• Jenny Skov Christensen
During the 1990´s the world experienced an increase in intra-state wars in countries such as, Kosovo, Rwanda, Darfur, Somalia, etc., and with it, a significant rise in support for military intervention on humanitarian grounds. Thus, the international community soon engaged in a massive debate regarding whether they had a role to play when it came to preventing such atrocities or not, and if so, how to properly respond. Subsequently, in 2001, the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty presented a report titled the Responsibility to Protect and in 2005 the concept was agreed upon by all member states of the UN, including the five permanent members of the UN Security Council. The UN member states thereby affirmed their commitment to protect populations from gross violations on human rights. Nevertheless, since 2005 the concept has been widely argued, mainly due to its third pillar which contains the possibility of military intervention on humanitarian grounds. In 2011, the Syrian civil war broke out and has following left Syrian civilians in crucial pain. Several international norms have been breached, such as the protection of human rights and the use of chemical weapons, which has led to devastating consequences for Syrian civilians. Nevertheless, intervention by the UN Security Council has been missing. Thus, this dissertation seeks to research why there has been no UN Security Council intervention into the Syrian civil war, despite the UN´s concept of the Responsibility to Protect.
The dissertation will begin with the introduction followed by an overview of the methodological framework. Following, the theoretical framework will be introduced, namely realism and liberalism. After this, the dissertation will provide an introduction of the Responsibility to Protect and the dilemmas associated with it, including the conversies surrounding the notion of humanitarian intervention. This will be followed by a short introduction of the UN Security Council and its primary role in international politics. Hereafter, an short overview of the Syrian civil war and how it initially began will be provided. Subsequently an analysis will be conducted, following a discussion on the findings of the analysis. This will be followed up with a conclusion stating that the missing intervention by the UNSC has primarily been due to a dominance of national interests in the UNSC, particularly those of Russia and China. Furthermore, it has been concluded that Russia carries a distrust towards humanitarian intervention, especially when conducted by western states, and last it will be concluded that the changing world order and the influence of emerging states, such as China and Russia, have caused a divide between the P5 in the UNSC, and prohibits them from carrying out their Responsibility to Protect in Syria.
Publication date15 Feb 2018
Number of pages57
ID: 268614369