The Security Council has become increasingly concerned with the protection of civilians as a matter of international peace and security over the past decade. It is a key feature of the Council's work today.2 At present eight out of a total of 16 UN peacekeeping operations have mandates to protect civilians under imminent threat of physical violence. They operate in both conflict and post-conflict societies.3 Given the visible and practical results for communities affected by conflict, the success of United Nations’ action in country situations is often judged on its ability to fulfil these mandates.4 Yet the Security Council has been criticised for inconsistent decisions to act to defend civilians, as evidenced by the present day inaction on Syria.5 What motivates the Security Council? Is it purely politics or can it be driven by a responsibility to protect?
Yacoub, Natasha, 2012, Working paper No. 5.6 Protecting civilians at the Security Council: Responsibility or politics?, Centre for International Governance and Justice, Canberra