The ICISS – Report: “The Responsibility to Protect”


The report of the >International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty< (ICISS)



“This report is about the so-called “right of humanitarian intervention”: the question of when, if ever, it is appropriate for states to take coercive – and in particular military – action, against another state for the purpose of protecting people at risk in that other state. …” This is the beginning of the report of the “International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty”. A few lines later this is followed by a quote from Kofi Annan who at the 1999 UN plenary meeting and again in the year 2000 (following the Kosovo conflict and the resulting NATO war against Yugoslavia) appealed to the international community: “… if humanitarian intervention is, indeed, an unacceptable assault on sovereignty, how should we respond to a Rwanda, to a Srebrenica – to gross and systematic violations of human rights that affect every precept of our common humanity?”


The Canadian Government, supported by large foundations, took this appeal as the impetus for announcing the founding of an international commission to deal with this problem. Alongside a high ranking Algerian diplomat, the Australian, Gareth Evans, former Australian Foreign Minister and co-initiator of the “Canberra Commission”, was made co-chairman, alongside with a high ranking Algerian diplomat. Further Members of the commission; among the members of the committee are a former US security service member of the Intelligence Committee of the US Congress Committee on Intelligence and a former top NATO general, but also important Third World figurespersonalities, including a former ANC functionary.


The commission published the results of its work shortly after the 1111.9 Sept. 20001, under the title: “The PResponsibility to Protect”. The 100 page report is very readable and divided into eight chapters:

-          The Policy Challenge (the dilemma of the principle of national sovereignty vs. rising numbers of human rights abusesviolations in countries like Rwanda, Bosnia and Kosovo);

-          A new Approach: “The Responsibility to Protect” (Discussion of the terms “Sovereignty” vs. “Human Rights”);

-          The Responsibility to Prevent (on the root causes and prevention as a primary postulate);

-          The Responsibility to React (the conditions for intervention);

-          The Responsibility to Rebuild (on the destructive implications of military intervention and the resulting responsibility for rebuilding);

-          The Question of Authority (on the authority of the UN and the questioning of the same);

-          The Operational Dimension (operative dimension – the practical level);

-          The Responsibility to Protect: The Way Forward (The aim is an factual change in international law, e.g. via a resolution of the UN plenary meeting, so to change the meaning of “sovereignty of the state” that military intervention on humanitarian grounds becomes possible.)


The aim is ultimately to weaken the principle of sovereignty anchored in the UN-Charter: namely its relativizing via a superior human rights criterion (after in 1945 national sovereignty was consciously established as a primary principle of equal importance with the human rights). The results of this factual change in international law would signify the end of an era: With the relativising of the principle of sovereignty (which so far can only be set aside in two cases: for the purposes of self-defense if one is attacked and if world peace is endangered) the lessons we have learned from two world wars, would in reality be laid aside – with all (scarcely to be foreseen) consequences.




On the aims and composition of the commission.

“… your title really describes what I was talking about: the fact that sovereignty implies responsibilities as well as powers; and that among these responsibilities, none is more important than protecting citizens from violence and war.”[1]

With these words Kofi Annan commented on the ICISS Report „The Responsibility to Protect“ in the autumn of 2001, shortly after the 11th September.[2].


The history of the ICISS began at the so-called Millennium-General Assembly of the United Nations in September 2000. There, the Canadian Prime Minister, Jean Crétien announced the founding of an international working group, which would look at the dilemma between military intervention on humanitarian grounds and the sovereignty of nations. It was to work towards a solution which would be compatible with international law.


The debate was encouraged by the Secretary of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, who had already put the question as to whether there did not have to be a new consensus as to how the community of nations should deal with massive infringements of human rights in the future. The starting point for this was the NATO war against Yugoslavia, which had just finished, where the Yugoslav government was accused of infringing human rights and of “ethnic cleansing” in Kosovo and which was begun counter to international law. But in the background, there was always the Rwandan genocide which took place in 1994, practically under the noses of the UN Security Council, because this body could not agree as to how to proceed and therefore the military intervention, which was demanded from many quarters, did not take place[3].

