R2P. Its limited response through refugee aid, varying statements of concern and minor targeted sanctions (EEAS, 2018b) has been slow to materialise and came only after atrocities took place, illustrating that the EU has not truly committed to fulfilling its responsibility to prevent potential mass atrocity in Myanmar (Adams, 2019; Smith, 2018, pp.14-17).

In South Sudan, the outbreak of civil war was not prevented despite the presence of an EU civilian mission prior to its outbreak in 2013 (Smith, 2018, pp.19-20). Notwithstanding sustained warnings of ‘crimes against humanity’ and even fear of ‘genocide’ by both international and European commentators (UN Press Release, 2017; 2013; EU, 2016), an estimated 383,000 deaths were recorded (Specia, 2018). During the pre-conflict ‘peace process’, the EU and others had pursued technocratic and socio-economic driven norms of democratisation and state-building (Pantuliano, 2014; Khadiagala, 2014) that ignored the ‘profound legacy of long-term conflict’ (Clark, 2014; Young 2012), likely to return, and in turn failed to create a South Sudan that could truly bear its own ‘responsible sovereignty’ (Rossi, 2016, p.179). In response to the crisis, the EU took some steps towards its R2P, but most of its interventions called on those involved to act rather than doing so themselves (see Smith, 2018, pp.17-20). The R2P provides a platform to justify a continued EU foreign policy which deepens development dependency and asymmetries with weaker states abroad under the auspices of R2P Pillar II support, reinforced by rhetoric – although contested (Graubart, 2013; Branch, 2011) – that the norm is non-Western and of global consensus in principle (Carment et al., 2016, p.10; De Baere, 2012). Coupled with a reluctance to act on agreed normative principles such as R2P when necessary – or only doing so when it overlaps with existing priorities – this exposes the strategic interests that underpin the EU’s R2P (Barqueiro et.al., p.46; Paris, 2014, p. 572). The Atrocity Prevention Toolkit (EEAS, 2019) could represent a crucial breakaway for mass atrocity prevention away from the ‘policy paradigm’ or ‘norm clusters’ in which it has been ‘entangled’ (Cuyckens and De Man, 2012, p.111) and may represent a genuine commitment to mass atrocity prevention as an end in itself. However, until implementation of this toolkit is consistent, the case studies above show that the EU fulfils its R2P to the extent that it correlates to existing ‘norm clusters’ and priorities such as democratisation or statebuilding, rather than re-prioritising its foreign policy towards mass atrocity prevention.

The EU, Inconsistency and the Responsibility to Protect

Inconsistency in Action

The EU fulfils its R2P not just when it is convenient for the bloc’s normative identity and external activity but also when it serves the interests of its powerful member states. The case of Libya began as a rapid and resounding international community response to a genuine threat of mass atrocity crimes under Colonel Ghaddafi in 2011. This resulted in Resolution 1970, which ‘Recall[ed] the Libyan authorities’ responsibility to protect’ and member state enforced series of restrictive measures (UN, 2011a, p.1), before escalating into Resolution 1973 which invoked the international community’s R2P and permitted member state intervention ‘to take all necessary measures [. . . ] to protect civilians’ (Brockmeier et al., 2014, p.445, UN, 2011b, p.2). In some ways, the EU fulfilled its non-military R2P measures such as ‘asset freezes’, coercive sanctions and ‘travel bans’ effectively and rapidly to bring an end to the Gaddafi regime (see Wouters and De Man, 2013, p.24; Koenig, 2011). Yet, the lack of accountability within the EU foreign policy apparatus allowed for an ‘unchecked […] Franco-British directoiré to act on the EU’s behalf through the European Council (Fabbrini, 2014, pp.189-91) and alongside NATO, using ‘all necessary’ means to go well beyond the agreed mandate in pursuit of their self-interests for regime change (Spencer, 2012; Bellamy, 2011; Pattison, 2011). The partiality and selective protection of rebel civilians showed a flagrant disregard for genuine mass atrocity prevention (Haslett, 2014; Welsh, 2011). This prompted internal EU condemnation with a public statement of criticism against the British-French action from Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg (Castle, 2011, p.4), whilst external BRICS states such as South Africa repeatedly condemned the motives of their actions (UNSC 2011a; 2011b). In keeping with the UK’s inappropriate use of the ICCC report as ‘ex post facto humanitarian justification’ for invading Iraq (MacFarlane, Thielking, and Weiss, 2004; Evans, 2004) and Burma in 2008 by France (Brockemeier et al., 2014, pp.441-4), Libya demonstrates the risk of neo-colonial character emerging in R2P as a rearticulation of long-criticised humanitarian intervention (Jean-Robert, 2012). The UK’s reaffirmation of the legality of liberal interventionism (HoCFAC, 2018) and France’s continued non-R2P droit d’ingérence (Staunton, 2018, p.380) suggests these powers have not seen substantial change within their security cultures, nor genuine commitment to the R2P norm other than co-opting both it and the EU apparatus to deliver their long-standing foreign policy goals (Brockmeier et.al., 2014).

The responsibility to rebuild, initially part of the ICISS report, was omitted from WSOD. However, the EU’s lacklustre post-intervention support in Libya has fallen short of its own commitments to assist with ‘the reconciliation and the reconstruction’ of the country following R2P intervention (see Van Rompey, 2011, Georgieva, 2011), not to mention civilians at risk of human trafficking and wide-spread abuse (Gottwald, 2012). Instead, the EU has since prioritised non-R2P norms and foreign policy interests around security and migration (Coen, 2015, p.1051; Wouters and De Man, 2013, pp.25-6) whilst the population continues to suffer immensely (UNICEF, 2015). The Libya case evidences long-held reservations from non-Western states about the true character of R2P’s Pillar III (Morris, 2013; Murray, 2013, p.43) and the EU more generally as a ‘post-colonial power’ (Nicola ̈ıdis, 2015; Coen, 2015, p.1045). Thus, the EU is in part failing to fulfil R2P due to dominant member states co-opting it for their own foreign policy interests and the damage this does to norm development by delegitimising Pillar III (Dembinski et al., 2014, p.366; Hehir, 2011).

Legitimate and Illegitimate Inaction

There are cases of ‘legitimate inconsistency’ where the EU cannot be expected to take extensive action and fulfil R2P abroad based on ‘genuine cost-benefit’ analysis (Gallagher, 2015a, pp.272; Bellamy, 2015, p.137). To ‘deny the relevance of politics’ and its limitations on available actions (Weiss, 2004), especially when the power resides with an often divergent UNSC (Morris, 2015, pp.5-7), is to overstate the pragmatic expectations set out in the WSOD (Ralph, 2018, p.191, Gallagher, 2015a, p.267). The case of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is a fair example, being both isolated from the international community and somewhat under the protection of China, a veto wielding UNSC power. The fact that the EU and its member states led calls for an R2P-focused Human Rights Council inquiry into the abuses taking place in North Korea (HRC, 2014), and that this report created behavioural change and restarted human rights relations between the EU and North Korea, is a notable EU R2P success when inaction would have largely been considered legitimate (Cohen, 2016). The complexity and heavily politicised case of Syria – despite overwhelming R2P relevance with extensive war crimes and crimes against humanity committed (GlobalR2P, 2019) – could be another legitimate case as it stands now, especially given its similar ties to vetopower Russia (Coen, 2015, Haslett, 2014, p.203). Yet, it was not always destined to be so complicated. Member states’ failure to internalise the principles of R2P whilst simultaneously using it as a means to justify other foreign policy aims such as ‘accountability’ and ‘regime change’ against Assad (Ralph, 2018, p.193; Gifkins, 2012, p.383) – especially given international suspicion of motives post-Libya (ibid, p.195 and above) – can be seen as a contributing factor to why the R2P failed so cataclysmically in the Syrian case. The EU and its member states restricted potential for genuine de-escalation of mass violence by isolating the more sovereignty-prioritising states who were fearful of further regime changes (Ralph and Gifkins, 2017). This gives further credence to the view that the EU’s R2P is only fulfilled to the extent that it matches existing priorities.

Situations of ‘illegitimate inconsistency’ are even more damaging to the EU’s R2P credentials, where ‘simple selfishness’ means they can neglect action or contribute to atrocities themselves (Gallagher, 2015a, pp.272; Bellamy, 2015, p.137). Simple disinterest produces illegitimate inaction and is a failure of EU R2P fulfilment. For example, the EU was unwilling to contribute to the Democratic Republic of Congo crisis in 2008 despite UN R2P-based request that was well within their means (Smith, 2008, p.4). Likewise, Member States have failed to pursue any of their own mass atrocity prevention initiatives individually (Brockmeier et al.,2014, p.444). In the aforementioned inaction in South Sudan, disinterest again undermined concerted EU delivery of the R2P in a case where it could have had great impact. Conflict of interest also creates illegitimate inaction. In the current civil war in Yemen, atrocities and war crimes are essentially ‘facilitated’ by the EU member states’ support of Saudi Arabia (Baron, 2016; OHCHR, 2019). Despite ‘condemnation’ (Council of the EU, 2018) and comprehensive financial aid (Alattrash, 2018) provided to Yemen, fundamentally the EU has failed to hold its member states accountable to their legally binding 2008 Common Position on arms exports (Oppenheim, 2019a) and to international humanitarian law, leaving this to national courts (Maletta, 2019). National interests, for both arms and non-arms trade and exports, have crippled the EU’s response to Saudi Arabia’s actions (Oppenheim, 2019b) and have meant the EU has not only failed to fulfil its R2P, but its main powers are actively contributing to the crisis. Similar criticisms against their self-interest have been levied against Europe remaining ‘silent’ over abuses by Saudi Arabia and Bahrain (Hehir, 2013, pp.44-45). Likewise, the EU has failed to ‘name and shame’ Eritrea since 2016 despite ‘crimes against humanity’ taking place there (UNHCR, 2018), and continue to provide aid without conditionality because of the country’s role in Europe’s migration strategy (ECR2P, 2019). Likewise, the Kurdish population in Syria and Turkey face ‘ethnic cleansing’ and ‘war crimes’ by Turkish armed rebels as a result of the departure of US forces from Syria in October 2019 (Seligman, 2019; Roebuck, 2019). Key EU member states sell a plethora of arms to the country, and some public condemnation alongside an embargo on new arms sales remains insufficient for the EU to fulfil its R2P as long as old contracts continue to be delivered whilst atrocity crimes take place (Al Yafai, 2019). These cases exemplify an underlying challenge in EU foreign policy in that despite Lisbon’s apparent coordination of activity of member states (Fabbrini, 2014), these will prioritise their foreign policy interests (or disinterests) at the expense of the EU’s espoused goals or commitments, such as R2P.

