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The responsibility to protect - from evasive to reluctant action? The role of global middle powers
6 November 2012

The publication of The Responsibility to Protect –– From Evasive to Reluctant Action? The Role of Global Middle Powers is the conclusion of a series of activities that started in 2011. Among the activities was a dialogue meeting to debate the many issues surrounding the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) concept from the perspective of four middle-power countries –– Germany, India, Brazil and South Africa (GIBSA) –– which are also aspiring permanent United Nations Security Council (UNSC) members.

The meeting, entitled ‘‘The Responsibility to Protect –– Views from South Africa, Brazil, India and Germany’’, took place on 7 June 2012 at the Institute for Security Studies in Pretoria and brought together some 80 participants. This assembly included high-ranking representatives of the foreign ministries of South Africa, Germany, India and Brazil, diplomatic personnel from these four embassies in Pretoria, representatives of international think-tanks from all participating countries, members of the South African parliament, scholars from Germany and South Africa, and civil society representatives.

In this publication, researchers from leading think-tanks in the four GIBSA countries present a variety of viewpoints on R2P. While the GIBSA countries demonstrate widespread support for R2P, there is no single overriding position. Many of their official standings mirror the arguments on R2P in the global discourse.

 

Considering the prominent role that GIBSA countries play in their respective regions and their increasing importance on a global level, this publication provides a fascinating insight into their debate on R2P, which, too often, is overshadowed by the views of the permanent members of the UNSC. In addition, two young scholars take a fresh look at R2P and add a new
dimension to the on-going dialogue.

 

The Responsibility to Protect –– From Evasive to Reluctant Action? The Role of Global Middle Powers aims to stimulate new thinking and to nurture a common understanding of the use and limitations of R2P. This discussion is urgently needed given that many internal conflicts are still being waged that put civilian populations at risk. We trust that this publication will make a small but important contribution in this regard.

On behalf of the co-publishers:

Dr Wolf Krug
Resident Representative
Hanns Seidel Foundation South Africa  

 

 

 

 

This publication was made possible through the generous support of the German Federal Foreign Office and its Institute for Cultural Relations.