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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2905

"Responsibility to Protect"-an enhancement of sovereignty : Deva amendment adopted by MEPs

Strasbourg, 20 December, ( ‘Responsibility Protect’, an extension to the sovereignty of a country was adopted on Thursday in the European Parliament. Nirj DevaNirj Deva

Nirj Deva, MEP "For the first time in International law, since the Treaty of Westphalia was agreed in 1648, a new definition of the interpretation of international law was passed in the European Parliament today, which affirmed that the protection of the citizens of a country by its government is a fundamental determinant of whether or not that country is sovereign."

"Sovereignty now requires that governments must be able to demonstrate that they can control their borders, that these borders are defined and mutually recognized, that the writ of the government runs within that territory and now also that the government can protect its citizens."

The new law which affirms the protection of its citizens by the country emphasizes: 1. Supports "Responsibility to Protect" as affirmed by the UN in order to reinforce rather than undermine state sovereignty and stresses that the EU and its Members States should regard themselves as bound by it; stresses that "Responsibility to Protect" should be considered as a means to promote human security; by stressing that the primary responsibility for the prevention of genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity against a population lies with the state itself, reinforces the responsibility of each government towards the protection of its own citizens; considers, however, that where governments are unable or unwilling to provide such protection then the responsibility to take appropriate action becomes the collective responsibility of the wider international community; notes further that such action should be preventive as well as reactive, and only involve the use of coercive military force as an absolute last resort; recognizes this as an important new application of the principle of human security;

"It is now the duty of the international community to be responsible to protect the citizens of that country if the government is unable or unwilling to do so - thereby reinforcing the sovereign nature of that state. Now, protecting the citizens of the state and building capacity to protect means building the sovereign capacity of the state."

"This report states that the duty of a neighbouring country is to assist its neighbours in protecting their citizens when they have proven unable to do it themselves. This is common when disaster strikes, but now, under this new interpretation of Responsibility to Protect, the onus of responsibility moves to first the neighbouring countries to assist, according to their ability, and then on to the international community."

- Asian Tribune -

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