Protection of Civilians and the Veto Powers

Kristoffer Lidén (PRIO) and Simon Reid-Henry (PRIO/Queen Mary’s)

Wikimedia Commons

Ideally, improved understandings of the impact of international PoC practices, as sought by the case studies of Work Package 1, would result in the revision of current policies and their implementation. In order to be realistic, such revisionist efforts also require an understanding of the political preconditions for these policies, in addition to the institutional conditions analyzed in sub-project 2.1. The commitment of the veto powers of the Security Council (US, Russia, China, France and UK) to the Protection of Civilians is an essential factor in this regard. The official positions of these countries on PoC have been played out in the Security Council in recent debates on issues like the crises in Libya and Syria and war crimes in Sri Lanka, as well as in more general debates on PoC and ‘the responsibility to protect’. This project takes on the interpretation and comparison of selected debates, seen against the background of expert interviews and analyses of the actual behaviour of the veto powers in the realm of the protection of civilians.