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The responsibility to Protect
Date: 01-12-2001
Author: ICISS INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION ON INTERVENTION AND STATE
www.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/iciss-ciise/report-en.asp

THE RESPONSIBILITY TO PROTECT
Report of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty

This report is about the so-called "right of humanitarian intervention": the question of when, if ever, it is appropriate for states for take coercive - and in particular military - action, against another state for the purpose of protecting people at risk in that other state. The Commission was asked to wrestle with the whole range of questions - legal, moral, operational and political - rolled up in this debate, to consult with the widest possible range of opinion around the world, and to bring back a report that would help the Secretary-General and everyone else find some new common ground.

The report's central theme is "The Responsibility to Protect", the idea that sovereign states have a responsibility to protect their own citizens from avoidable catastrophe, but that when they are unwilling or unable to do so, that responsibility must be borne by the broader community of states. We hope very much that the report will break new ground in a way that helps generate a new international consensus on these issues.
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