After the ICISS was founded 14th September 2000, it was to hand in a report on its work within a year.


The 12 members of the commission were chosen by the Canadian government. They were to be experts on international relations and representatives of international assiciations.

They were:

-  Gareth Evans (Australia, Co-Chairman), President of the International Crisis Group, formerly the Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs, and co-initiator of the Canberra Commission for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons;

-    Mohamed Sahnoun (Algeria, Co-Chairman), Special Advisor to the General Secretary of the UN and, inter alia, the authorised representative for African, the Great Lakes Region, former member of the North-South Commission (Brundtland-Commission) and Ambassador for Algeria in– among others - France, Germany and the USA

-    Gisèle Côté-Harper (Canada/Quebec), Professor of Law, Member of the UN-Human Rights Committee and former Chair of the International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development[4];

-    Lee Hamilton (USA), Director of inter alia, the Woodrow Wilson International Centre for Scholars, formerly a long term Member of Congress, Chairman of the Committee on International Relations, the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and the Joint Economic Committee of the US Congress;

-    Michael Ignatieff (Canada), Professor of Human Rights at Harvard/USA, published inter alia texts on ethnic conflict, especially in the Balkans;

-    Vladimir Lukin (Russia), Member of the Duma- and sometime chairman of its foreign commission, former Russian Ambassador to the USA and one of the founders of the( neo-) Liberal Jabloko Party;

-    Klaus Naumann (Germany), till 1999 Chairman of the NATO-Military Commission, leading strategist for the realisation of the new NATO-Doctrine and the 1999 military intervention against Yugoslavia, based on it, former General Inspector (= highest ranking officer) of the German Army;

-    Cyril Ramaphosa (South Africa), former ANC-General Secretary, led the development of the National Union of Mineworkers in the eighties, now Chairman of a service concern;

-    Fidel Ramos (Philippines),former President of the Philippines, prior to that a high ranking officer in the Philippine army, now the Chairman of the Ramos Peace and Development Foundation;

-    Cornelio Sommaruga (Switzerland), formerly inter alia President of the ICRC (International Committee of the Red Cross), Swiss State Secretary for External Economic Affairs and acting Chairman of the EFTA (European. Free-Market-Union), today, inter alia President of the Caux-Foundation for Moral Rearmament;

-    Eduardo Stein Barillas (Guatemala), former Guatemalan Foreign Minister und Chairman of the OAS (Organisation American States), now the UNDP-Advisor in Panama;

-    Ramesh Thakur (India/Canada), Vice-rector of the United Nations University (Tokyo), prior to this, Professor in New Zealand und Australia, later as Chairman of the Peace Research Centre at the Australian National University in Canberra, he took part in the Nuclear Weapons Non-Proliferation Treaty – Review and Extension Conference and was a protagonist in the Nuclear Weapons- Test Stop and the International Campaign for the Ban of Landmines.

In order to realise the real politic linkage, these members of the commission were given a board of 15 present and past ministers by the Canadian minister of Foreign Affairs.

What is common to both boards, is that they virtually all come from the social elites, that southern representatives are under represented in relationship to demographics, that women are massively under represented and the Chinese not represented at all.

The report was presented to the public, as planned, at the 56th General Assembly of the United Nations in the autumn of 2001. But the attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon, which had taken place shortly before this, strongly influenced the debate at the assembly so that the presentation did not get the resonance that had originally been hoped for. This has not changed much. The report has been discussed at meetings of heads of state and geo-strategists, at the UNO and the EU. But the results have hardly reached the public. [5]

The report is certainly worthy of being looked at by a broader public. For one thing, its theses and arguments, in spite of what is said, do have more and more influence on real politic. And, for another, the report aims at a deep and actual change in International Law:


The Point of Departure of the Commission (Ch. 2)