The Refugee Crisis and R2P as Selective Foreign Policy

Whilst for the most part the EU is agreed to have a ‘unique’ role in R2P as a non-traditional, international proactive foreign policy acting region (Ercan and Gu ̈nay, 2019, p.491), it also has a mixed fulfilment of the norm internally and on its borders. The post-war formation of the EU and its guarantees of Pillar I for European states offers an opportunity for ‘region-to-region learning processes’ on how this may be replicated abroad (ibid, p.499; Wouters and De Man, 2013, p.10). Likewise, its enlargement and accession processes for new members were declared its ‘greatest contribution’ to R2P because it implements structural prevention by spreading EU values to neighbouring states and aspiring EU member states such as Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia etc. (De Baere, 2012, p.10). Its enlargement and accession processes help to internalise EU norms and standards into such nations, ensuring they have the safeguards and normative aspirations long-term to uphold Pillar I. Yet none of this work was done for the R2P norm. When its internal R2P is put under pressure, it is evident how little the norm is fulfilled, such as in the case of the EU’s response to the refugee crisis (Panebianco and Fontana, 2018, p.10). Whilst the WSOD and reports may not necessitate states take in refugees (Bulley, 2017), literature comprehensively suggests asylum and refugee protection represent a prudent and viable Pillar I and II avenue to fulfil R2P commitments as well as existing international humanitarian law (Panebianco and Fontana, 2018; Coen, 2017; Welsh, 2014; UNSG, 2009, Para.35;68; Barbour and Gorlick, 2008). The EU Agenda for Migration (European Commission, 2015) did not reference R2P directly, but acknowledged the ‘duty of protection’ and need for ‘solidarity’ for those fleeing abuse as well as states burdened with their immediate protection or arrival. The manifestation of Europe’s actions on this crisis demonstrate how other factors took and continue to take priority over R2P, with intense securitisation of refugees (Newman, 2017; Ralph and Souter, 2017, p.48); variation in the response of different member states i.e. Germany’s one million intake against Hungary’s mishandlings (Barqueiro, et al.,2016, pp.40-43); and an overall failure to live up to their ‘cosmopolitan commitments’ to human security and protection (Newman and Stefan, 2019, p.13; Newman, 2017, p.60). When one considers the fact that most asylum seekers originated predominantly from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan (UNHCR, 2016), the lack of fulfilment is a dereliction of Europe’s ‘special responsibility’ to protect (Ralph and Souter, 2015). EU member states had a considerable direct contribution to the conflicts and creation of these ‘atrocity crime refugees’ and their failure to provide subsequent civilian refuge and protection suggests a lack of norm internalisation (Ralph and Souter, 2017Souter, 2014), especially as it is refugees who can be ‘at most risk’ of further mass atrocity crimes (Davies and Glanville, 2010).

This is not to say the EU did not fulfil its R2P in other ways for refugees, including comprehensive packages of financial, operational and political support for Middle Eastern and North African states, as well as efforts through the UN and international organisations (Bulley, 2017, pp.62-67). Yet this crucially remained a ‘downstream’ foreign policy agenda (Ralph, 2018, p.195; Barqueiro, 2016, p.994; Welsh, 2014), and has fundamentally been criticised as an ‘outsourcing’ of responsibility (Newman, 2017, p.60, Bulley, 2017, p.61) to ensure refugee burdens remain abroad. The precedence of other foreign policy objectives over the R2P is exposed by the Action Plan with Turkey, which poses serious questions over its ‘safe country’ status (Frelick, 2016) and, even worse, allows for potential refoulement of ‘irregular migrants’ back to the atrocities they fled to Europe to avoid (Bulley, 2017, p.66). This fits into a wider picture of an EU unwilling to bear the political costs of R2P compared to other domestic pressures and foreign policy interests (Coen, 2015, p.1047). In demonstrating ‘solidarity’ with states themselves through Pillar II and not refugees, the EU may be able to technically fulfil its ‘R2P’ through an ‘externalized politics of protection’ through state capacity-building (Panebianco and Fontana, 2018, Bulley, 2017, p.64; Haddad, 2010). Yet the questions remaining over the types of states this reinforces (Gallagher, 2015b) and lack of guaranteed long-term protection compared to what would be secured with asylum demonstrate that foreign policy goals around security, migration and terrorism are – and likely always have been – most important in EU decision-making, with the likes of R2P a normative commitment only fulfilled when convenient.

Conclusion

Judging the extent to which the EU fulfils its R2P is complex and multi-faceted. Its inability to always fulfil R2P is not necessarily a critique, as the self-interest with which it has been approached is both understandable and was predicted by the original R2P norm entrepreneurs (Evans, 2004). The EU has, in many cases, technically fulfilled the R2P in more ways than most, particularly in their structural prevention investment. Yet, this should not be confused with genuine internalisation of the R2P principle. What is worthy of condemnation is both the bloc and its member states’ willingness to claim to be supporting and fulfilling the norm at the UN-level whilst simultaneously failing to consistently deliver their potential for it. The R2P is utilised both for the ‘normative power Europe’ identity as well as pragmatically to excuse member states foreign policy exploits without remorse. Failing to commit politically, economically or conceptually to the necessary uniqueness of R2P at an EU-level means the EU has under fulfilled the immense role it could have, and claim to want, for R2P worldwide. Their co-optation of the concept does damage to the norm’s legitimacy and in turn, has and will continue to have real consequences for those suffering mass atrocities. When truly tested on its R2P credentials, the EU has failed to live up to its ‘own moral logic’ (Newman, 2019, p.59) and ultimately its R2P fulfilment is exposed as only delivered to the extent that it is accidental, convenient or useful to do so, demonstrating little to no sense of true ‘responsibility’ at all.

Bibliography

Acharya,A. 2009.‘Whose ideas matter? Agency and power in Asian regionalism.’ New York:Cornell University Press.

Adams, S. 2019. ‘If not now When?’, The Responsibility to Protect, The Fate of the Rohingya and the Future of Human Rights.’ Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect. [Online] Available from: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers. cfm?abstract id=3319491. [Accessed 18/12/19, 5:40pm].

Al Yafai, F.2019. Turkey’s incursion into Syria is making the EU and Kurds rethink their friends.39; [Online]. Available from: https://www.euractiv.com/sect ion/global-europe/opinion/turkeys-incursion-into-syria-is-making-the-eu-and-k urds-rethink-their-friends/. [Accessed 21/12/19, 11:15am].

Alattrash, A. 2018. ‘Responsibility to Protect: in Light of Yemen Case.’ [Online]. Available from: https://eeas.europa.eu/headquarters/headquarters-home page en/53984/EU-Yemen%20relations. [Accessed 21/12/19, 12:30pm].

Badescu, C.G. 2014. ‘The Evolution of International Responsibility: from Responsibility to Protect to Responsibility while Protecting’. International Studies Journal. 11(1). Pp. 45–77.

Badescu, C.G., and Weiss, T. 2010. ‘Misrepresenting R2P and Advancing Norms: An Alternative Spiral?’ International Studies Perspectives, Vol.11, No.4. Pp.354-374.

Badescu,C.G.2011.‘Humanitarian Intervention and the Responsibility to Protect’.London and New York: Routledge.

Barbi`ere, C. 2016. ‘EU looks to confirm aid as a lever on human rights issues’. [Online] Available from: https://www.euractiv.com/section/development-policy /news/eu-looks-to-confirm-aid-as-a-lever-on-human-rights-issues/. [Accessed 18 /12/19, 10:45am].

Barbour, B., and B. Gorlick. 2008. ‘Embracing the ‘Responsibility to Protect ‘: A Repertoire of Measures including Asylum for Potential Victims.’ International Journal of Refugee Law. 20(4). Pp.533–566.

Baron, A. 2016. 39;Yemen’s Forgotten War: How Europe Can Lay the Foundations for Peace.39; [Online] Available from: https://www.ecfr.eu/publications/s ummary/yemens forgotten war how europe can lay the foundations for peace. [Accessed 20/12/19, 3:30pm].

Bartlett, W. and Prica, I. 2016. ‘Interdependence between Core and Peripheries of the European Economy: Secular Stagnation and Growth in the Western Balkans.’ LSE ‘Europe in Question’ Discussion Paper Series. Paper No.104. Pp.1-24.

Bellamy, A.J. 2009. ‘Responsibility to Protect’. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Bellamy, A.J. 2011. ‘The Responsibility to Protect and the Problem of Regime Change.’ In: Stark, A. (Ed.). ‘The Responsibility to Protect: Challenges and Opportunities in light of the Libyan Intervention.’ E-International Relations. [Online] Available from: https://www.e-ir.info/wp-content/uploads/R2P.pdf. [Accessed 10/12/19, 3:30pm].

Bellamy, A.J. 2015. ‘A Death Foretold? Human Rights, Responsibility to Protect and the Persistent Politics of Power.’ Cooperation and Conflict. 50(2). Pp.286–293.

Bellamy, A.J. 2016. ‘The humanisation of security? Towards an International Human Protection Regime.’ European Journal of International Security. 1(1). Pp.112-133.

