14 Mar 2015
Failure to Protect: Syria and the UN Security Council

After four deadly years the Syrian conflict shows no sign of abating. As the civil war has dragged on its violence has become more widespread, systematic and extreme. The conflict has also become more intractable, threatening the peace and stability of the entire Middle East. It has already had devastating consequences for neighboring Iraq and poses an enduring threat to Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey.

This occasional paper from the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect analyzes the Security Council's response to Syria through the conflict's various phases and argues that without an agreement by the Permanent Members of the Council to refrain from using their veto in future mass atrocity situations, the legitimacy and efficacy of the Council will be increasingly called into question. This is a failure that the Security Council, Syria and the world can ill afford.