R2P in East and Southeast Asia

Master's Thesis, 2012
21 Pages

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction


3. R2P in Southeast Asia
3.1 Indonesia
3.2 Thailand

4. R2P in East Asia
4.1 China
4.2 Japan

5. Conclusion

6. References


First and foremost, I would like to thank my dear parents who have been supporting me in so many ways and made my studies at GRIPS possible. I’m most grateful to professor Keiichi Tsunekawa, my advisor who’s guidance was crucial in the development of this paper. Also I’m thankful to professor Jun Honna and Shinichi Kitaoka, their advice and teaching have been most helpful and encouraging. My sincerely felt thanks for all the support and kindness I received also goes to my host family (Hirata) in Wakayama. And last but not least I would like to thank my class mates and friends at GRIPS. The discussions with them were a source of inspiration, happiness and joy. Thank you for everything, dear friends.


Asian countries belong to the critics of the emerging R2P norm. Since its adoption through the UN General Assembly in 2005 neither has there emerged a champion in the region who would push the concept forward, nor have we seen clear support for R2P in the foreign diplomacy of Southeast and East Asian countries. Classically, the region’s strong adherence to the principle of non-interference is cited as the main reason for this fact. But such an understanding of the situation is incomplete. This paper examines two Southeast Asian countries (Indonesia, Thailand), two East Asian countries (China, Japan) and the regional body ASEAN in order to find out their positions on R2P in a more diversified fashion and it aims at understanding the obstacles and chances the norm faces in this region. The paper argues that the reception and the development of the concept within the region has been nonuniform and that no country refuses the preventive aspects of R2P but that they are (for different reasons) opposed to the so called third pillar, the interventionist part of the norm. In this respect the paper proposes the introduction of a “pillar 2.5”, which would mean emphasizing pillar three’s non-military aspects, in order to gain Southeast and East Asian nations broader support for R2P.

1. Introduction

The "responsibility to protect", or „R2P“ as it is usually referred to, is a new security concept in the international community that was formally introduced to the world through the 2001 ICISS report of the same name. In a nutshell, it advocates for the redefinition of the classical Westphalian concept of sovereignty from meaning that a state may do to its own people what ever it pleases to the understanding that a state has the responsibility to protect its own people from harm (ICISS, 2001/2). Additionally it incorporates the idea that in cases where a government is unable or unwilling to protect its people, the duty to protect falls collectively to the international community. (ICISS 2001/1). R2P was univocally accepted as a new concept by the United Nations at the 2005 UN world summit and mentioned in the summit outcome document under Article 138 and 139 (Capie, 2012). Its accepted core intention, to protect people from the four crimes of genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and crimes against humanity was thereafter also referred to by the security council in 2006 and 2009 and significantly enhanced again through the Secretary General‘s report on R2P in 2009 (Badescu, 2011). In his paper SG Ban Ki-moon introduced the notion of the three pillars of R2P:

1. Every nation bears the primary responsibility to protect it's people.

2. The international community has the responsibility to assist states in fulfilling pillar one.

3. In extreme cases, the international community bears the responsibility to protect people from the four crimes.

(Report of the Secretary General, 2009)

R2P has been praised by some as one of the fastest moving concepts in the history of the UN, whereas others like Sarkin (2009) see in it only a refined version of the older Humanitarian Intervention concept and predict its decline. In this paper, I will focus on the reception of the new concept within East and Southeast Asia through looking at the examples of Indonesia, Thailand, China, Japan and ASEAN. I want to develop an understanding for the underlying common trends as well as for the country specific differences in their approaches towards R2P and what doors this leaves open for the norm to further develop in this region. More precisely I will be making two arguments. Firstly, although R2P has been received with a lot of skepticism all over Southeast and East Asia, the reasons for this fact, as well as the subsequent development that the concept went through, has been nonuniform. Secondly through not only taking into consideration the official position of the respective governments, but also by taking a pragmatic look at the recent development of the mentioned countries when it comes to UN missions like peace keeping operations, I will be arguing that the R2P objectives of the first and second pillar are not being opposed by them and that additionally even what I call "pillar 2.5" might be achievable in the region.

