The new approach to the Responsibility to Protect

Nature, and human safety and dignity are now almost officially in need of financial advocates to convince countries to act in their favour – Published on open Democracy, by Nazih Sanjakdar, October 31, 2011.

Once you have crossed the idealistic post-adolescence phase of higher values and perfect ideologies, you start to embrace pragmatism with a considerable sense of intelligent and enlightened cynicism. You read the world differently, and you come to accept the rules according to which humans have so far survived since the beginning of time. However, no matter how attached you are to your newfound common-sense, cross a certain line and some things are still able to shock you, and to resuscitate your resentment vis-à-vis the de facto norms of life as it really is … // 

… In one of his first reports containing an in-depth analysis of Green Economy, Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon explains that, “ the economics of ecosystems and biodiversity study computed the (unpaid) environmental costs of the economic activities undertaken by the world’s major firms and compared them with the profits of those firms at an aggregate level. The results suggest that a significant proportion of the world’s biggest firms would be rendered unprofitable were they required to pay those environmental costs (…) “ [3]

Also, in its newest report on Green Economy, the United Nations Environment Programme, UNEP argues that, “ The key aim for a transition to a green economy is to eliminate the trade-offs between economic growth and investment and gains in environmental quality and social inclusiveness. The main hypothesis (…) is that the environmental and social goals of a green economy can also generate increases in income, growth, and enhanced well-being. » According to the report «The development path [by Green Economy standards] should maintain, enhance and, where necessary, rebuild natural capital as a critical economic asset and as a source of public benefits (…) “ [4]

Nature, and human safety and dignity are now almost officially in need of financial advocates to convince countries to act in their favour. It is both absurd and unacceptable that the environment has a price to pay now, and a service to provide to the firms, for those to save it from the wrath of their own activities. It is also disappointing to know that doing the right thing is not enough to save human lives anymore, and that the only way to convince the democratically elected governments of New Zealand and Luxembourg to act to prevent mass atrocities is to tell them about the epidemics that could reach their own towns and villages, and about the illegal immigrants that would infiltrate their own frontiers and their own economies if a genocide is to be committed somewhere in Africa or Latin America. (full text and notes).

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