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‘Responsibility to protect?’ Empty words after Aleppo

North America

‘Responsibility to protect?’ Empty words after Aleppo

By Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
14 December 2016
11:59 AM
CNNWR
English
Copyright 2016 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.

Editor’s note: Gayle Tzemach Lemmon is a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and author of the New York Times best-seller, “Ashley’s War: The Untold Story of a Team of Women Soldiers on the Special Ops Battlefield.” The opinions expressed in this commentary are hers.

(CNN) — “The duty to prevent and halt genocide and mass atrocities lies first and foremost with the State, but the international community has a role that cannot be blocked by the invocation of sovereignty.”

The United Nations said that in 2005 about its “responsibility to protect.” It’s the concept that “if a State is manifestly failing to protect its populations, the international community must be prepared to take collective action to protect populations.”

And here is what UN officials said this week when describing what is happening in Syria: “A complete meltdown of humanity in Aleppo.

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