The Responsibility to Protect“ is the attempt at establishing in International Law a “Right to Humanitarian Intervention“, which did not exist till now: The right, in fact the duty, to put the core-principle of International Law out of action under very special circumstances in order to invade the borders of states, to militarily intervene on their territory and also against their government. This is to be achieved by the redefining of the term national sovereignty, for example via a resolution of the UN General Assembly ( See the final section : How to Implement the ICISS Approach)

The principal argument of the ICISS approach which is to be found in the title and which is emphasised again and again in all its considerations is “The Responsibility to Protect”. That is the responsibility of a state for the protection of and the welfare of its citizens. This responsibility results, according to the commission, directly from the existence of state sovereignty, and it therefore lies primarily with the state in whose sovereign territory the respective population lives.

But, should the population of a country suffer great harm as the result of an internal war, a revolt, oppression or a “state failing” to look after its people and should this state be unwilling or unable to stop this suffering, the intervention of the International Community of States is required.

According to the commission this responsibility takes precedence over the principle of state sovereignty and the guarantee of the inviolability of national territory, which is linked to it.

This responsibility consists of three part-responsibilities, from which the actual steps are derived:


1. Responsibility to Prevent, (Ch. 3)

„The need to do much better on prevention, and to exhaust prevention options before rushing to embrace intervention, were constantly recurring themes in our worldwide consultations, and ones which we wholeheartedly endorse.”[6]

This first responsibility is directed at the bases and causes for internal conflict and other crises caused by people or the results of catastrophes, which endanger the existence and the welfare of the population. This responsibility too lies firstly in the hands of sovereign states.

The bases of conflict prevention are, according to the commission, equal opportunities for all people, state accountability and defence of human rights. The promotion and economic development and the fair distribution of resources also count as keys to successful conflict prevention.

The commission also remarks that effective prevention of conflict is not possible without international support. The economic situation of many states is seen as a particular problem which came into being during the cold war: Debts put a heavy load on states and result in grave social differences within states and the inability of states to mobilise their own resources

The unequal ways in which states are dealt with in international trade and the continuing dominance of the industrial nations are also outlined as problems.

„The Trade policies applied by many richer industrialized countries unfairly disadvantaging or restricting access to markets, together with the terms of trade being experienced by many developing countries, have not made any easier the reduction of that dept burden, or the capacity to meet the social and economic development needs of their populations.“[7]


The early detection of conflict is seen as a particularly important element of prevention. Thus it is emphasised that in a first phase especially NGOs like Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch or the International Crisis Group should extend their activates in this direction, so that they can give early warning of developing conflicts. The required logistic and analytical ability are not available within the UN at the moment and will probably not be achieved in the near future, so that the emphasis must remain on the NGOs. The formation of an information service which reports direct to the General Secretary should however be aimed at.


There are two types of measure which the commission recommends should be taken:

-  Root Causes Prevention Efforts;

-  Direct Prevention Efforts [8].


1.1. Root Causes Prevention Efforts: function

The Commission bases the necessity of fighting the deeper and long-term causes of conflict, Root Causes, on Article 55 of the UN-Charta, which inter alia, which explicitly asks for economic, social and health problems to be solved: “… explicitly recognizes that solutions to international economic, social, health and related problems; international, cultural and educational cooperation; and universal respect for human rights are all essential for ‘the creation of conditions of stability and well-being which are necessary for peaceful and friendly relations among nations’.”[9] Therefore, the role of the United Nations is primarily to establish stable relations which serve as the basis for the peaceful co-existence of nations. Poverty, repression and the unfair distribution of resources are generally and increasingly accepted to be the causes, without which the development of armed conflict can not be understood: „There is a growing and widespread recognition that armed conflicts cannot be understood without reference to such ‚root’ causes as poverty, political repression, and uneven distribution of resources.”[10]

The Commission names the following points, which it takes from the primary conditions, for the prevention of conflict for practical purposes:

-  The political needs and deficiencies: The existence of democratic institutions, separation of powers, establishment of trust between the different groups in society, freedom of the press, rule of law etc.

