Responsibility to Protect

Whether it's agenda setting, stopping or tacitly endorsing the death of thousands of civilians in places such as Yemen (where the UK sells weapons in support of Saudi Arabia), Britain's decisions, to act or not act, have colossal effects.
As the Director of the UN Agency working with Palestinian refugees in Damascus at the start of Syria's crisis followed by three years leading Save the Children's regional Syria response, I have seen firsthand the results of global political failure and the compromised humanitarian response. It is time to say enough.
In Europe, there are attempts to remove even the humanitarian framing - identifying hundreds of thousands of people as migrants who simply want to come to take our jobs, rather than as those who are in desperate need of protection and other assistance. This is a dramatic failure of responsibility at all levels of political leadership.
Time is of the essence. Early action could make the difference between dampening an escalating sectarian conflict and allowing it to blaze unbound. If the international community is unmoved by moral arguments, then surely the security consequences of this situation persuade.
The civil war in Syria is at a critical juncture with alleged use of chemical weapons and threats of foreign military intervention. If there is to be an international response, it must come from the United Nations and not individual States taking the law into their own hands.
For over two years now, European policymakers have struggled to provide a coherent response to the convulsion of violence that has befallen Syria. As with Libya in 2011, much of the debate has centred on the question of what role European states should play in protecting vulnerable civilians beyond our borders.
While many of the world's governments want to prevent genocide, they almost never act to achieve this aim. This despite most being signatories to the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide which is explicitly designed to compel them to do just that.
What is happening in Syria now shows the futility of the words we use to conduct international diplomacy...We in Labour must not hide behind a naïve belief that any western intervention is an imperialist plot.
The international community knows that the situation is bad and getting worse but lacks the unity and political capital to do anything about it