2. ASEAN and R2P

Southeast Asian nations have traditionally been putting the principles of state sovereignty and non-interference at the core of their foreign policies. Hence the current situation is one where all of them are keen on emphasizing the right of every state to determine their internal matters by themselves (Morada, 2009). It comes therefore as no surprise that the new R2P concept has not been as well received in Southeast Asia as in other regions around the world. Despite the general agreement on R2P in the UN general assembly in 2005, as for now, there hasn't emerged a single country in this region that was willing to adapt R2P fully in its foreign diplomacy or to take the lead in disseminating the concept internationally (Capie, 2012). For this reason there has been some hope that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) could serve as an "approach from above" to pressure individual states to adhere to the commonly agreed R2P concept.

On a basic level, there has not been fundamental opposition from ASEAN when it comes to R2P in the form it was adopted by the UN General Assembly. All ASEAN members recognize the importance of preventing the four R2P crimes from happening. Even Mianmar, known for its notorious human rights abuses, has agreed on the importance of the principles of R2P (Lina, 2012).

But despite the support regarding the humanitarian fundaments of R2P, there has been considerable reluctance towards its interventionist component (Caballero-Anthony 2012). Mainly the internal instabilities that many ASEAN member states have been experiencing, such as separatist movements, religious clashes and political uprisings have made them fear the potential of R2P to be used against them by western developed countries to interfere in what they perceive as essentially internal affairs (Lina, 2012). It is in this sense that Kraisoraphong (2012, 5) holds that "(...) sovereignty concerns continue to dominate perspectives of member sates in the region and noninterference remains to be the dominant norms [sic] of ASEAN."

This is also unlikely to change, because of the institutional setup of ASEAN itself. In contrast to some other regional organizations as for example the EU or AU, ASEAN is only a relatively loose body with a low degree of integration. ASEAN member states did not give up any parts of their sovereignty in order to form this institution. On the contrary, the 2008 ASEAN charter strongly emphasizes the consensual decision making process, which reflects the groups strong opposition to surrender any form of state sovereignty or to accept majority vote standards. By using a consensus model in stead, each ASEAN member is effectively also a veto power, since any member can block joint decisions. In sum, this set-up of "the least common denominator" leads ASEAN to have weak institutions, a lack of bureaucratic capacity and no reinforcement mechanisms to press through common decisions (Hoffman & Nollkaemper, 2012). When it comes to R2P, this weak form of regional cooperation is amongst the biggest hurdles for the concept’s development in the Southeast Asian region. Bellamy (2011) notes that due to this multilateral approach centering around non-interference, ASEAN's deliberate lack of bureaucratic capacity is the main reason for the subsequent lack of tools like early warning systems, constructive mediation and, in general, a meaningful fashion to cooperate with the UN. The AICHR (ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights) is a good example for an institution that has been deliberately setup to be weak in order not to be able to pressure states on matters of Human Right standards (Morada, 2009). Kraft (2012) answers the question on weather or not the AICHR could possibly be used as point of entry for the promotion of R2P in ASEAN member states with a straight forward no. He only sees a possibility in using this Human Rights body in order to spread R2P's core intentions in terms of an ideology but not as a way to enforce it as a norm in Southeast Asia. For this institutional reason, that any ASEAN commitment can only be as strong as the most critical country of the group allows it to be, it is highly unlikely that R2P (especially its interventionist parts) can be enforced as a norm through ASEAN. Even if there were a majority of ASEAN states willing to implement the whole of it, as long as not all of them agree, no formal commitment will ever be adopted.

Against all of these institutional weaknesses it needs to be stressed thought that ASEAN is not completely powerless and that there are examples for successful intervention-like cases, where the forum was able to achieve policy changes of a member state. I would like to mention here the case of Myanmar and the cyclone Nargis in 2008. When this disaster struck the coastal area of the country, the military junta was not able to provide sufficient emergency relieve to its people but at the same time also refused to accept international assistance in the form of goods and personnel. This approach worsened the situation in the disaster area largely and it was feared that mass dying, due to the lack of food, clean water and medicine, could break out. It was in this situation, that ASEAN succeeded after weeks of fruitless international pressure to convince the Junta of allowing outside humanitarian assistance into the country (Haacke, 2008). Morada (2009, 241) calls ASEAN's engagement in this situation a "non-coercive intervention". This instance poofs that there is willingness after all on the side of the ASEAN institution to extend its power into its member countries in moments of humanitarian emergencies. The reason for ASEAN’s change of heart in this situation can be seen on the one hand in the heavy international pressure that had been put on Myanmar and ASEAN (Haacke, 2008).1 On the other hand ASEAN had in this situation an inherent interest in solving the issue, because apart form the humanitarian concerns for the victims "ASEAN risked losing its credibility had it continued to do ‘nothing’" (Asia Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, 2009, 54).