-  Tackling economic deprivation: Development aid and support, better terms of trade and greater access to external markets, economic and structural reforms, technical help and the strengthening of regulatory institutions. The idea that these structural reforms could be responsible for the precarious situation of the states is not entertained!

-  Strengthening legal protection: Supporting the judicial system, independent judiciary, minority rights and the support for organisations which are engaged in strengthening human rights.

-  Reforms to the military and other state security services: Improved training and education of the military, reintegration of former fighters, strengthening of civil control mechanisms, extending to the banning of land mines and the control of light weapons.


1.2. Direct Prevention Efforts

Direct Prevention Efforts include the same dimensions as Root Causes Prevention Efforts, but differ in the methods and the speed of their availability, as well as the shorter duration:

-  Political and diplomatic direct prevention measures include direct action on the part of the General Secretary as well as fact finding missions, appeals, mediation and,  negatively speaking, sanctions, diplomatic isolation, suspension of organization membership and travel restrictions.

-  Economic Direct Prevention Measures might, on the positive side, include promises of investment or of better trade conditions. What should be watched though is that they don’t have the opposite effect. „Special care is required to ensure that such assistance helps to prevent or alleviate conflict issues, and does not exacerbate them.”[11] On the negative side these measures may include trade sanctions, the withdrawal of investments or of the support of the IMF or the World Bank.

-  Measures of a legal nature: To offer mediation, or arbitration, the establishment of the ICC (International Criminal Court), and tribunals for war criminals etc.

-  Measures of a military nature should be more limited, „but nonetheless important to mention“[12].They might include preventative deployment of troops or the „use of force“, which should always be carefully considered and always be the last choice.: „Intervention should only be considered when prevention fails.“[13]

All these methods fall under prevention of violence. That is they are to end conflict or to prevent its development. This happens by removing resources, like weapons and financial support, but also by trying to employ measures of peaceful conflict settlement. This often requires the agreement of the states concerned. This is, in the case of the Responsibility to Prevent either present or should be achieved through the methods mentioned.

If the state is not willing or not able to respond to these demands, and preventative methods do not take effect or are not permitted, then, according to the commission, out of the responsibility to prevent the responsibility to act should result.


2. The Responsibility to React, Ch. 4

„When preventive measures fail to resolve or contain the situation and when a state is unwilling to redress the situation, then interventionary measures by other members of the broader community of states may be required. These coercive measures may include political, economic or judicial measures, and in extreme cases - but only extreme cases - they may also include military action.”[14]

In its consideration, the commission weighs the sovereignty of states against the universal and individual worth of human rights, and comes to the conclusion that the aim of state sovereignty is the assurance of individual human rights, which makes these take precedence over state sovereignty. From this the commission concludes that, if severe human rights infringements take place in a state, sovereignty no longer fulfils its purpose and thus the state no longer deserves it. The postulated responsibility to protect the population then passes over to the United Nations.


Preference: Non-Military Reactions

The reaction of the United nations should be orientated to the requirements of the people who are in need. The measures that are to be taken should also be selected according to this criterion. Therefore the primary aim should always be to avoid intervention. – as it is assumed that intervention will always do harm to the people. The states right of self-determination is of high value and should only be withdrawn in extreme cases.

Various forms of sanctions are named as possible modes of low level reaction which should always be tried first. These are, divided according to possible types of response:

-  military: Weapons embargos, the termination of military support and training programmes;

-  economic: financial sanctions, cutting off the income of rebel movements, terrorist organisations, etc. Blocking of the sources of income such as oil, diamonds and drugs;

-  political and diplomatic: Restrictions on diplomatic representation, restrictions on travel, exclusion from or non-admittance in international organisations.


