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Mar 21, 2016: Inaugural Annual Public Lecture by Dr. Ramesh Thakur

Events Data

Mar 21, 2016: Inaugural Annual Public Lecture by Dr. Ramesh Thakur

Elliot J. Gunn

Revisiting the Shift from Humanitarian Intervention to R2P Fifteen Years On: Cosmetic or Substantial?


In 1999, supporters of NATO’s war on Serbia in Kosovo claimed there was an emerging new norm of “humanitarian intervention.” In the wake of the intense global controversy generated by this, in 2001 an international commission recommended acceptance of “the responsibility to protect” (R2P) as key to forging a new consensus. Please join the Canadian Centre for the Responsibility (CCR2P) in our inaugural annual public lecture by Dr. Ramesh Thakur, entitled “Revisiting the Shift from Humanitarian Intervention to R2P Fifteen Years On: Cosmetic or Substantial?,” in which this shift will be explored.

"Since its birth, the UN General Assembly has hosted a formal debate, adopted a resolution, and convened six annual informal dialogues on R2P. The UN Security Council has adopted more than 30 resolutions and held an Arria formula meeting on the R2P. The Human Rights Council has included the principle in 14 resolutions, covering both thematic and country-specific topics. At the regional level, the African Union and the European Union have actively supported operationalization of R2P. Our lecture will examine the future of R2P, and some of the new challenges that we must tackle for successful political implementation."

This public lecture is brought to you by the Canadian Centre for the Responsibility to Protect ( This event is co-sponsored by the Bill Graham Centre for Contemporary International History and Massey College. 

Location: Upper Library, Massey College, 4 Devonshire Place

Date: Monday, March 21 2016

Time: 12 - 2 PM

Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis, as seating is limited. A light sandwich lunch and beverages will be served. Tickets may be obtained here. 

Media Advisory

The media advisory can be downloaded here

About the Speaker

Professor Ramesh Thakur is Director of the Centre for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (CNND) in the Crawford School, The Australian National University and co-Convenor of the Asia-Pacific Leadership Network for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (APLN). He was Vice Rector and Senior Vice Rector of the United Nations University (and Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations) from 1998–2007. Educated in India and Canada, he was a Professor of International Relations at the University of Otago in New Zealand and Professor and Head of the Peace Research Centre at the Australian National University, during which time he was also a consultant/adviser to the Australian and New Zealand governments on arms control, disarmament and international security issues.

He was a Commissioner and one of the principal authors of The Responsibility to Protect (2001), and Senior Adviser on Reforms and Principal Writer of the United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s second reform report (2002). He was a Professor of Political Science at the University of Waterloo (2007–11), Distinguished Fellow of the Centre for International Governance Innovation (2007–10) and Foundation Director of the Balsillie School of International affairs in Waterloo, Ontario.

The author or editor of 50 books and 400 articles and book chapters, Prof. Thakur also writes regularly for several newspapers around the world and serves on the international advisory boards of institutes in Africa, Asia, Europe and North America, and is the Editor-in-Chief of Global Governance (2013-18). His books include The United Nations, Peace and Security: From Collective Security to the Responsibility to Protect (Cambridge University Press, 2006); Global Governance and the UN: An Unfinished Journey (Indiana University Press, 2010); The Responsibility to Protect: Norms, Laws and the Use of Force in International Politics (Routledge, 2011); The People vs. the State: Reflections on UN Authority, US Power and the Responsibility to Protect (United Nations University Press, 2011); The Group of Twenty (G20) (Routledge, 2013); The Oxford Handbook of Modern Diplomacy (Oxford University Press, 2013); Nuclear Politics (4 vols.) (Sage, 2014); Nuclear Weapons: The State of Play 2015 (CNND, 2015);Nuclear Weapons and International Security (Routledge, 2015) and Theorising the Responsibility to Protect, co-edited with William Maley (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015).