As this example shows, although ASEAN is probably not a suitable point of entry for R2P into Southeast Asia, there are possibilities for it to act and to achieve policy changes for humanitarian matters by member states and to work in accordance with R2P principles.

3. R2P in Southeast Asia

3.1 Indonesia

Let us now examine some countries individually and see what their approach towards R2P has been. As we have seen before, there is no clear support for the new concept among ASEAN member states, but looking at Indonesia reviles that although its officials are perceiving R2P as a concept similar to humanitarian interventions, to which they are opposed, there are several aspects of R2P that they do agree with: "(...) firstly, the first pillar on the responsibility of each state to protect populations; secondly, focus on the role in prevention and capacity-building rather than merely on the 'timely and decisive manner' through collective action based on the Chapter VII of the UN Charter; and thirdly, the role of regional organizations to assist the state to be able to perform their responsibility toward populations within the state." (Lina, 2012, 59). Lina (2012) also affirms that in terms of conflict resolution Indonesia has been playing an active role in ASEAN through proposing a Security Community and the establishment of ASEAN peacekeeping forces as well as its efforts to create a strong ASEAN commission on Human Rights (the former mentioned AICHR). Indonesia was not successful with all of these proposals, but they serve as strong examples for the countries proactive stance on R2P related matters.

Hence, what the Indonesian government seems to be reluctant with is solemnly the third pillar of R2P, which it fears for its potential to legitimize any sort of intervention in troubled regions around the world (Lina, 2012). But judging from Indonesia's active efforts for humanitarian concerns and regional security, it seems that it agrees on R2P's first and second pillar. According to Capie (2012) roughly the same stance is also true for Singapore, Vietnam and the Philippines. Together with Indonesia they are categorized by him as "R2P engaged" (Capie, 82) because although they might use R2P language, and even agree to the implementation of the first and second pillar, they are likely to oppose operationalization of the concept when it comes to concrete interventions to stop one of the four crimes, as regulated under pillar three.

While talking about Indonesia, I would like to highlight also a second most important front of support for R2P which should not go unnoticed; civil society. In the Indonesian case, civil society groups have been vocal regarding the implementation of R2P. NGO's like "KontraS" and "Imparsial" have been pressuring the government to adhere to R2P standards of the first pillar to guarantee the safety and human rights of all citizens (Lina, 2012). Furthermore, they have been urging the government to adhere to the second pillar and find ways to help other states in providing Human Security to their people. And in regard of the third pillar, some NGO's have even been proposing that Indonesia should be taking an active role in foreign conflicts and "intervene" in a non military way as a mediator in the conflict resolution process. For example, when the Thai government in 2004 silenced protests in Southern Thailand which resulted in 84 deaths, KontraS demanded that the Indonesian government took a more proactive role in this case to mediate in the conflict (Lina, 2012). Such a profound support for R2P's core ideas shows that although the official position of Indonesia might not be one of full support for the concept, it is far from being rejected in this country.

3.2 Thailand

In contrast to Indonesia, Thailand is less supportive of R2P. Capie (2012) has categorized it as a "fence sitter", meaning that the country is not in favor of the concept but does not oppose it neither. In fact Thailand is currently considered to be just “quite on the subject” (Asia-Pacific Center for the Responsibility to Protect, 2009, 53). Some efforts have been done recently to disseminate the concept through translations of core R2P texts or books in Thai language, aiming at spreading knowledge of the concept beyond the narrow circles of politics and academia, but Kraisoraphong (2012) holds that the concept has not yet gained widespread attention and that therefore no support for it has yet emerged from civil society.