The report lays emphasis on the conditions which must be fulfilled before it comes to the last resort: military intervention on the territory of the state concerned. For this case procedures, conditions and exclusion criteria are enumerated

Last Resort“: Military Intervention

The decision to intervene militarily in a sovereign state may, according to the commission, only take place in „extreme and exceptional cases“[15] , as there is no doubt that the right of self-determination as it is stated in the UN Charta is then invalidated. The importance of this existing sovereignty as a form of protection against attacks on ethnic, cultural or political grounds is noted by the commission, but is placed behind the new responsibility to protect individual human rights in certain situations:

„The non-interference rule not only protects states and governments: it also protects people and cultures, enabling societies to maintain the religious, ethnic and civilizational differences that they cherish.“ (…) “Yet there are exceptional circumstances in which the very interest that all states have in maintaining a stable international order requires them to react when all order within a state has broken down or when conflict and repression are so violent that civilians are threatened with massacre, genocide or ethnic cleansing on a large scale.”[16]

But, in its report the commission emphasises that the barriers to military intervention should be very high. An obligatory condition is that the developments in the said state present a clear and acute threat to international security, or that massive human rights infringements are taking place.

The commission lists six criteria for military intervention:


  1. The so-called “ Threshold Criteria “: The Just Cause

A just cause is seen as the most important criterion, and is this the threshold criterion. This would be fulfilled by only two two types of events:


„In the Commission’s view, military intervention for human protection purposes is justified in two broad sets of circumstances, namely in order to halt or avert:

-  large scale loss of life, actual or apprehended, with genocidal intent or not, which is the product either of deliberate state action, or state neglect or inability to act, or a failed state situation, or

-    large scale “ethnic cleansing” actual or apprehended, whether carried out by killing, forced expulsion, acts of terror or rape.”[17]

Military intervention may only take place,

-if the lives of a large number of people are placed in acute danger and the state is not willing or able to prevent it,

- or if ethnic cleansing takes place on a large scale.

The commission includes the following scenarios:

-          a large number of human lives are threatened, or a large number of people are killed, through the activities of the state or its lack of action, or genocide;

-          ethnic cleansing, which takes place on a large scale;

-          crimes against humanity or war crimes according to the Geneva Convention, which could have or have brought about the deaths of a large number of people;

-          the collapse of the state and the fear that mass starvation or civil war could result;

-          huge natural and environmental catastrophes, if the state is unable or unwilling to help and a great number of people are endangered or killed.

In these cases it is not important whether the violence comes from the state or another source and if the violence is taking place within the state or extends over the borders.


The proof for a situation to exist that justifies intervention should, at best, come from an independent, non-state source. A possible candidate would be the ICRC (International Committee of the Red Cross) – which has already explicitly refused to take over such a task, as it would have severe repercussions for its role as a recognised neutral charitable organisation. According to the ICISS the collection of information is difficult and one should therefore, in case of need, use not only the reports of the UN bodies, but also particularly those of NGOs.


The commission is of the opinion that events which do not take these extreme forms, such as racial discrimination, systematic imprisonment or oppression of the political opposition give no grounds for military intervention. In these cases sanctions may well be applied, but not military intervention. Neither are a military putsch or the wish of the people for democratic reform grounds for the same.


Another case is the use of military force to get ones own citizens out of danger in a foreign country. This too is no reason for humanitarian intervention. It is, however, according to the commission, a right covered by article 51 of the UN Charta. The same applies for the use of military force as a response to terrorist attacks.


There follow four further criteria which must be fulfilled. Together, according to the ICISS commission, they should strictly limit the cases in which military intervention may be used:


b. Right Intention:

„The primary purpose of the intervention must be to halt or avert human suffering.“[18]

The changing of borders, the wish of individual populations groups for independence, or the desire for a change of regime, can not be seen as adequate grounds:

In order to prevent the intervention from being seen as serving the interests of another country, the intervention should be decided as multilaterally as possible and carried out by a coalition of a number of countries. Public opinion in the region should be considered in order to prevent such an impression from arising.

