Mass Violence and Atrocities | Readout and Recommendations

Taking Stock of the Responsibility to Protect in the Asia-Pacific

April 2015


Ten years after the adoption of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) in the World Summit Outcome document, a gap remains in understanding the ways different regions work to implement R2P.

This policy dialogue brief reflects the outcomes at a meeting to identify the gaps, challenges, and opportunities related to R2P implementation in Asia. The Stanley Center held this meeting with experts, government officials, and civil society representatives on February 25, 2015, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Important gaps include:

  • Lack of awareness among diplomats and publics regarding mass atrocity issues.
  • Platforms for sharing prevention tools and lessons learned by actors in the region.
  • Understanding how issues such as natural disasters, terrorism, and wealth inequality affect R2P.

Challenges include:

  • China’s growing role in many regional issues renders it indispensable on many R2P-related matters.
  • Participants discussed the hesitation in Asia to discuss R2P due to the fallout from the intervention in Libya.

Opportunities include:

  • The Association of Southeast Asian Nations is a promising foundation for further alignment with the R2P principles, particularly as it has evolved into a peace and security organization and is looking to strengthen state capacity to assist other members.