This is not to say though, that R2P as an idea is being totally rejected in Thailand. Kraisoraphong (2012) has found that although there is no official talk about R2P from within the Thai government, looking at Thailand's military record of participation in UN led humanitarian interventions and peacekeeping operations, reveals that the country has participated in many such actions. Natural- and man made disasters are both in the list of cases in which the Thai government decided to support the UN and to deploy own troops under UN command. In fact, 14 times since 1950 the Thai military has been participating in humanitarian interventions as response to man made disasters. Therefore, taking a somewhat more pragmatic point of view, it can be argued that Thailand is embracing the underlying idea of R2P, the protection of civilians, just not under the R2P framework but in the form of peacekeeping missions (Kraisoraphong, 2012).

This raises the question why Thai politics hasn't been more responsive to the R2P concept if its actions reflect some form of support for R2P principles? Kraisoraphong (2012) provides us with two reasons for this circumstance. On the one hand the unsupportive attitude of military and civil leaders has to do, as in the case of Indonesia, with their unclarity about the concept. Because R2P is largely perceived under its pillar three meaning, as a norm that justifies military intervention for humanitarian reasons, Thai officials dealing with R2P related questions are largely oblivious to its differences with the already well known concepts of peacekeeping and humanitarian intervention. R2P in Thailand is therefore currently suffering from some confusion with other humanitarian concepts. On the other hand, there is also a considerable amount of fear that embracing R2P could turn out for Thailand to be a boomerang and that its own domestic challenges might be categorized one day as a R2P pillar three-type situation. In this respect it has to be considered that until 2006 Thailand was actually positive about R2P and even involved in its creation through its former foreign minister Surin Pitsuwan who was part of the ICISS advisory board (Asia-Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, 2009). This only changed when the country was suddenly plunged into instability after the rightwing leader Takshin Shinawatra was ousted from power through a military coup after which public uprisings for and against Shinawatra took place. Therefore, back in 2005 during the UN summit meeting Thailand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs spoke actually in favorable terms of R2P. But due to the mentioned subsequent internal instabilities, the country has not advanced its position on the R2P question ever since. What officials do not understand is that in such a case Thailand might even turn out to be a beneficiary of R2P's second pillar by receiving international aid in capacity building in order to deal in a peaceful manner with its uprisings and insurgencies. But Thailand has so far not been paying much attention to the potential benefits of pillar two but is mainly concerned that pillar three might someday be used against itself and that there might be an international intervention on its territory (Kraisoraphong, 2012).

4. R2P in East Asia

4.1 China

If we now move away from ASEAN countries, to East Asia, we will find even more contrast. China for example has been much more skeptical towards R2P than the ASEAN nations. Although it has accepted the basics of R2P, not only in the 2005 world summit at the UN general assembly but also in 2006 and 2009 as a member of the security council, it has major reservations against the reinterpretation of the classical sovereignty concept (Prantl & Nakano, 2011).

The Chinese non-interference principle dates back to the 1950's and although it has been repeatedly broken, as for example during Chinas intervention in the Korean war or its war against Vietnam. Teitt (2008, 213) called Chinas official position a "steadfast commitment to noninterference", as for example articulated through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs who holds that "Countries should resolve their disputes and conflicts peacefully through consultations and not resort to the use or threat of force. Nor should they interfere in others' internal affairs under any pretext." (Ministry of Foreign Affairs). Because the preservation of the non-intervention norm is one of the key issues in Chinas international agenda, it has therefore little intention to support a concept that advocates for limits to that paradigm. When it comes to interventions, the official Chinese position is that they should only be considered in instances when international peace and security are at risk, but not in cases where a member state is experiencing internal conflict (Bellamy, 2011). It emphasizes that the protection of human life and human rights is the responsibility of individual states towards their population and that other states can merely assist it in doing so but should never interfere in an other state on such grounds (Tiewa, 2012). Prevention, it argues, is the best form of protection. For our purposes we can therefore conclude form these observations that China’s foreign policy principles actually align with the UN efforts to actualize R2P's pillar one and two, although it excludes pillar three.

Several scholars have been arguing though that this way of looking at China's stance on foreign intervention does not render it complete justice. Firstly, China, just like Thailand, has been taking part in a great deal of international peacekeeping operations. Throughout the past 20 years it has been involved in multilateral peacekeeping operations in intrastate conflicts. All of these instances are of such nature that the Security Council mandated interventions in the name of international peace and security but the underlying cause, Teitt (2008) argues, have been humanitarian objectives. China’s active participation in such efforts have been mounting to the situation that it has become the second largest contributor of peacekeeping troops among the Security Council's five permanent members (Pang, 2009). Secondly, it also officially approves of more international interventions these days in its function as a permanent member of that UN body.