The report though does assert that in case of an intervention the interests of an intervening state may be affected.: „Apart from economic or strategic interests, that self interest could, for example, take the understandable form of a concern to avoid refugee outflows, or a haven for drug producers or terrorists, developing in one’s neighbourhood.”[19]

But these interests are not seen as a problem, as for example, the avoidance of floods of refugees or terrorist activities are seen as being in the interests of all nations.


c. Last Resort:

„Every diplomatic and non-military avenue for the prevention or peaceful resolution of the humanitarian crisis must have been explored.“[20]

Only when the responsibility to prevent conflict has been totally exhausted, can the responsibility to act come into action and justify intervention.


d. Proportional Means:

„The scale, duration and intensity of the planned military intervention should be the minimum necessary to secure the humanitarian objective in question.“[21]

It is of primary concern that any intervention in the political system of a state is kept to a minimum, and that it is only affected to the degree which is necessary to achieve the objective. The provisions of humanitarian international law must be observed.


e. Reasonable Prospects:

„Military action can only be justified if it stands a reasonable chance of success, that is, halting or averting the atrocities or suffering that triggered the intervention in the first place. Military action is not justified if actual protection cannot be achieved, or if the consequences of embarking upon the intervention are likely to be worse than if there is no action at all.”[22]

Military intervention requires that it stands a good chance of success. If this is not relatively certain, or should the danger exist, that the situation for the people could be made worse by the use of violence, then military intervention is out of question.


3. Responsibility to Rebuild, Ch. 5

„The responsibility to protect implies the responsibility not just to prevent or to react, but to follow through and rebuild.”[23]

The responsibility to act is followed by the responsibility to rebuild. This includes the provision of all types of help in the rebuilding of infrastructure and the reconciliation of groups which were in conflict with one another. The responsibility to protect does not end with military intervention, but includes rebuilding, the establishment of a lasting peace and sustainable development, as well as the so-called „Good Gouvernance“. Specific measures, such as the undoing of ethnic cleansing, disarming and reintegration of combatants are listed.


The Question of Authority, Ch. 6

The conditions under which the use of violence may be authorized are set down in the UN-Charta. In articles 43 and 51 particularly. The only body which can make this decision is the Security Council.

In article 42 it says the Security Council “may take such action by air, sea or land forces as may be necessary to maintain or restore international peace and security”.

Article 51 allows the use of military power „the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the UN“: the so-called right to self-defence of a sovereign state when it is attacked or when an attack is imminent.

The commission also sees no organ more suitable to legalise such intervention, than the Security Council. So, before any intervention the agreement of the Security Council should be sought and it should involve itself in order to find suitable solutions. But that also means that if the Security Council can not agree on measures to be taken, other groups of states or even individual states can take military aktion:

„In view of the Council’s past inability or unwillingness to fulfill the role expected of it, if the Security Council expressly rejects a proposal for intervention where humanitarian or human rights issues are significantly at stake, or the Council fails to deal with such a proposal within a reasonable time, it is difficult to argue that alternative means of discharging the responsibility to protect can be entirely discounted.”[24]

If the UN-General Assembly should, in the great majority, agree to military intervention, this would also provide a high degree of legitimacy. Regional organisations could also be better suited for this task of intervention, because they know the context better and the regional peculiarities. The problem of legitimacy of these organisations is answered by the commission with the question as to where the greatest wrong lies: in the bypassing of the Security Council or in its standing by while severe human rights infringements take place:

„It is a real question in these circumstances where lies the most harm: in the damage to international order if the Security Council is bypassed or in the damage to that order if human beings are slaughtered while the Security Council stands by.“[25]


The Operational Dimension (Ch. 7)

Here one finds - once more according to the previously defined steps, starting with prevention, but with emphasis on the complex of military intervention - numerous details about how the previously regimented options are to be realized, going as far as the transition to civil administration. This operative level will not be taken any further here.

