Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Dilemma of Humanitarian Intervention

"The crackdown by Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi on mass anti-regime protests in early 2011 resulted in strong condemnation by the international community. In a historic move, the UN Security Council invoked the principle of "responsibility to protect" and adopted Resolution 1973, endorsing a no-fly zone over Libya and authorizing member states to "take all necessary measures" to protect civilians under attack from Qaddafi's government. As a result, some Western countries, including the United States, began air strikes over Libya, which spurred a debate on whether forced intervention was warranted. Countries like Russia, China, Brazil, and India abstained from voting on the UN resolution, spotlighting the sensitive nature of the issue. Some states in Asia and Africa, especially former colonies, have long seen intervention of any kind as a threat to their sovereignty. This was evident in the divide that followed a devastating cyclone in Myanmar in May 2008. There have been some instances in the recent past where countries have opened up to outside aid in the aftermath of natural disasters, but sovereignty remains a sticking point". Click here to read the full text.

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