Betts, A., and Orchard, P. 2014. ‘Introduction: The normative institutionalization-implementation gap’. In: Betts, A., and Orchard, P. (Eds.). ‘Implementation and world politics: How international norms change practice.’ Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Branch, A. 2011. ‘The irresponsibility of the responsibility to protect in Africa’. In: Cunliffe, P. (ed.). ‘Critical Perspectives on the Responsibility to Protect: Interrogating Theory and Practice’. Abingdon: Routledge.

Brockmeier, S., Kurtz, G., and Junk, J. 2014. ‘Emerging norm and rhetorical tool: Europe and a responsibility to protect.’ Conflict, Security amp; Development. 14(4). Pp.429-460.

Brosig, M. 2011. ‘The emerging peace and security regime in Africa: The role of the EU’. European Foreign Affairs Review. 16. Pp.107-122.

Carment, D., Winchester, S., Landry, J. 2016. ‘The Role of Regional Organizations’. In: Bellamy, A.J., and Dunne, T. (Eds.) ‘The Oxford Handbook of the Responsibility to Protect’. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Castle, S. 2011. ‘Discontent over foreign policy chief goes public.’ [Online]. Available from: https://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/24/world/europe/24iht-ash ton24.html. [Accessed 16/12/19, 10:05am].

Clark, H. 2014. Quoted In: Tran, M. ‘South Sudan Failed by Misjudgment of International Community, Says UN Chief.’ [Online]. Available from: http://www. theguardian.com/global-development/2014/jan/22/south-sudan-failed-internati onal-community. [Accessed 16/12/19, 4:18pm].

Coen, A. 2015. ‘R2P, Global Governance, and the Syrian refugee crisis.’ The International Journal of Human Rights, Vol.19, Iss.8. Pp.1044-1058.

Coen, A. 2017. ‘Capable and Culpable? The United States, RtoP, and Refugee Responsibility-Sharing.’ Ethics and international affairs. 31(1). Pp. 71-92.

Cohen, R. 2016. ‘An R2P Framework for North Korea’. Global Responsibility to Protect. 8(4). Pp.410-430.

Council of the European Union (CoEU). 2008. ‘Report on the Implementation of the European Security Strategy: Providing Security in a Changing World.’ [Online]. Available from: https://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms data/docs /pressdata/en/reports/104630.pdf. [Accessed 19/12/19, 10:50am].

Council of the European Union (CoEU). 2018. ‘Council Conclusions on Yemen.’ [Online]. Available from: https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-rel eases/2019/02/18/yemen-council-adopts-conclusions/. [Accessed 21/12/19, 9:0 5pm].

Cuyckens, H. and De Man, P. 2012. ‘The responsibility to prevent: on the assumed legal nature of responsibility to protect and its relationship with conflict prevention.’ In: Hoffman, J. and Nollkaemper, A. (Eds.). ‘Responsibility to protect: from principle to practice.’ Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press. Pp.111-123.

Darusman, M. 2019. ‘Statement to the 74th session of the General Assembly Chair of the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar 22 October 2019’. Human Rights Council: Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar. Geneva: United Nations.

Davies, S., and L. Glanville. 2010. ‘Protecting the Displaced: Introduction.’ In: Davies, S., and L. Glanville. (Eds.). ‘Protecting the Displaced. Deepening the Responsibility to Protect.’ Leiden: Nejhof. Pp.1-12.

De Baere, G. 2012. ‘Some Reflections on the EU and the Responsibility to Protect’. Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies, Working Paper 79. Pp.1-23.

De Benedictis, V. 2015. ‘Protection of civilians.’ In: Rerhl, J. and Glume, G. (Eds.). ‘Handbook: Missions and operations: the common security and defence policy of the European Union.’ Vienna: Federal Ministry of Defence and Sports. Pp.137-140.

De Franco, C. and Rodt, A. 2015. ‘Is a European Practice of Mass Atrocity Prevention Emerging? The European Union, Responsibility to Protect and the 2011 Libya Crisis’. Politics and Governance, Vol.3, Iss.44. Pp.44-55.

Diez, T. 2005. ‘Constructing the Self and Changing Others: Reconsidering ‘Normative Power Europe’. Millennium. 33(3). Pp.613–636.

Eggleston, E. 2014. ‘Advancing transatlantic linkages on Responsibility to Protect and mass atrocity prevention’. The Stanley Foundation: Policy Dialogue Brief. [Online]. Available from: http://www.stanleyfoundation.org/publications /pdb/R2PSPC2014PDB1114.pdf. [Accessed 16/12/19, 11:35am].

Ercan, P. G. and Gu ̈nay, D. 2019. ‘How can a ‘Responsible’ European Union Contribute to the Implementation of the Responsibility to Protect?’ European Review. 27(4). Pp. 490–505.

European Centre for the Responsibility to Protect (ECR2P). 2019. ‘Eritrea.’ [Online]. Available from: https://ecr2p.leeds.ac.uk/research-2/r2p-in-brief/erit rea/. [Accessed 11/12/19, 11:55am].

European Commission (EC). 2015. ‘A European Agenda on Migration – Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions.’ [Online]. Available from: https://ec.europa.eu/antitrafficking/sites/antitraffick ing/files/communication on the european agenda on migration en.pdf. [Access ed 14/12/19, 4:45pm].

European Commission (EC). 2017. ‘The New European Consensus on Development ‘Our World, Our Dignity, Our Future.’ [Online]. Available from: https://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/new-european-consensus-development-our-world-our-dignity-our-future en. [Accessed 18/12/19, 4:23pm].

European External Action Service (EEAS). 2018a. ‘EU Responsibility to Protect – Atrocity Prevention Toolkit.’ [Online]. Available from: https://eeas.europ a.eu/delegations/un-new-york/64721/eu-statement-%E2%80%93-united-nation s-general-assembly-debate-responsibility-protect-and-prevention en. [Accessed 19/12/19, 11:20am].

European External Action Service (EEAS). 2018b. ‘EU-Myanmar Relations.’ [Online]. Available from: https://eeas.europa.eu/headquarters/headquarters-homepage en/4004/EU-Myanmar%20relations. [Accessed 13/12/19, 8:30am].

European Parliament (EP). 2009a. ‘Resolution of 17 December 2009 On violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo.’ [Online]. Available from: https://www.e uroparl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TAamp;reference=P7-TA-2009-0118 amp;language=EN. [Accessed 15/12/19, 9:50am].

European Parliament (EP). 2009b. ‘Resolution of 26 November 2009 on a political solution to the problem of piracy off the Somali coast.’ [Online]. Available from: https://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//TEX T+TA+P7-TA-2009-0099+0+DOC+XML+V0//ENamp;language=EN. [Acces sed 19/12/19, 10:20am].

European Parliament (EP). 2011. ‘Resolution of 11 May 2011 on the development of the Common Security and Defence Policy following the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty.’ [Online]. Available from: https://www.europarl.europa.eu /sides/getDoc.do?reference=P7-TA-2011-0228amp;type=TAamp;language=EN amp;redirect. [Accessed 12/12/19, 5:05pm].

European Parliament (EP). 2013. ‘Report with a proposal for a European Parliament recommendation to the Council on the UN principle of the ‘Responsibility to Protect’ (‘R2P’).’ [Online]. Available from: https://www.europarl.europa. eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//TEXT+REPORT+A7-2013-0130+0+D OC+XML+V0//EN. [Accessed 09/12/19, 12:02pm].

European Union (EU). 2006. ‘The European Consensus on Development.’ [Online]. Available from: https://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/sites/devco/files/publica tion-the-european-consensus-on-development-200606 en.pdf. [Accessed 11/12/1 9, 10:50am].

European Union (EU). 2007. ‘European Consensus on Humanitarian Aid.’ [Online]. Available from: https://ec.europa.eu/echo/who/humanitarian-aid-and-civil-protection/european-consensus en. [Accessed 11/12/19, 10:40am].

European Union (EU). 2008. ‘Report on the Implementation of the European Security Strategy: Providing Security in a Changing World’. [Online]. Available from: https://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms data/docs/pressdata/en/ reports/104630.pdf. [Accessed 11/12/19, 2:50pm].

European Union (EU). 2009. ‘UN General Assembly 64 th Session: EU Committed to the concept of Responsibility to Protect’. [Online]. Available from: http://register.consilium.europa.eu/pdf/en/09/st10/st10809.en09.pdf. [Accessed 08/12/19, 3:22pm].

European Union (EU). 2016a. ‘UN Human Rights Council – 26th Special Session – Human Rights in the South Sudan: Statements on behalf of the EU.’ [Online]. Available from: https://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/un-geneva/17208/un-human-rights-council-26th-special-session-human-rights-south-sudan en. [Accessed 22/12/19, 7:45pm].

European Union (EU). 2016b. ‘Shared Vision, Common Action: A Stronger Europe: A Global Strategy for the European Union’s Foreign And Security Policy.’ [Online]. Available from: https://eeas.europa.eu/sites/eeas/files/eugs review w eb 0.pdf. [Accessed 15/04/2020, 12:02pm].

European Union (EU). 2018. ‘Debate on “the responsibility to protect and the prevention of genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.’ [Online]. Available from: https://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/un-new-york/47293/node/47293 ka. [Accessed 11/12/19, 1:24pm].

European Union (EU). 2019. ‘From Vision to Action: The EU Global Strategy in Practice – Three years on, looking forward.’ [Online]. Available from: https://eeas.europa.eu/topics/eu-global-strategy/64034/vision-action-eu-global-strategy-practice-three-years-looking-forward en. [Accessed 15/04/2020].

Evans, G. 2004. ‘When is it Right to Fight?’ Survival, Vol.46, Iss.3. Pp.59-81.

Evans, G. 2008. ‘The Responsibility to Protect: An Idea Whose Time Has Come . . . and Gone?’ International Relations. 22(3). Pp.283–298.

Finnemore, M., and Sikkink, K. 1998. ‘International Norm Dynamics and Political Change’. International Organization. 52(4). Pp.887-917.

Ford, S. 2010. ‘Is the Failure to Respond Appropriately to a Natural Disaster a Crime Against Humanity? The Responsibility to Protect and Individual Criminal Responsibility in the Aftermath of Cyclone Nargis.’ Denver Journal of International Law and Policy. 38. Pp.227-277.

