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Responsibility to Protect

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In many instances of ‘ethnic cleansing,’ government officials themselves have committed these atrocities on its citizens but U.N. regulations prohibit external interventions into the internal dealings of a nation. Therefore, the power of the international community has proved impotent while thousands suffer. In September of 2005, the world leaders assembled at the U.N. The largest such gathering of heads of state in history produced the ‘responsibility to protect’ document in which 150 signatures were attached. The nations of the world agreed “to take collective action, in a timely and decisive manner, through the Security Council, in accordance with the UN Charter … on a case by case basis and in cooperation with relevant organizations as appropriate, should peaceful means be inadequate” (Rasul, 2005). Since the end of World War II and the Nazi’s implementation of the ‘final solution,’ the phrase, ‘never again’ has echoed throughout the world, but genocide has occurred over and over again. The responsibility to protect is an agreement late in coming. It has not curbed the violence in Darfur and its complex implications have not existed without continued debate and controversy.
The ‘Responsibility to Protect’ provides that a country cannot refuse assistance or support from other countries when it cannot or will not safeguard its citizens from genocide or other actions deemed as a crime against humanity. All nations’ sovereignty is respected as is their ability to conduct their own affairs but this is a qualifying condition, not one that is considered absolute. “When peaceful means are exhausted and leaders of a UN member state is ‘manifestly failing to protect their populations,’ then other states have the responsibility to take collective action through the Security Council” (O’Neill, 2006).&nbsp.