by Nirmanusan Balasundaram, Sri Lanka
Since the beginning of the IPSI program, I began to feel the emergence of a special energy within myself.
I entered into Johns Hopkins, SAIS auditorium last Friday filled in with this transformative energy within me. My aim of the day was to take on the afternoon session and expand my knowledge about the Responsibility to Protect (R2P). Personally, R2P doctrine remains as a ‘hope for hopeless’ and a ‘voice for Voiceless’.
The key lecture was given by the legend of the R2P doctrine, Prof. Gareth Evans. The lecture contained the significant steps of the whole R2P process, from its beginning to the very recent Arab Spring revolution, using the current context of what is going on in Libya. His inspiring lecture gave a holistic view about the emergence and the journey of the R2P. The enriching experience shared by Prof. Evans comprised the milestones and challenges that he faced to give a smooth breath to the pragmatic implementation of R2P. While he was speaking, I felt a spark in my mind, a revolution in my thoughts, and hope in my heart. It is my perception that R2P and International Criminal Court (ICC) are two sides of the same coin. At the same time, we have to understand the challenges ahead as international relations remain arguably complex.
In the end, let us be patient, optimistic and hopeful that the R2P will give a pragmatic meaning for the text document, rather than repeated slogan like “never again”.