Flogging a dead horse? Emily Ross July 23, 2009 Well, let’s hope not. But, according to Gareth Evans, this is what we’re at risk of if the General Assembly session on the Responsibility to Protect continues casting the debate in terms of humanitarian intervention. Contrary to what Noam Chomsky would have us believe, R2P is not humanitarian intervention. In fact, the concept involves a wide range of policy options short of the use of force to prevent military intervention when mass atrocities are already occurring. As Gareth Evans, co-chair of the historic International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (ICISS) clearly stated, “the core theme [of R2P] is not intervention but prevention”. Instead of dwelling on morally questionable cases of “humanitarian intervention” past, States should look forward to define policy options across the spectrum of prevention, capacity building and response, to ensure such unthinkable crimes as the 1994 genocide in Rwanda are never repeated. Fiery rhetoric which re-ignites neo-colonial fears will do nothing to ensure Kofi Annan’s famous words of “never again” are realized. Let’s hope this afternoon’s session, where States will have the opportunity to make formal remarks on the Secretary-General’s report, will move the debate forward, not back.