Franklin, J. C. 2015. ‘Human rights naming and shaming: International and domestic processes.’ In Friman, H.R. (Ed.). ‘The Politics of Leverage in International Relations’. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Frelick, B. 2016. ‘Is Turkey Safe for Refugees?’ Policy Review March 2016. [Online]. Available from: http://www.policyreview.eu/is-turkey-safe-for-refugees. [Accessed 14/12/19, 4:45pm].

Gallagher A. 2015a. ‘The Responsibility to Protect Ten Years on from the World Summit: A Call to Manage Expectations’. Global Responsibility to Protect. 7(3-4). Pp.254-274.

Gallagher, A. 2015b. 39;The Promise of Pillar II: Analysing International Assistance Under the Responsibility to Protect.’International Affairs. 91(6). Pp.1259-1275.

Genser, J. 2018. 39;The UN Security Council’s Implementation of the Responsibility to Protect: A Review of Past Interventions and Recommendations for Improvement.39; http://www.globalr2p.org/media/files/un-security-council-application-of-r2p-jared-genser.pdf

Georgieva, K. 2011. ‘Statement on the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Misrata’. [Online]. Available from: http://eu-un.europa.eu/articles/en/article10981 en.html. [Accessed 14/12/19, 11:45am].

Gifkins, J. 2012. ‘The UN Security Council Divided: Syria in Crisis’, Global Responsibility to Protect. 4(3). Pp.377-393.

Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect (GCR2P). 2017. ‘International justice and the bones of the Rohingya.’ [Online]. Available from: http://www.gl obalr2p.org/publications/616. [Accessed 17/12/19, 4:45pm].

Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect (GCR2P). 2019. ‘Syria.’ [Online]. Available from: http://www.globalr2p.org/regions/syria. [Accessed 14/12 /19, 9:10am].

Gottwald, M. 2012. ‘Humanizing security? The EU’s Responsibility to Protect in the Libyan crisis’. FIIA Working Paper. Helsinki: The Finnish Institute of International Affairs.

Graubart, J. 2013. ‘R2P and Pragmatic Liberal Interventionism: Values in the Service of Interests’. Human Rights Quarterly. 35(1). Pp.69-90.

Green, P., MacManus, T. and de la Cour Venning, A. 2018. ‘Genocide Achieved, Genocide Continues: Myanmar’s Annihilation of the Rohingya.’ London: International State Crime Initiative.

Haacke, J. 2016. ‘Myanmar’. In: Bellamy, A.J. and Dunne, T. (Eds). ‘The Oxford Handbook of the Responsibility to Protect.’ Oxford: Oxford University Press. Pp.801–824.

Haddad, E. 2010. ‘EU Migration Policy: Evolving Ideas of Responsibility and Protection.’ Global Responsibility to Protect. 2(1). Pp.91-6.

Haslett, B. 2014. ‘No Responsibility for the Responsibility to Protect: How Powerful States Abuse the Doctrine, and Why Misuse Will Lead to Disuse.’ North Carolina Journal for International Law and Commercial Regulation. 40(4). Pp.170-216.

Hehir, A. 2012. ‘The Responsibility to Prevent: The last Refuge of the Unimaginative?’ In: Hehir, A. (Ed.). ‘The RtoP: Rhetoric, Reality and the Future of Humanitarian Intervention’. London: Palgrave.

Hehir, A. 2013. ‘The Responsibility to Protect as the Apotheosis of Liberal Teleology.’ In: Hehir, A. and Murray, R.W. (Eds.). ‘Libya, The Responsibility to Protect and the Future of Humanitarian Intervention.’ New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee (HoCFAC). 2018. Global Britain: The Responsibility to Protect and Humanitarian Intervention.’ [Online]. Available from: https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmselect/cmfaff/ 1005/1005.pdf. [Accessed 17/12/19, 7:45pm].

Human Rights Council (HRC). 2014. ‘Report of the commission of inquiry on human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.’ https://www.ohchr. org/en/hrbodies/hrc/coidprk/pages/reportofthecommissionofinquirydprk.a spx

International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (ICISS). 2001. ‘Report of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty: The Responsibility to Protect, 2001.’ [Online]. Available from: http://responsib ilitytoprotect.org/ICISS%20Report.pdf. [Accessed 07/12/19, 10:15am].

Jean-Robert, H. 2012. ‘Sarkozy, the Mediterranean and the Arab Spring’. Contemporary French and Francophone Studies. 16(3). Pp.405–415.

Keukeleire, S. and Delreux, T. 2014. ‘The Foreign Policy of the European Union.’ (2 nd Edition). Basingstoke, Palgrave.

Khadiagala, G.M. 2014. ‘South Sudan: The Perils of New States.’ E-International Relations. [Online]. Available from: http://www.e-ir.info/2014/04/15/south-sudan-the-perils-of-new-sta tes/. [Accessed 21/12/19, 5:20pm].

Lantis, J. S., and Wunderlich, C. 2018. ‘Resiliency dynamics of norm clusters: Norm contestation and international cooperation.’ Review of International Studies. Vol.44, Iss.3. Pp.570–593.

Maletta, G. 2019. 39;Legal challenges to EU member states’ arms exports to Saudi Arabia: Current status and potential implications.39; [Online]. Available from: https://www.sipri.org/commentary/topical-backgrounder/2019/legal-cha llenges-eu-member-states-arms-exports-saudi-arabia-current-status-and-potenti al. [Accessed 21/12/19, 5:45pm].

Manners, I. 2006. ‘Normative Power Europe Reconsidered.’ Journal of European Public Policy. 13(2). Pp.182–99.

Manners, I. 2008. ‘Normative Ethics of the European Union’. International Affairs. 84(1). Pp.45–60.

MacFarlane, S., Thielking, C., and Weiss, T. 2004. ‘The Responsibility to Protect: Is Anyone Interested in Humanitarian Intervention?’ Third World Quarterly. 25(5). Pp.977-992.

Mogherini, F. 2018. ‘Statement by HR/VP Federica Mogherini on the International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of the Crime of Genocide and of the Prevention of this Crime’. [Online]. Available from: https://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/nigeria/55057/statement-hrvp-federica-mog herini-international-day-commemoration-and-dignity-victims-crime en. [Access ed 16/12/19, 11:54am].

Morris, J. 2015. ‘The Responsibility to Protect and the Great Powers: The Tensions of Dual Responsibility.’Global Responsibility to Protect. 2(4). Pp.398–421.

Murray, R.W. 2013. ‘Humanitarianism, Responsibility or Rationality? Evaluating Intervention as State Strategy’. In: Hehir, A., and Murray, R. (Eds.). ‘Libya, the Responsibility to Protect and the Future of Humanitarian Intervention’. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Newman, E. 2017. ‘The Limits of Liberal Humanitarianism in Europe: The ‘Responsibility to Protect’ and Forced Migration’. European Review of International Studies. 4(2-3). Pp.59-78.

Newman, E., and Stefan (formerly Badescu), C.G. 2019. ‘Normative Power Europe? The EU’s Embrace of the ‘Responsibility to Protect’ in a Transitional International Order.’ Journal of Common Market Studies, 2019. Pp. 1–19.

Office for the High Commissioner for Refugees (OHCHR). 2016. ‘26th special session of the Human Rights Council on the human rights situation in South Sudan.’ [Online]. Available from: https://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/SpecialSessions/Sessio n26/Pages/26thSpecialSes sion.aspx. [Accessed 21/12/19, 3:45pm].

Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). 2019. ‘Yemen: Collective failure, collective responsibility – UN expert report.’ [Online]. Available from: https://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/Pages/NewsDetail.asp x?NewsID=24937amp;LangI D=E. [Accessed 21/12/19, 7:45pm].

Oppenheim, B. 2019a. ‘Europe Is at War Over Arms Exports.’ [Online]. Available from: https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/09/18/europe-is-at-war-over-arms-exports/. [Accessed 21/12/19, 6:25pm].

Oppenheim, B. 2019b. ‘You Never Listen to Me: The European-Saudi Relationship After Khashoggi.39; [Online]. Available from: https://www.cer.eu/publica tions/archive/policy-brief/2019/you-never-listen-me-european-saudi-relationshi p-after. [Accessed 21/12/19, 6:07pm].

Pace, M. 2007. ‘The Construction of EU Normative Power’. Journal of Common Market Studies. 45(5). Pp.1041–1064.

Panebianco, S. 2016. ‘The Mediterranean Migration Crisis: Border Control Versus Humanitarian Approaches.’ Global Affairs. 2(4). Pp.441–445.

Panebianco, S., and Fontana, I. 2018. ‘When responsibility to protect ‘hits home’: the refugee crisis and the EU response.’ Third World Quarterly. 39(4). Pp.1-17.

Pantuliano, S. 2014. ‘Donor-Driven Technical Fixes Failed South Sudan: It’s Time to Get Political.’ [Online]. Available from: http://reliefweb.int/report/ south-sudan-republic/donor-driven-technical-fixes-failed-south-sudan-it-stime-get-political. [Accessed 22/12/19, 3:35pm].

Paris, R. 2014. ‘The ‘Responsibility to Protect’ and the Structural Problems of Preventive Humanitarian Intervention.’International Peacekeeping. 21(5). Pp.569-603.

Powers, M. 2015. ‘Responsibility to protect: dead, dying, or thriving?’ The International Journal of Human Rights. 19(8). Pp.1257-1278.

Ralph, J. 2014. ‘Mainstreaming the responsibility to protect in UK Strategy.’ [Online]. Available from: https://www.una.org.uk/r2p-report-2-mainstreaming-responsibility-protect-uk-strategy-professor-jason-ralph. [Accessed 15/12/19, 12:50pm].

Ralph, J. 2018. ‘What Should Be Done? Pragmatic Constructivist Ethics and the Responsibility to Protect.’ International Organization. 72(1). Pp.173-203.

