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NTS Perspectives - Roadmap for the Responsibility to Protect (RtoP) in Asia: Personalities, Institutions and Processes (Issue No. 8)
Center for Non-Traditional Security Studies
February 2012
This issue of NTS Perspective assesses the challenges facing Asia in regards to the Responsibility to Protect and how to implement this norm on all levels, specifically the national level which includes non-state actors, ASEAN, civil society.
This NTS Perspectives investigates and evaluated the reception to, and relevance of, the RtoP with particular focus on Southeast Asia and the prospects for concrete actions on the RtoP mandate in Asia. (…)
The operationalization has been characterized by a running debate between those who focus on the RtoP as an escalating alert system, and those who view it more comprehensively as a series of longer term, capacity-building measures. The debate ignores the reality that the RtoP is a complex web of largely preventive and overwhelmingly pacific measures. The focus on capacity-building measures highlights the need for a credible early-warning system that identifies situations conducive to mass atrocity crimes to ensure a timely response. Indeed, in Asia, there are a range of mechanisms available to individuals and organisations wishing to file human rights-related complaints – the RtoP concerns itself with mass atrocity crimes, and thus fall within the broader human rights framework. (…)
In Asia…institutional capacity and structural governance issues need to be addressed first. (…) There are several avenues conducive to promoting the RtoP in Asia, and Southeast Asia in particular. However, they require capacity development at the national, regional and international levels. (…)
This NTS Perspectives investigate the normative development of the RtoP and its interaction with the prevailing dynamics in Asia, with a particular focus on Southeast Asia. (…) It appears clear that the RtoP notion is gaining traction and attention, whether it is through the success of its application to various incidents, its failure, or its misapplication. This NTS Perspectives looks at the development of the debate and identifies the challenges and prospects for the RtoP norm in Asia.
Read the full issue.

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