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Protection of Civilians


ELAC has served as a globally-recognized hub for the study of two important normative developments within the UN system that elevate the protection of civilians: the principle of responsibility to protect – R2P (endorsed by all heads of state and government at the 2005 World Summit), and the protection of civilians in peacekeeping – POC (initiated within the UN Security Council in 1999). Researchers have examined the origins and evolution of both normative agendas over the past two decades (Paddon Rhoads and Welsh, 2019); the nature and degree of implementation – both institutionally and in relation to particular country situations (Welsh, 2013; 2014; Paddon Rhoads 2016); and the ways in which both R2P and POC have been contested, particularly in the wake of cases such as Libya and Syria (Welsh, 2016; 2019). Members of ELAC have been centrally involved since 2010 in the conceptualisation of R2P within the UN system, particularly with respect to its preventive dimension, its so-called “second pillar”, and its relationship to non-state armed groups.