Ralph, J., and Gallagher, A. 2015. ‘Legitimacy Faultlines in International Society: The Responsibility to Protect and Prosecute After Libya’. Review of International Studies. 41(3). Pp.553–73.

Ralph, J., and Gifkins. J. 2017. ‘The Purpose of Security Council Practice: Contesting Competence Claims in the Normative Context Created by the Responsibility to Protect.’European Journal of International Relations. 23(3). Pp.630–53.

Ralph, J., and Souter, J. 2017. ‘Introduction: The Responsibility to Protect and the Refugee Protection Regime.’ Ethics amp; International Affairs. 31(1). Pp.47–50.

Reiff, D. 2011. ‘R2P, R.I.P.’ [Online]. Available from: https://www.nytimes.com /2011/11/08/opinion/r2p-rip.html. [Accessed 08/12/19, 2:33pm].

Rossi, C.P. 2016. The International Community, South Sudan and the Responsibility to Protect.’ New York University Journal of International Law and Politics. 49(1). Pp. 129-180.

Seligman, L. 2019. ‘Kurdish Commander Calls on Trump to Prevent ‘Ethnic Cleansing.’ [Online]. Available from: https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/12/16/kur dish-commander-mazloum-abdi-trump-prevent-ethnic-cleansing-kurds-turkey/. [Accessed 23/12/19, 5:55pm].

Shannon, V. (2000). ‘Norms Are What States Make of Them: The Political Psychology of Norm Violation’.International Studies Quarterly. 44(2). Pp.293-316.

Smith, K.E. 2018. ‘The EU and the Responsibility to Protect in an Illiberal Era’. Dahrendorf Forum: IV Working Paper. London: LSE Ideas.

Souter, J. 2014. ‘Towards a Theory of Asylum as Reparation for Past Injustice.’ Political Studies. 62(2). Pp.326-342.

Southwick, K. 2015. ‘Preventing Mass Atrocities against the Stateless Rohingya in Myanmar: A Call for Solutions’. Journal of International Affairs. 68(2). Pp.137–156.

Specia, M. 2018. ‘383,000: Estimated Death Toll in South Sudan’s War.’ [Online]. Available from: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/26/world/africa/south-sudan-civil-war-deaths.html. [Accessed 09/12/19, 10:35am].

Spencer, Z. 2012. ‘The Responsibility to Protect after Libya and Syria.’ Melbourne Journal of International Law. 13. Pp.1-35.

Staunton, E., and Ralph, J. 2019. ‘The Responsibility to Protect norm cluster and the challenge of atrocity prevention: an analysis of the European Union’s strategy in Myanmar’. European Journal of International Relations. 00(0). Pp.1–27.

Task Force on the EU Prevention of Mass Atrocities (TFotEUPoMA). 2013. ‘The EU and the prevention of mass atrocities: An assessment of strengths and weaknesses.’ Budapest: Budapest Centre for the International Prevention of Genocide and Mass Atrocities.

UN News. 2017. ‘UN Human Rights Chief Points to “Textbook Example of Ethnic Cleansing” in Myanmar.’ [Online]. Available from: https://news.un.org/en /story/2017/09/564622-un-human-rights-chief-points-textbook-example-ethnic-cleansing-myanmar. [Accessed 19/12/19, 11:35am].

UN Security Council (UNSC) . 2011. ‘Monthly Briefing on Libya.’ [Online]. Available from: https://www.secu ritycouncilreport.org/un-documents/docum ent/libya-s-pv-6566.php. [Accessed 15/12/19, 4:45pm].

UN Security Council (UNSC). 2011. ‘The Situation in Libya.’ [Online]. Available from: https://www.securitycouncilreport.org/atf/cf/ %7B65BFCF9B-6D27-4E9C-8CD3-CF6E4FF96FF9%7D/Libya%20S%20PV% 206528 .pdf. [Accessed 15/12/19, 4:25pm].

UNICEF. 2015. ‘Libya: Humanitarian Situation Report.’ [Online]. Available from: http://www.unicef.org/ appeals/files/UNICEF Libya Sitrep March 2015. pdf. [Accessed 17/12/19, 11:24am].

United Nations (UN). 2009. ‘Implementing the Responsibility to Protect, Report of the Secretary-General.’ UN Doc. A/63/677. New York: United Nations. [Online]. Available from: https://www.un.org/ruleoflaw/blog/document/report-of-the-secretary-general-implementing-the-responsibility-to-protect/. [Accessed 09/12/19, 1:05pm].

United Nations (UN). 2011a. ‘Resolution 1970 (2011). Adopted by the Security Council at its 6491st meeting, on 26 February 2011.’ UN Doc. S/RES/1970. [Online]. Available from: https://www.undocs.org/S/RES/1970%20(2011). [Accessed 21/04/2020, 5:04pm].

United Nations (UN). 2011b. ‘Resolution 1973 (2011). Adopted by the Security Council at its 6491st meeting, on 26 February 2011.’ UN Doc. S/RES/1973. [Online]. Available from: https://www.undocs.org/S/RES/1973%20(2011). [Accessed 21/04/2020, 5:10pm].

United Nations (UN). 2011c. ‘The Role of Regional and Sub-Regional Arrangements in Implementing the Responsibility to Protect.’ UN Doc. A/65/877.UNSG. [Online]. Available from: http://www.responsibilitytoprotect.org/FINAL%20rep ort%20summary%202011(2).pdf. [Accessed 08/12/19, 9:50am].

United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). 2005. ‘UN World Summit Outcome Document.’ UN Doc. No.A/RES/60/1. New York: United Nations.

United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). 2016. ‘Global Trends: Forced Displacement in 2015.’ Geneva: UNHCR.

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). 2018. ‘The Refugee Brief – 11 October 2018.’ [Online]. Available from: https://www.unhcr.org/refug eebrief/the-refugee-brief-11-october-2018/. [Accessed 19/12/19, 12:39pm].

United Nations Press Release. 2013. ‘Statement by Adama Dieng, United Nations Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, and Jennifer Welsh, United Nations Special Adviser on the Responsibility to Protect, on the Situation in South Sudan, 24 December’. [Online]. Available from: http://www.un.org/en/g enocideprevention/documents/media/statements/2013/English/2013-12-24-Sta tement%20on%20South%20Sudan.pdf. [Accessed 22/12/19, 9:20pm].

United Nations Press Release. 2017. ‘Statement by Adama Dieng, United Nations Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, on the Situation in South Sudan’, 6 February.’ [Online]. Available from: http://www.un.org/en/genocide prevention/documents/Statement%20S%20Sudan%20Kajo-Keji.pdf. [Accessed 22/12/19, 8:45pm].

Van Rompuy, H. 2011. ‘Address by the President of the European Council, H.E. Mr Herman Van Rompuy, at the 66th United Nations General Assembly General Debate, 22 September’ [Online]. Available from: http://eu-un.europa.eu/articles/en/article 11407 en.htm. [Accessed 12/12/19, 7:30pm].

Welsh, J.M. 2011. ‘Civilian Protection in Libya: Putting Coercion and Controversy Back into RtoP.’ Ethics amp; International Affairs. 25(3). Pp.255-262.

Welsh, J.M. 2013. 39;Norm Contestation and the Responsibility to Protect.’ Global Responsibility to Protect. 5(4). Pp.365–396.

Welsh, J.M. 2014. ‘Fortress Europe and the Responsibility to Protect: Framing the Issue.’ European Union Institute Forum. [Online]. Available from: https://www.eui.eu/Documents/RSCAS/PapersLampedusa/FORUM-Welshfin al.pdf. [Accessed 14/12/19, 2:20pm].

Welsh, J.M. 2019. ‘Norm Robustness and the Responsibility to Protect.’Journal of Global Security Studies. 4(1). Pp.53–72.

Wouters, J. and De Man, P. 2013. ‘The Responsibility to Protect and regional organisations: The example of the European Union.’ Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies, Working Paper 101. Pp. 4–27.

Zarni, M. and Cowley, A. 2014. ‘The Slow-Burning Genocide of Myanmar’s Rohingya.’ Pacific Rim Law and Policy Journal. 23(3). Pp.681–752.

A Critical Analysis of the Strengths and Limitations of the Responsibility to Protect in the Central African Republic Between 2013-2017

Claudia Broadhead, University of Leeds

Claudia Broadhead graduated from Leeds University in 2018 with a First-Class Honours in English and History of Art. She currently works in Refugee Support at the British Red Cross.

Abstract

This paper will discuss the material implications of the UN Responsibility to Protect in the Central African Republic (CAR), a country which since March 2013 has seen ongoing internal conflict. The paper concentrates on the international community’s response to mass atrocities in CAR from 2013 until 2017. The evocation of R2P as a response to the situation on the ground in CAR has resulted in consensual intervention by the EU and UN. This essay will focus on three dimensions of the R2P norm: its shift from a Westphalian to a liberal interpretation of sovereignty, its nature as a tool that is ultimately driven by international political will, and the role of R2P to facilitate support between the international community and the state’s governing body. The paper will use these three facets to evaluate the success of R2P in CAR and concludes that the limitations of the UN norm outweigh its strengths as a tool to prevent and protect mass atrocity crimes.

The Central African Republic (CAR) has seen an eruption in renewed violence and ongoing atrocities since March 2013, with its situation further deteriorating from late 2016. In brief, the crisis emerged with the predominantly Muslim rebel group Séléka fighting to overthrow the corrupt Bozizé government, which resulted in the formation and subsequent retaliation by the mostly Christian anti-balaka militias. Both rebel groups, as well as armed forces and civilian mobs have committed mass atrocity crimes (UNSC Resolution 2134, 2014, p.1). The instrumentalisation of religion and ethnicity have been central to the human rights violations, however, it is imperative to emphasize that the crisis is far more complex, and fundamentally propelled by political groundings (Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, 2014). The international community has repeatedly responded to the violence in CAR: France has intervened multiple times since CAR’s independence in 1960, and in April 2014 the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) was established as the third UN mission in 20 years (Cinq-Mars, 2015, p. 7). In 2005, the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) was endorsed into the World Summit Outcome Document as a global norm, following its introduction as a principle in the 2001 International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (ICISS) report (ICISS). At the heart of R2P, there are three pillars of responsibility: pillar one stipulates that foremost it is the duty of the state to protect its population from genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing; pillar two indicates that if a state fails, it is the responsibility of the international community to assist; and pillar three specifies that if peaceful means are inadequate and the state is manifestly failing to protecting its population, the international community must take action in a ‘timely and decisive manner’ in accordance with the UN Charter (United Nations General Assembly, 2005, p. 30).  The UN Security Council (UNSC) has invoked R2P 18 times concerning CAR since R2P’s adoption in 2005 through UN Resolutions that emphasise the commitment of the international community to resolving the country’s conflict.