For example, China has shifted its position on the Darfur case from non-intervention to active support for a binding resolution by the council and on the same line, its decision not to veto-down resolution 1973 (non-fly zone over Libya in 2011) is an other example for its support of interventions for humanitarian reasons, even if not outspokenly (Tiewa, 2012).2 And thirdly, but maybe most importantly, there have been several occasions in which China did make use of its veto in the Security Council, but at the same time tried to coerce the concerned parties into responsible actions. To cite at this place only one example, Teitt (2009) tells us that although China has openly opposed sanctions against Sudan, back in 2008, its special envoy to Sudan, Zhai Jun, had met with the Sudanese foreign minister warning him that if Sudan was not willing to stop the ongoing humanitarian disaster, sanctions would eventually be applied. She calls this kind of political mediation attempts China's new "willingness to use its leverage to influence regimes on affairs it previously considered the unscrutinised terrain of a sovereign state." (Teitt, 2009, 114).

What these observations tell us is that although the non-interference principle is an integral part of China's foreign policy, on a multilateral level there is at least some willingness to accept interventions either through political pressure or, in extreme cases, even through the acceptance of international interventions. This should not make us think though that China is actually a supporter of R2P or might be one in the near future. Recent development in its policy stance towards the concept rather suggest that China is trying to minimize the impact the R2P concept has on the international community. For example it strongly disagreed with the proposal of the ICISS report to empower the UN general assembly to authorize coercive measures, including military once, against a state committing one of the four R2P crimes. China advocates that such measures should only remain within the competences of the security council, of which it is one of five veto powers (Tiewa, 2012).3 Whenever it comes to the interventionist component of R2P, China is trying to contain this part as far as possible. It stresses much more the conflict-preventive side of R2P and wishes the concept to be interpreted mainly through the first and second pillar.

4.2 Japan

Moving to a neighboring country, Japan has had reservations against R2P as well but changed its position recently. Japan's concerns arose not from opposition to the idea of sovereignty as responsibility but from diplomatic and internal obstacles. Two factors played a role in this situation. Firstly Japan viewed R2P as a rival to its long standing commitment to promote the concept of Human Security (HS) as a new international norm. Since the early 1990's Japan had been working on this approach in order for it to reconcile its engagement in international affairs with its peace constitution that forbids the country to use military means in order to solve international conflicts and bars it from possessing a conventional army (the constitution only allows for "Self-defense Forces" that may not be deployed outside the country for combat). The Human Security concept was therefore Japan's way of gaining more influence in international security matters and, as Honna (2012) writes, was motivated by the idea to change the security discourse and allow Japan more say even in a forum like the UN security council. Hence, when R2P emerged as an alternative and overlapping security concept but included interventionist ideas, Japan was not willing to give up its HS approach. "The emergence of R2P thus carried the threat of sidelining Japan and highlighting the limits of its participation in contrast to Human Security that played to Japan's strengths in capacity building and allowed it to remain within its comfort zone of international participation." (Honna, 2012, 109).

Secondly, it has been feared that endorsing a more interventionist concept like R2P on the international level, could lead to unwanted and (to some extend) dangerous changes in national policy regarding Japan's army. According to Prantl and Nakano (2011) non-militarism is a "local normative framework" that prevents Japan from endorsing the R2P concept instead of the Human Security approach. The fear that R2P could be abused by pro-militarist politicians inside the country to pressure for less constitutional constrains on the Japanese military are what kept broader support for it from emerging. And it was believed that even if Japan found some form of workaround to reconcile its constitution with sending troops abroad, this might cause domestic disputes as well as criticism from neighboring states that used to suffer from Japans militarism during WWII (Honna, 2012).

