The United Nations Secretary-General's report on pillar three of the responsibility to protect (RtoP), "Responsibility to Protect: Timely and Decisive Response," is the most interesting, timely, and decisive of his four reports thus far on the RtoP. To start with, the subject matter of pillar three – the international community's potentially coercive responses to humanitarian crises, including humanitarian intervention – is the most controversial part of the RtoP doctrine and the area that has attracted the most criticism from skeptics. Previous reports, such as Implementing the Responsibility to Protect(2009), gave pillar three, and humanitarian intervention in particular, fairly short shrift, focusing instead on the far less controversial issues, such as capacity-building, assistance, and early warning. What is most striking about this new report is its forthrightness on several issues around the RtoP and humanitarian intervention that have, either in previous years or in recent times, been highly contested in both academic and policy circles.

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