This essay will argue that despite ongoing international efforts to protect populations from widespread human rights violations in CAR, the limitations of R2P outweigh its strengths. The argument will develop by looking firstly at how R2P’s reconfiguration of sovereignty gives states the opportunity to discuss and act, but how this universal shift of sovereignty has failed to be effective in CAR. Secondly, once this opportunity to help has been created, R2P is flawed in its dependence on political will; the lack of vested interest in CAR has led to slow missions that fail to address the systematic and root issues of the human rights abuses. Thirdly, once states do commit to investing in the protection of a threatened population, R2P instructs the international community to assist, in the case of CAR, a corrupt and problematic government, and gives unprecedented power to peacekeepers that is poorly monitored and has led to bad practice on the ground.

The impact of R2P’s reconfiguration of sovereignty in CAR

First proposed in the 2001 ICISS report, utmost sovereignty under the first pillar of R2P was redefined as a conditional right reconfiguring Westphalian sovereignty which dictates the absolute right of state leaders to control their own territory, condemning outside interference on all levels (Cohen and Deng, 2016, p. 88). This shift of the notion of sovereignty to a more liberal orientation can be regarded as a key strength of the norm in reference to CAR because it allows states to discuss and act in situations of widespread human rights violations. Although the report emphasised the value of sovereignty, it stipulated that states had a responsibility to protect their populations and under specific circumstances of state failings to do so, the principle of non-intervention could be overruled (Glanville, 2016, p. 160). In CAR, ‘the successive ruling elites and their entourage never demonstrated any sense of responsibility or accountability towards the populations they were meant to administer’ (UNSC, 2015, p. 27). Widespread human rights violations had been occurring in CAR for a prolonged time, and the failure of the state to lead and take responsibility for its population is a well-recognised cause of the conflict (UNSC, 2015, p. 28). The reconceptualization of sovereignty has led to the international community playing a role in efforts to alleviate the heinous conflict. R2P is therefore a progressive concept in that it encourages states to discuss human rights atrocities across the world, reshaping international relations to prioritise populations threatened by mass atrocity crimes. Jennifer Welsh (2013, p. 368) argues that R2P has been a success because it has altered state behaviour to ‘consider a real or imminent crisis’. Although norm cascade theory set out by Finnermore and Sikkink (1998) is problematic in its assertions, it is useful as a starting point because Welsh (2013, p. 379) contends that R2P has passed its emergence, and is now in the phase of ‘cascade’ and ‘diffusion’ whereby sates are beginning to ‘consistently act on the norm’s precepts’. With reference to CAR, this is evidenced by the 18 UN Resolutions that have been invoked since 2005 in response to the crisis. The recalling of resolutions to support the population of CAR demonstrates how the international community is beginning to consult the norm as a method of international responsibility concerning the four crimes. States are therefore beginning to adopt R2P as worldwide diplomatic language which ensures mass atrocity crimes are considered and discussed, leading to supportive and consented state intervention in extreme situations of widespread human rights violations, as seen in CAR.

In contestation, the liberal shift of sovereignty from its traditional sense under R2P threatens the unconditional right of states, surfacing the threat of interference by international actors. The African Union (AU) is formed of states committed to traditional sovereignty meaning the language of R2P has not been widely adopted by the regional organisation; R2P as a universal principle is therefore flawed in its failure to accommodate for the unique states in Africa (Aning and Atuobi, 2011, p. 16). The AU is an essential component of effective multilateral support. However, due to R2P’s insistence on conditional state sovereignty, the AU has failed to appropriately encourage and assist CAR when mass atrocity crimes have occurred, as articulated by pillar II. Regional organisations are a fundamental aspect of translating R2P practically onto the ground, particularly due to the organisation having an understanding of the dynamics and relations in the area they act within (Aning and Okyere, 2016, p. 355). Article 4(g) of the AU Constitutive Act is a non-interference clause, ‘virtually turning R2P on its head by approaching protection from the vantage point of state regimes rather than the potential victims’ (Aning and Okyere, 2016, p. 363). Therefore, R2P’s reconfiguration of sovereignty is limited in the context of CAR in that the non-conformist states have impacted the role of the AU as an assisting organisation in response to the occurrence of the four crimes in CAR. Despite the AU’s authorisation of the deployment of troops to the African-led International Support Mission to CAR (MISCA) in July 2013, the operation failed to provide sufficient support to protect CAR’s populations from mass atrocity crimes that have continued to exist (Cinq-Mars, 2015, p. 13). A 2014 statement by the UN Secretary-General (Ki-Moon, 2014a) asserted that the 3,500 assigned AU troops were not sufficient to implement MISCA’s mandate. We can identify this as a lack of commitment by the AU to intervene in CAR, compromising the strength of R2P as a globalised norm. The UNSG (Ki-Moon, 2011a, p. 3) notes that R2P should ‘respect institutional and cultural difference from region to region’, while advocates of the global norm emphasise the pragmatic step at the heart of R2P in that it is invoked on a ‘case-by-case’ approach. Critiquing this however, we can use Adejo’s (2001, p. 136) analysis to note that due to old norms of absolute sovereignty, non-interference continues to exist within the institutional framework which has allowed state failings to obstruct AU intervention. Despite the deployment of AU troops to MISCA, their effectiveness was poor due to the insufficient size of the group which suggests the AU’s unwillingness to engage fully with R2P, and thus the mission has had very limited success in protecting threatened populations in CAR.

The failure of R2P to protect a country which has little international interest 

Despite Welsh’s (2013) nuanced approach that celebrates R2P as a norm that has become integrated into international diplomatic language, close analysis of the impact R2P has had in response to the emergence of the four crimes in CAR reveals several limitations of the norm. Effective international assistance through prevention strategies under pillar II are ultimately dependent on the political will of states, particularly the state interests of the Security Council’s permanent five members (P5) (Hehir, 2015, p. 85). This critique of the global norm can be applied to CAR which has been described as a ‘phantom state’ (International Crisis Group, 2007). Cinq-Mars argues that the lack of exploitable resources in the country and the absence of ‘any meaningful institutional capacity’ has led to CAR being disregarded as a priority by the international community (2015, p. 6). Furthermore, due to the structure of the UNSC and the overriding power of the P5 in international decisions, in practice R2P is a concept whose power is vested in the Security Council (Davies and Bellamy, 2014). Aidan Hehir (2017, p. 335) challenges Welsh’s (2013) support of R2P as an integrated norm, instead asserting that the norm’s ‘impact on the behaviour of states has been limited’. R2P has not shifted state mind-sets because international response is fuelled by state interests whereby manipulation of the norm occurs for selfish means (Kowert and Legro, 1996, p. 493). States are given the ability to intervene; but this can lead to intervention for vested interests, or increased violence on the ground and bad practice of the interveners. The Geneva Peacekeeping Platform, an international centre that links experts with peacebuilding actors and facilitates discussion to drive greater knowledge and understanding of peacekeeping issues, reinforces this in relation to CAR, explaining that one factor of the failed peacebuilding efforts is the ‘overly negative and inherently flawed’ perception of the country (Akasaki et. al, 2015). Cinq-Mars (2015, p. 7) concludes that this view of CAR led to ‘reactive and belated’ responses. ‘Reactive’ demonstrates that with no political desire or ulterior motive, the international community prioritised short-term alleviation over the cost of tackling the root causes of the conflict. ‘Belated’ aligns with Hehir’s argument that R2P is a utopian norm because when states are unwilling to respond in a ‘timely’ manner R2P prevents the successful stabilisation of a failing state (Hehir, 2017, p. 340-41). Cinq-Mars (2015, p. 12) interviewed current and former UN staff who described CAR as a ‘punishment posting’ and ‘parking lot of the UN’, suggesting staff are abandoned there while the UN focuses on more important work. Turnover rates of UN staff in CAR are exceedingly high. The absence of exploitable resources and lack of a strong relationship between CAR and any members of the P5 has ultimately shaped the R2P response which has been inadequate in protecting civilians from mass human rights violations (Hehir, 2015, p. 93). CAR being regarded as a forgotten lost cause allows us to conclude with Hehir’s argument that the efficacy of R2P is ‘heavily dependent on political will, as opposed to legal procedure and judicial oversights’ (Hehir, 2015, p. 93).

