Resolution Number: A156

Subject: Humanitarian Intervention and the Responsibility to Protect

Moved By: Ms. Karen Rinehart Pidcock from the Diocese of Kootenay

Seconded By: The Very Rev. Peter Wall from the Diocese of Niagara

Note: The mover and the seconder must be members of the General Synod and be present in the House when the resolution is before the synod for debate.


That this General Synod:

  1. Commend the work being undertaken by Project Ploughshares on “Fulfilling our Responsibility to the Vulnerable: A Study Resource on Intervention” – looking into the question of humanitarian intervention into sovereign states for the purpose of protecting vulnerable citizens.
  2. Request the EcoJustice Committee, during the 2004-2007 triennium:


  1. Several recent global developments point to the need to consider whether and in what circumstances “humanitarian intervention” is called for, that is, external intervention into sovereign states by the international community to relieve suffering and protect vulnerable populations. The so-called "right of humanitarian intervention" has been one of the most controversial foreign policy issues of the last decade - both when intervention has happened, as in Kosovo, and when it has failed to happen, as in Rwanda.
  2. Differences are evident in the positions taken by Canadian churches. In the case of Iraq, Canadian churches strongly opposed the war in Iraq, and rejected its justification by US and British authorities as a humanitarian action to liberate Iraqis from a tyrannical regime. In the case of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Canadian churches appealed to the Government of Canada for more effective intervention to protect the most vulnerable populations in the DRC.
  3. The International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty, established by the Government of Canada, published Responsibility to Protect in 2001. The report :
  4. Project Ploughshares has initiated a consultation project (#005-Appendix E) among member churches to reflect together on the responsibility to protect the vulnerable and related issues, and to help them engage their constituencies in thinking through the issue in ethical, theological, practical, and political terms.
  5. Participation in this project offers an opportunity for the Anglican Church of Canada to add to and go beyond the ethical frameworks of just war theories and the pursuit of just peace, and to build on the theological principles of subsidiarity and partnership, used within the Anglican Communion to describe our understanding of what it is to be in communion.


Source: EcoJustice Committee
  (name of committee, diocese, etc.)
Submitted by: Ms. Sue Winn, Chair