By NEIL MacFARQUHAR
Published: July 22, 2009
UNITED NATIONS — On the face of it, a commitment by all United Nations member states to reach an understanding on how the world body should intervene to stop genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing would not seem like a major stretch.
Rwandan children pleaded with soldiers from Zaire, now Congo, to let them follow their mothers into that country during the 1994 conflict that led to 800,000 deaths.
But the debate scheduled in the General Assembly for Thursday over the concept, known as “the responsibility to protect,” is producing rancor before it even begins. So much, in fact, that instead of figuring out how to enforce the doctrine, the General Assembly could end up debating the policy’s validity all over again, even though about 150 world leaders already endorsed it in 2005…continue reading…