Japan’s reluctance towards R2P changed only little when in 2005 the General Assembly endorsed Japan's Human Security concept alongside R2P. Japanese top politicians like prime minister Yasuo Fukuda announced as late as 2008 that Japan's main focus in international security affairs is only on humanitarian and reconstruction assistance (Prantl & Nakano, 2011). Nevertheless, when, in the same year, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon visited Tokyo and stressed that Human Security was an integral part of R2P and Japan therefore an important partner in disseminating the norm in Asia, Japans resistance started to soften. The UN Secretary General stressed explicitly that there exists a strong connection between Human Security and R2P, namely that the former added to the preventive side of R2P. Capacity building, early warning systems, collaboration with regional partners and other conflict preventive goals were all amongst the common objectives of the Human Security approach as well as the R2P concept, Ban Ki-moon said (Honnah, 2012). By doing so, he called to Japan’s attention that HS and R2P are not rivals but complements. Also, through deemphasized R2P's pillar three he made it clear that supporting pillar one and two was a most valuable and welcomed contribution. Therefore Japan found itself suddenly in a position where through the incorporation of its Human Security approach into R2P neither its longstanding commitment to HS was threatened anymore nor had it to fear that supporting R2P would mean a break in its constitutional commitment to pacifism because it would be able to point to its accepted Human Security principles (Honna, 2012).

Therefore, emphasizing that R2P is not only about military intervention, but just as much about prevention and capacity building, allowed Japan to significantly switch its position. Although Japan is still no vocal supporter of the R2P norm (there is still little incentive to proactively do so) Japan is today much more sympathetic to the R2P concept than it used to be a decade ago (Honna, 2012).

5. Conclusion

From these observations, we can draw two conclusions.

1. R2P in East and Southeast Asia has been going through a nonuniform development.

2. All analyzed countries by and large agree with pillar one and two, but reject pillar three of R2P. However, getting them to endorse "pillar 2.5" might be a realistic goal for the proponents of the norm.

humanitarian intervention discussion and is being largely rejected as an official norm. On the other hand when it comes to pragmatic humanitarian issues, Thailand has proven to be a supporter of the UN and has a long record of contributing to UN peacekeeping missions. The same goes also for China, which similarly to Thailand does not support R2P, but even more strongly rejects the idea that the international community has a responsibility to intervene in other countries if a humanitarian situation is purely domestic. China is in this respect utterly unwilling to give up its official foreign policy of strict non-intervention.

This leads us to conclusion number two. Clearly the worst case outcome for the future development of the R2P discussion in Asia would be the total rejection of the norm. Especially since we have seen that non of the analyzed countries opposes pillar one or two. All of them agree that it is primarily individual state's responsibility to protect their population and that the international community should assist countries in their capacity building process to this end. What they oppose is the third pillar which is the idea that there are certain extreme circumstances, namely the four crimes of genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity, which legalize international military intervention. It seems that this aspect of the R2P norm overshadows the fact that R2P is a broad concept and a comprehensive approach towards people centered security.

The solution of this fundamental problem for China, Thailand, Indonesia and even for pacifist Japan to fully endorse the concept might be the fostering of a more diversified understanding of pillar three. If it was possible to convince Asian nations that intervention might also be understood in the sense of political intervention and that accepting R2P does not imply the imperative of intervening militarily, but might mean that their countries merely commit to doing everything in their power in order to halt mass atrocities through political intervention, then it might be possible to lift the negative veil of the third pillar and gain acceptance for the whole R2P norm. Actually, Ban Ki-moon has stressed the various middle ways of pillar three himself in his report on the implementation of R2P: "Though widely discussed, pillar three is generally understood too

narrowly. (...) if the international community acts early enough, the choice need not be a stark one between doing nothing or using force. A reasoned, calibrated and timely response could involve any of the broad range of tools available to the United Nations and its partners." (Report of the Secretary General 2009, 9). Ban Ki-moon addresses in this short passage the core of the problem of pillar three. Because as we have seen, just as R2P in general is often being misunderstood as solemnly meaning humanitarian interventions, pillar three is suffering from the shadow of its most exceptional meaning of military intervention. But pillar three can mean much more than only this form of intervention. Practically it could mean for example active mediation, political pressure or track two diplomatic efforts. What I’m therefore proposing, in order to bring this diversity of pillar three more clearly to mind, is the creation of what we could call “pillar 2.5”, a dedicated approach between pillar two type prevention and pillar three type intervention. As we have seen this approach is not even illusionary, because ASEAN (e.g. in Myanmar) as well as China (e.g. in Sudan) made already use of their political power at several occasions in order to pressure a regime to adhere to the rules of the international community and to protect its citizens' lives. Similarly, in Indonesia civil society groups there have already been urging the government to be an active mediator during an internal conflict in Thailand. Hence it seems not impossible to win these stakeholders for more commitment in peaceful conflict resolution abroad.