The final paragraph, however, in which the commission makes suggestions for international legal implementation, is important.


The Way Forward (Ch. 8)

How to Implement the ICISS Approach

In the final paragraph „The Responsibility to Protect – the Way Forward“ it is considered how the hurdle, which has been set up by international law written down in the UN Charta to protects states from violent attack, can, according to the targets given in the report, be overcome. Thus, the report returns to its starting point: The question, whether the use of constraint, in particular of military force, against a state in order to protect endangered people in this other state. Seen in relationship to the clearly stated principle of national sovereignty in the UN Charta – which pertains to all states, regardless of their size, riches or power – this is certainly not a bagatelle problem, in spite of all the arguments and conditions formulated in the seven chapters.

In this last chapter the report is less detailed than it was, but suggests a very specific mechanism: Having reformulated the concept of state sovereignty, so that it is necessarily linked to the responsibility of the state to protect its citizens as defined by the commission („The Responsibility to Protect“ – Ch. 2), the implementation under international law could be achieved by the UN General Assembly voting on this definition.

The result would be that this “new definition” would be a substantial change in international law. Because its central and key concept “state sovereignty” has, because of its clarity, never been the object of debate.

The achievement of this change (which would change the meaning of the UN Charta, but would stand outside of the Charta) via a resolution of a UN Plenary Session, would be a remarkable trick. Because it would naturally be easier than trying to touch the UN Charta itself. In fact, it would be a deep change in its meaning with possible consequences of dimensions which have not even started to be discussed by a broader public.



Helge von Horn                                                           (Root Causes – Project Coordinator)

Christoph Krämer                                                                                     (IPPNW Germany)

                                                                                                                          March 2004







-   Chesterman, Simon: Discussions at the Release of The Responsibility to Protect,

    International Peace Academy 2002; http://www.ipacademy.org/PDF_Reports/UNDIP-IPA.pdf


-   Evans, Gareth: Humanity did not justify this war; 14.05.2003;



-   ICISS (International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty): The Responsibility to Protect,

    Ottawa 2001; http://www.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/iciss-ciise/menu-en.asp


-   Süddeutsche Zeitung: Irak Debatte – Berlin bestreitet Konflikt mit London;

    München, 13.07.2003





Following on this overview of the contents of the ICISS report and the manner of its origins, a political analysis and assessment of the report– its goals, implications and expected results - will appear in this journal


[1] Chesterman 2002, S. 2 “… your title really describes, what I was talking about: the fact that sovereignty implies responsibilities as well as powers; and that among this responsibilities, none is more important than protecting citizens from violence and war.”

[2]    Internet addresses. Literature on the subject in all various languages.

[3] The debate, as Evans later (2003) noted „... was stimulated by the hopelessly inadequate response to the massacre in Rwanda 1994 and in Bosnia a year later, as well as the inability of the Security Council to agree on intervention in Kosovo in 1999.”

[4]    (International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development)

[5]    Perhaps the most public debate was animated by a dispute between Gerhard Schröder and Tony Blair, as to whether the results of the report should be incorporated into a strategic paper on Social Democratic perspectives, which the Süddeutschen Zeitung reported. (SZ von 13.07.2003)

[6]    ICISS 2001, P. 19

[7]    ICISS 2001, P. 20

[8]    note the imprecise meaning of the „prevention“ compared with the German „Prävention“

[9]    ICISS 2001, P. 22

[10] ibid., P. 22

[11] ICISS 2001, S. 24

[12] ibid., S. 25

[13] ibid., S. 25

[14] ICISS 2001, P. 29

[15] ibid., P. 31

[16] ibid., P. 31

[17] ICISS 2001., P. 32

[18] ICISS 2001, P. 35

[19] ibid., P. 36

[20] ibid., P. 36

[21] ibid., P. 37

[22] ICISS 2001, P. 37

[23] ibid., P. 39

[24] ICISS 2001, P. 53

[25] ibid., P. 55