The adoption of the concept of “Responsibility to Protect” (RtoP) by the Heads of State and Government in the September 2005 United Nations World Summit was a historic landmark which has generated great attention as a potentially powerful instrument to impede humanitarian tragedies. Yet much has been missing, or misinterpreted, in the public discussion of this emerging norm. Some fear that RtoP could be abused by powerful countries to intervene in developing nations alleging altruistic motives, while others believe that RtoP is already a rule of customary international law that should be applied unconditionally and without delay in the face of any humanitarian crisis in the world. To make it workable in real life, the concept must be saved from friends and foes by narrowing its focus and turning RtoP as operational as possible so as to effectively implement it, in line with what global leaders decided in 2005.

© Heraldo Muñoz. All rights reserved.

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