In sum, by emphasizing pillar 2.5 proponents of R2P might be able to convince asian nations to finally support the R2P norm after all. Thereby it might be possible to make good use of their wholehearted commitment to pillar one and two and even have their political power on board in case of emergency.

6. References

Asia-Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect. (2009). The Responsibility to Protect in Southeast Asia. Retrieved July 21, 2012 from http://www.r2pasiapacific.org/documents/ r2p_in_southeast_asia.pdf.

Bellamy, J. A. (2011). Global politics and the responsibility to protect, from words to deeds. New York: Routledge.

Badescu, C. G. (2011). Humanitarian intervention and the responsibility to protect, security and human rights. London and New York: Routledge.

Caballero-Anthony, M. (2012). The responsibility to protect in Southeast Asia: opening up spaces for advancing Human Security, The Pacific Review, 25:1, 113-134

Capie, D. (2012). The responsibility to protect norm in Southeast Asia: Framing, resistance and the localization myth. The Pacific Review, 25:1, 75-93.

Haacke, J. (2009). Myanmar, the responsibility to protect, and the need for practical assistance, Global Responsibility to Protect, 1, 156-184.

Hoffman, J., Nollkaemper, A. (Eds.). (2012). Responsibility to protect: From principle to practice. Amsterdam: University Press.

Honna, J. (2012). Japan and the responsibility to protect: coping with Human Security diplomacy, The Pacific Review, 25:1, 95-112.

International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty. (2001/1). The responsibility to protect, Ottawa: International Development Research Centre.

International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty. (2001/2). The responsibility to protect. Research, Bibliography, Background. Ottawa: International Development Research Centre.

Kraft, H. (2012). RtoP by increments: the AICHR and localizing the responsibility to protect in Southeast Asia, The pacific Review, 25:1, 27-49.

Kraisoraphong, K. (2012). Thailand and the responsibility to protect, The Pacific Review, 25:1, 1-25.

Lina, A. (2012). Indonesia and the responsibility to protect, The Pacific Review, 25:1, 51-74.

Manni, R., & Weiss, T. G. (2011). R2P’s missing link, culture, Global Responsibility to Protect, 3, 451-472.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China. (2003). China's independent foreign policy of peace. Retrieved July 2, 2012 from http://www.fmprc.gov.cn/eng/wjdt/wjzc/t24881.htm.

Morada, N. M. (2009). The ASEAN charter and the promotion of R2P in Southeast Asia: Challenges and constraints, Global Responsibility to Protect, 1, 185-207.

Pang, Z. (2009). China's non-intervention question, Global Responsibility to Protect, 1, 237-252.

Prantl, J., Nakano R. (2011). Global norm diffusion in East Asia: How china and japan implement the responsibility to protect, NTS Working Paper, 5, Singapore: RSIS Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies.

Report of the Secretary-General. (2009). Implementing the Responsibility to Protect, United Nations, 63ed session.

Sarkin, J. (2009). Why the responsibility to protect (R2P) as a doctrine or (emerging) norm to prevent genocide and other massive human rights violations is on the decline: The role of principles, pragmatism and the shifting patterns of international relations. Politorbis, 47, 51-64.

Teitt, S. (2009). Assessing polemics, principles and practices: China and the responsibility to protect, Global Responsibility to Protect, 1, 208-236.

Tiewa, L. (2012). China and responsibility to protect: maintenance and change of its policy for intervention, Pacific Review, 25:1, 153-173.


1 At one point, France even officially mentioned the possibility of an international military intervention in Myanmar under R2P’s third pillar principle.

2 The recently ongoing conflict in Syria puts this interpretation though in doubt.

3 This proposal has also not found its way into the 2005 world summit outcome document, but instead the dominance of the SC over military measures has been reaffirmed (Tiewa, 2012).

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R2P in East and Southeast Asia
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A Policy Paper Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts in Public Policy
east, southeast, asia
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Pascal Lottaz (Author), 2012, R2P in East and Southeast Asia, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/298727


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