The United States and R2P: From Words to Action

Richard Williamson and Madeleine K. Albright

This report by Madeleine K. Albright and Richard S. Williamson examines the responsibility to protect (R2P), the emerging political norm that aims to protect civilians from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and crimes against humanity by preventing them from taking place or taking remedial action when necessary. R2P is based on three mutually reinforcing pillars: the duty of every state to protect its people from these crimes, a commitment of the international community to help states fulfill their responsibilities, and the preparedness of countries to take collective action under the UN Charter when a state manifestly fails to protect its populations.