By Hannah Sarokin and Brandon Golfman
The 90s were a time of multiculturalism, grunge music, Friends, and the world-wide web. It was also a decade marked by devastating humanitarian crises, including widespread sexual and gender-based violence. From Rwanda to the Balkans, mass conflict and genocide rattled global security and peace processes and shed light on the resounding failure of the international community to act. The principle of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) was born from such atrocity.
First addressed by the UN during the World Summit in 2005, R2P is the collective recognition that protecting vulnerable civilians from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and crimes against humanity is both a domestic and international obligation. The three pillars of R2P oblige states to protect their populations from such atrocities, require the international community to assist in that protection, and if a state has failed, other states must take appropriate actions to intervene. Despite a unanimous commitment to R2P at the World Summit, there remains a severe gap in domestic implementation, especially in regards to gender.