The failure of the EU and UN to implement prevention and respond to credible early warnings

The lack of political will of states to fully invest in CAR can be identified by the reported failure of the UN and EU to respond to credible early warning systems and implement effective prevention strategies in CAR, and thus R2P has failed to efficiently protect the country’s population (Bellamy and Lupel, 2015, p. 2).  Although atrocity crimes are determined by a multitude of variable factors and conditions making them demanding and strenuous to prevent, prevention strategies including building national resilience, promoting human rights, and adopting targeted preventative measures have been outlined in the UNSG’s 2013 report on prevention and thus enshrined in pillar I and II of R2P (Ki-Moon, 2013). As Simon Adams (2013, p. 1), the Director of the Global Centre for R2P declares, ‘R2P is primarily a preventive doctrine’. Although Hehir (2012, p. 87) argues that the shift of emphasis from intervention in the ICISS report (2001) to prevention in the World Summit Outcome Document (2005) indicates R2P’s failure to impact law, procedure and regulating institutions, it is widely accepted that implementing preventive strategies has resulted in successful aversion from the four crimes (McLoughlin, 2014, p. 414). The UNSG’s 2013 report on prevention noted that early warning mechanisms to alert decision makers to situations that were on the brink of escalation were a vital aspect of atrocity prevention measures (Ki-Moon, 2013, p. 14). With regard to CAR, it was already in April 2013 when public calls were made by XXX for Muslim civilians to be wiped out (Cinq-Mars, 2015, p. 16) and in August 2017 the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator made a statement that concluded the early warning signs of genocide were visible and action must be taken immediately (O’Brian, 2017). The UN and EU have been heavily criticised for their slow and insufficient response to the rise of widespread human rights violations in CAR (Bellamy and Lupel, 2015, p. 2). The lack of political will to whole heartedly respond to the crisis is a reason for the insufficiency of the international community. Following the December 2013 attacks and warnings of ethnic cleansing, crimes against humanity and war crimes, EU ministers agreed in January 2014 to deploy an EU military operation (EUFOR RCA) in CAR (Council of the European Union, 2014). To ensure its rapid operation, EUFOR RCA was approved in UN Resolution 2134 (UNSC Resolution 2134, 2014, p.3). However, three months later, in March 2014, the already delayed EUFOR RCA mission still required another 500 troops for its deployment (Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, 2013). On the 9th April, a further three weeks later, troops from EUFOR RCA arrived in Bangui and an initial group of 55 begin patrolling (Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, 2013). Despite the grave warnings of widespread human rights violations from organisations on the ground in CAR, R2P’s lack of legal binding and dependence on political will has meant the UN and EU have been ineffective at translating agreements into practical action. The delay of deployment in the context of the crisis was shockingly high as without an ulterior motive troops were unlikely to be deployed to CAR. The EUFOR RCA mission was initially restricted to a mere six months, and it was centred in the capital of the country with no troops operating in other critically turbulent areas, therefore R2P’s dependence on political will has allowed conflict to intensify and lives to be lost.

The failure of R2P to address the structural underlying causes of instability in CAR

R2P has allowed the international community to provide short-term direct assistance and stabilisation but has failed to address the structural underlying causes of the occurrence of the four crimes. Again, the lack of political will of states to fully invest in CAR that has led to this. This can be illustrated through events in December 2013 where the UN pulled into action following an outbreak of violence, and although further mass killings were initially supressed, the intervention had short-lived preventative benefits but actually intensified inter-communal violence in the long-term (Cinq-Mars, 2015, p. 15). Early December 2013 saw widespread human rights abuses occur as anti-Balaka militias attacked former Séléka forces in Bangui, killing an estimated 1,000 people in an ethno-religious cleansing mission (Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, 2013). This was instantaneously followed by the UNSC adoption of Resolution 2127 authorising MISCA and the emergency deployment of French troops to take ‘all necessary measures’ to contribute to the ‘protection of civilians and the restoration of security and public order’ (UNSC Resolution 2127, 2013, p. 7). Unintentionally, international focus to disarm former Séléka rebels placed anti-balaka fighters in a position of superiority resulting in the forced displacement of Muslim civilians by anti-balaka in Bangui and western CAR (Øen, 2014, p. 32). The UN was heavily criticised for its insufficient role in the crisis, once source being the international humanitarian organisation Médecins Sans Frontières who released an open letter to the UN humanitarian system expressing its ‘deep concern about the unacceptable performance’ of UN agencies in CAR (Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, 2013). The peace missions deployed to CAR were criticised by Cinq-Mars (2015) for lacking the capacity to interrupt violence due to ill-equipped, under-trained and insufficiently supported operations. The structure of R2P as a non-legally binding concept that relies on state responsibility and voluntary assistance has meant that efforts in CAR have been fundamentally reactive, but not thorough investments to address the underlying causes of the conflict. Unfortunately, the international community has intervened in CAR under R2P in a very surface fashion which has lacked capacity, exacerbating violence in some regions and failing to structurally prevent widespread human rights violations due to the absence of addressing the root issues of the conflict.

The role Pillar II has had in supporting CAR’s corrupt government and giving unprecedented power to UN peacekeepers

Transcending beyond political will, even if states do commit to preventing and protecting the population from mass atrocity crimes, pillar II instructs the international community to support CAR’s government, who have been fundamental in fuelling the crisis and have taken part in widespread human rights violations themselves. Pillar II stipulates ‘the international community should as appropriate, encourage and help states to exercise their responsibility and support the United Nations in establishing an early warning system’ (United Nations General Assembly, 2005, p. 30). Its aim is to ensure international assistance helps a failing state to build the resilience to protect its population from the four crimes. In the 2009 UNSG report ‘Implementing the Responsibility to Protect’, Ban Ki-Moon claimed that pillar II is an ‘active partnership between the international community and the State’ and broke down the pillar into three categories: encouragement, capacity building, and assisting States (Ki-Moon, 2009, p. 15). Regarding the third dimension, Gallagher highlights how if those in power are the reason for the lack of ‘accountable political institutions, respect for the rule of law and equal access to justice, and mechanisms for the fair and transparent management of economic resources and assets’, then international assistance may legitimise those responsible for the crisis (Gallagher, 2009, p. 1274). Gallagher’s critique can be applied to the CAR case because it is the state who has played a leading role in fuelling conflict and committing human rights violations, and therefore it is controversial and highly problematic that the international community work side by side with CAR’s government. CAR has failed to be effectively governed by legitimate state authority since its independence in 1960. Bozizé, who ruled from 2003 to 2013, controlled a horrifically corrupt government, holding all the power and marginalising the northern and eastern regions of the country (Cinq-Mars, 2015, p. 6). Ostracising communities outside Bangui led to the rise of anti-government rebel fighters who are legitimately furious (Cinq-Mars, 2015, p. 6). Furthermore, Louisa Lombard (2014) notes that Bozizé engaged in the politicisation of religion which intensified tensions between religious groups, providing further ground for conflict. However, through the October 2013 UNSC Resolution 2088 and MINUSCA’s attempt to establish a legal framework, we can identify two distinct ways that the UN has assisted and ultimately legitimised a government that has manipulated relations and established hierarchy. Firstly, Resolution 2088 both ‘Urges the Government of the Central African Republic to ensure that freedom of expression and assembly, including for the opposition parties, as well as the rule of law are fully respected’, and ‘Demands that all armed groups cooperate with the Government in the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration process’ (UNSC Resolution 2088, 2013, p.3). The UN is encouraging CAR’s government to oversee commitment to human rights and law by all groups, and instructing armed groups to actively work with the government, legitimising it as an actor which holds power and control. Secondly, with the support of MINUSCA there has been efforts to re-establish the court system, yet the UNSG emphasises the rebel group individuals convicted, suggesting elite figures in the corrupt CAR state have continued unscathed (Ki-Moon, 2018, p. 7). Rebel armed groups were responsible for 33% of all human rights abuses, yet the national police and State led military are responsible for 25% of violations (Ki-Moon, 2018, p. 9). Furthermore, in April 2014, Russia and China blocked a proposal by the United States and France at the UNSC to impose targeted sanctions against three individuals, including former President Bozizé (Charbonneau and Nichols, 2014). International assistance in the way of establishing courts and prison systems, although fundamental in establishing a democratic and well-governed State, legitimises the mass human rights violations of the State by majoritively condemning the rebel groups. We can therefore critique R2P as a norm that encourages the international community to aid state’s that are key players in the cause of conflict.

Once states commit to supportive military intervention in the form of peacekeeping, which aims to protect populations at risk, R2P provides unprecedented power to peacekeepers and does not enshrine rigid training and monitoring, which has led to power being misused and abused, and ultimately R2P has created opportunities for bad practice on the ground in CAR.  Prevention by definition ‘involves a bi-lateral dynamic’ (Hehir 2015, p. 91), but accusations of sexual abuse by peacekeepers has hugely weakened the reputation of the military operations (Arieff, 2014).  Hehir’s work on prevention informs us that in the case of CAR the groups planning the attack must be dissuaded by the international community in order for prevention to be successful (2015, p. 91). However, there have been repeated accusations of sexual abuse, many cases involving children, by troops associated with French, AU and UN intervention which has ruptured any sense of trust or working relationships between the armed groups and the peacekeepers. An October 2017 Amnesty International news article reported that UN peacekeepers in Bambari drugged and sexually assaulted a young woman in CAR (Amnesty International News, 2017). The atrocious actions of the UN peacekeeper in this specific case were taken to court and the victim was restored with some form of justice (Amnesty International News, 2017). However, Amnesty (2017) reports that no other allegations of rape involving UN troops, despite the ‘continuous stream of well-documented’ claims, have been criminally investigated. The lack of a strategic framework and rigid monitoring following international assistance and intervention on the ground has allowed peacekeepers to heinously misuse their powerː despite training modules and mobile training teams being used to ensure peacekeepers understand their role in protecting civilians, this is evidently not enough (Ki-Moon, 2014b, p. 17). The UNSG’s 2014 report emphasises ways to identify at risk groups and increase protection capacity for vulnerable women, although this progress is vital, it fails to acknowledge the continuous allegations against peacekeepers themselves and how this can be combatted in the future (Ki-Moon, 2014b, p. 17). The misuse of power by certain troops has been a contributing factor to the failure of the international community to protect CAR’s populations from the four crimes. R2P is thus limited in that it does not ensure rigid training and monitoring of practice on the ground, allowing assault to occur which has jeopardised the success of prevention and restoration missions in CAR.

Conclusion

R2P is advocated for by scholars as a progressive norm that has encouraged conversation about human rights atrocities and has reshaped thought to further prioritise the lives of mass atrocity victims in international relations. However, this article has argued that in the context of the ongoing crisis in CAR, the limitations of R2P outweigh its strengths. There are two key strands of critique that this essay has negotiated, one in reference to the wording of the norm, and another in relation to how R2P is put into practice and interpreted. On one hand, the R2P discourse reconceptualises sovereignty in pillar I and instructs the international community to assist the manifestly failing state in pillar II. These stipulations have meant the African Union has had minimal input in restoring CAR due to its framework tied to legalities of traditional sovereignty. Furthermore, the rest of the international community has been involved in supporting and actively assisting the corrupt CAR government which is criticised for being the catalyst of the entire crisis. On the other hand, the non-legally binding norm has been able to be exploited in its invocation by states and their troops. R2P is dependent on the political will of states to offer their resources and services to protect populations threatened by the four crimes, it is therefore able to be abused in situations of state interest or allied relations which has led to the crisis in CAR being insufficiently responded to by the international community. On a more granular level, the authority that the peacekeepers have has been horrifically misused due to the absence of rigid training and monitoring efforts, which has weakened the opportunity for peacebuilding relations between international troops and local armed groups. Ultimately, R2P creates opportunities for states to help populations threatened by genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing. Nevertheless, its nature as non-legally binding allows states to act most effectively and efficiently in cases of vested interest, while once states do commit to assist, R2P threatens to further violence and legitimise bad practice.

Bibliography

Adejo, A. M. 2001. From OAU to AU: New Wine in Old Bottles?. African Journal of International Affairs. 1(1&2), pp. 119-141.

Akasaki, G., Ballestraz, E.  and Sow, M. 2015. What Went Wrong in the Central African Republic? Geneva Peacebuilding Platform. Paper 12. [Online]. [Accessed 3 May 2018]. Available from: https://www.gpplatform.ch/sites/default/files/PP%2012%20-%20What%20went%20wrong%20in%20the%20Central%20African%20Republic%20-%20Mar%202015.pdf

Amnesty International News. 2017. CAR: Fresh Evidence UN Peacekeepers Drugged and Raped Young Woman. [Online]. [Accessed 24 April 2018]. Available from: https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2017/10/car-fresh-evidence-un-peacekeepers-drugged-and-raped-young-woman/

Aning, K. and Atuobi, S. 2011. ‘Application of and Responses to the Responsibility to Protect Norm at the Regional and Subregional Levels in Africa: Lessons for Implementation’. In: The Stanley Foundation, The Role of Regional and Subregional Arrangements in Strengthening the Responsbility to Protect. New York: The Stanley Foundation, pp. 12-18.

Aning, K. and Okyere, F. 2016. ‘The African Union’. In: Bellamy, A. J and Tim Dunne. eds. The Oxford Handbook of the Responsibility to Protect. First Edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 355-372.

Arieff, A. 2014. Crisis in Central African Republic. Current Politics and Economics of Africa. 7(1). [Online]. [Accessed 6 May 2018]. Available from: https://www.offiziere.ch/wp-content/uploads/2014-01-27-221774.pdf

Bellamy, A. J. and Lupel, A. 2015. Why We Fail: Obstacles to the Effective Prevention of Mass Atrocity Crimes. New York: International Peace Institute

Charbonneau, L and Nichols, M. 2014. Exclusive: Russia, China block Central African Republic blacklist at U.N. Reuters. [Online]. [Accessed 1 May 2018]. Available from: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-centralafrica-un-sanctions/exclusive-russia-china-block-central-african-republic-blacklist-at-u-n-idUSBREA3M1GA20140423

Chomsky, N. 2000. A New Generation Draws the Line. New York: Verso Publishing.

Cinq-Mars, E. 2015. Too little, too late: Failing to prevent atrocities in the Central African Republic. Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect. [Online]. Occasional Paper Series 7.

Cohen, R. and Deng, F. M. 2016. ‘Sovereignty as Responsibility’. In: Bellamy, A. J and Tim Dunne. eds. The Oxford Handbook of the Responsibility to Protect. First Edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 74-93.

Council of the European Union. 2014. Foreign Affairs Council Meeting. Brusselsː Council of the EU. [Online]. [Accessed 24 May 2018]. Available fromː https://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/140666.pdf

Davies, S. and Bellamy, A. 2014. Don’t Be Too Quick to Condemn the UN Security Council Power of Veto. The Conversation. [Online]. [Accessed 9 May 2018]. Available from: https://the conversation.com/dont-be-too-quick-to-condemnthe-un-security-council-power-of-veto-29980

Finnemore, M. and Sikkink, K. 1998. International Norm Dynamics and Political Change. International Organisation. 52(4), pp. 887-917.

Gallagher, A. 2015. The Promise of Pillar II: Analysing International Assistance Under the Responsibility to Protect. International Affairs. 91(6), pp. 1259-1275.

Glanville, L. 2014. ‘Sovereignty’. In: Bellamy, A. J and Tim Dunne. eds. The Oxford Handbook of the Responsibility to Protect. First Edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 151-166.

Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect. 2013. Timeline of International Response to the Situation in the Central African Republic. [Online]. [Accessed 13 April 2018]. Available from: http://www.globalr2p.org/media/files/car-tl-jan-v2.pdf

Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect. 2014. Upholding the Responsibility to protect in the Central African Republic. [Online]. [Accessed 17 April 2018]. Available from: http://www.globalr2p.org/media/files/car-may-2014-brief.pdf

Hehir, A. 2012. ‘The Responsibility to Prevent: The Last Refuge of the Unimaginative?’. In: Hehir, A. The Responsibility to Protect. UK: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 87-118.

Hehir, A. 2015. The Viability of the “Responsibility to Prevent”. Politics and Governance3(3), pp. 85-97.

Hehir, A. 2017. “Utopian in the Right Sense”: The Responsibility to Protect and the Logical Necessity of Reform. Ethics and International Affairs. 31(3), pp. 335-355.

International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty. 2001. The Responsibility to Protect: Report of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty. Ottawa: The International Development Research Centre.

International Crisis Group. 2007. Central African Republic: Anatomy of a Phantom State Africa Report N°136. Nairobi and Brussels: International Crisis Group. [Online]. [Accessed 28 April 2018]. Available from: https://d2071andvip0wj.cloudfront.net/central-african-republic-anatomy-of-a-phantom-state.pdf

Ki-Moon, B. 2009. Implementing the Responsibility to Protect: Report of the Secretary-General. New York: UN. [Online]. A/63/677. [Accessed 28 April 2017]. Available from: http://responsibilitytoprotect.org/implementing%20the%20rtop.pdf

Ki-Moon, B. 2011a. ‘The Role of Regional and Sub-regional Arrangements in Implementing the Responsibility to Protect’. New York: UN. [Online]. A/65/877–S/2011/393. [Accessed 22 April 2018]. Available from: http://www.un.org/en/ga/president/65/initiatives/Report%20of%20the%20SG%20to%20MS.pdf

Ki-Moon, B. 2014a. ‘Secretary-General’s Remarks to the Security Council on the Situation in the Central African Republic’. New York: UN. [Online]. [Accessed 20 May 2018]. Available from: https://www.un.org/sg/en/content/sg/statement/2014-02-20/secretary-generals-remarks-security-council-situation-central

Ki-Moon, B. 2014b. Fulfilling Our Collective Responsibility: International Assistance and the Responsibility to Protect. New York: UN. [Online]. A/68/947–S/2014/449. [Accessed 16 May 2018]. Available from: http://undocs.org/A/68/947

Ki-Moon, B. 2018. Report of the Secretary-General on the Central African Republic. [Online]. S/2018/125. [Accessed 2 May 2018]. Available from: http://undocs.org/S/2018/125

Kowert, P. and Legro, J. ‘Norms, Identity and Their Limits: A Theoretical Reprise’. In: Katzenstein, P. J. ed. The Culture of National Security: Norms and Identity in World Politics. New York: Columbia University Press, pp. 474-498.

Lombard, L. 2014. Pervasive Mistrust Fuels CAR Crisis. Al Jazeera.

McLoughlin, S. 2014. Rethinking the Structural Prevention of Mass Atrocities. Global Responsibility to Protect. 6(4), pp. 407-429.

O’Brien, S. 2017. Statement to Member States on his 16-21 July 2017 Mission to the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. New York: UNOCHA. [Online]. [Accessed 23 May 2018]. Available from: https://www.unocha.org/statements/statement-member-states-his-16-21-july-2017-mission-central-african-republic-and

Øen, U. H. 2014. Protection of Civilians in Practice – Emerging Lessons from the Central African Republic. Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI). [Online]. [Accessed 20 May 2018]. Available from: https://www.ffi.no/no/Rapporter/14-01918.pdf

United Nations General Assembly. 2005. World Summit Outcome Document. New York: UN. [Online]. A/RES/60/1. [Accessed 2 April 2018]. Available from: http://www.un.org/en/development/desa/population/migration/generalassembly/docs/globalcompact/A_RES_60_1.pdf

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. 2018. Central African Republic Regional Refugee Response. [Online]. [Accessed 2 May 2018]. Available from:  https://data2.unhcr.org/en/situations/car

United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner. 2014. UN Team Documents Grave Human Rights Violations in CAR. [Online]. [Accessed 22 May 2018]. Available from: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=14167&LangID=E

United Nations Security Council. 2013. Resolution 2088. New York: UN. [Online]. S/RES/2088. [Accessed 26 April 2018]. Available from: http://www.un.org/en/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=S/RES/2088(2013)

United Nations Security Council. 2013. Resolution 2127. New York: UN. [Online]. S/RES/2127. [Accessed 20 April 2018]. Available from: http://unscr.com/en/resolutions/doc/2127

United Nations Security Council. 2014. Resolution 2132. New York: UN. [Online]. S/RES/2134. [Accessed 20 April 2018]. Available from: http://unscr.com/en/resolutions/doc/2134

United Nations Security Council. 2015. Report of the Advisory Group of Experts on the Review of the Peacebuilding Architecture. [Online]. [Accessed 1 May 2018]. Available from: http://digitallibrary.un.org/record/798480/files/A_69_968_S_2015_490-EN.pdf

Welsh, J. M. 2013. Norm Contestation and the Responsibility to Protect. Global Responsibility to Protect. 5, pp. 365-396.