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Global Issues of the Future: Challenges for South Asian Policymakers

Keynote Address by Professor the Hon Gareth Evans* to India Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER), 2nd Advanced Briefing Programme: Critical Strategic and Economic Themes for the Future, New Delhi, 31 October 2011

Thank you for the opportunity to open the batting at this important conference, with its formidably ambitious aim of stimulating new thinking, among South Asian – and especially Indian – policymakers and those who influence them, about external policymaking in this ever more complex and rapidly changing world. ICRIER programmes have an outstanding reputation, and I am very honoured to have been invited to offer you an outsider’s perspective on the global issues we are all now confronting.

I should say at the outset I am very conscious that nothing is quite as irritating as a non-South Asian outsider telling the locals how to suck eggs, and I hope that I can avoid that pitfall. But I will have a few suggestions for you to think about, and in case you feel any of them cross that line, I will throw myself on your mercy on the basis that anything I say is premised on my huge affection for this region and its peoples. I first came here over 40 years ago – as a young student in 1968, travelling around in third-class trains for nearly two months, making lifelong friends in the process – and have been back many times since, always with the hope, and expectation, that it was only a matter of time before the peoples of this region punched at the weight in the world that their your great talents and energy justified.

Key Global Issues: The Challenges for Policymakers

The global issues with which every country – including in this region – is now grappling, and will be for the future as far as I can see it, cover a formidably broad canvas: economic and trade issues; strategic and security issues; environmental issues; developmental issues; other transnational issues of the kind Kofi Annan described as ‘problems without passports’; and global governance issues.

Given that my task is to open up, in just one keynote address, the kind of ground you will be covering in great detail in twenty or more sessions over the next two weeks, my focus will necessarily have to be selective. So although I will mention the other issues to put them in context, my primary emphasis will be on the governance-related and peace and security themes with which I have been most personally engaged over the years, rather than on economic and social policy and broader human security issues.

Economic and Trade Issues. At the top of the international agenda right now is the issue of ensuring global financial stability, in particular avoiding a meltdown in the global financial system and then real economy as a result of failure to deal effectively with the Euro crisis. Although immediate catastrophe was avoided by last week’s EU summit, the jury is still out on whether the measures agreed will be anything more than another temporary stopgap, failing to get to the heart of the structural problems and political paralysis that have been at the heart of the present anxiety.

Maybe we can avoid the complete collapse of the Western banking system and the full-blown global depression that flowed from that in the 1930s, but the risks remain very high of a prolonged deflationary period of the kind that drained away growth from Japan for twenty years after the collapse of its debt bubble. With the Indian economy now as trade-exposed as it is, that scenario must be a huge concern for policymakers here.

When it comes to trade issues, some views here may differ, but I think a less dramatic but still very troubling global issue is our collective inability so far, and maybe ever, to meet the high aspirations we all had for serious trade liberalisation through the now comatose Doha development round. We are now seeing a rash of bilateral and mini-lateral agreements which are taking up part of the slack, but that has to me always seemed a very inadequate substitute for a fully comprehensive and fair worldwide agreement covering all major sectors, and I hope we can somehow find a way over the next few years of recapturing that perspective.

Strategic and Security Issues. What is concentrating most minds here is the sense of uncertainty flowing from the visibly accelerating shift in the tectonic plates from West to East, and the implications in particular of China’s rise to potential superpower status, rivalling the U.S. not just economically but politically and ultimately militarily as well. We have already seen a shift in the centre of gravity of power from the Euro-Atlantic to the Asia-Pacific, with that raising real issues as to how far the U.S. will go to maintain its unequivocal top-dog status, and how other countries in the region – including my own, Australia – should manage our relations with both Washington and Beijing.

With India’s own size and rate of growth, it is not far-fetched to see that centre of gravity shifting further, within the foreseeable future, from the Asia Pacific to the Indo Pacific. Trade volumes between East Asia and South and West Asia actually now far outweigh those across the Pacific, and are growing dramatically. A lot of that, true, is Gulf oil fuelling China’s growth, but a lot of it is also burgeoning bilateral trade between the two giants, and the overall trend is unmistakeable.

With these shifts invariably come strategic tensions: these are already abundantly evident between India and China, are likely to continue, with maritime, land border and nuclear issues at the cutting edge, and how the relationship between these two giants works out over the years ahead is a matter of not just bilateral and regional, but real global concern. At the same time the tensions between India and Pakistan seem unlikely to be dissipated any time soon – and with both sides possessing nuclear armouries, which (like China) they are both now engaged in increasing – the issue of possible conflict between them is, again, not just a regional issue, but a global one.

Running through all these problem areas is the issue of the dangers posed by the retention and proliferation of nuclear weapon stockpiles, which I would certainly argue – though some here may differ – far outweigh any conceivable positive contribution to security they might make. Given that nuclear weapons are not only the most indiscriminately inhumane ever invented but the only ones capable of destroying life on this planet as we know it, achieving nuclear disarmament should rank among the highest priority policy issues on the global agenda, but this is an issue on which it has proved very hard to generate and sustain political momentum. It is an issue on which global eyes have certainly been focused on South Asian policymakers, and one to which I will return to discuss in a little more detail before I conclude.

Another global security policy issue which has been a very live one this year with the events in Libya and elsewhere in North Africa and the Middle East, is how the international community should react to mass atrocity crimes (genocide, ethnic cleansing, and other large scale crimes against humanity or war crimes) occurring within a sovereign state, when the state in question is unable or unwilling to discharge its own responsibility to protect its people. This has been a sensitive topic for South Asian policymakers, and it’s one to which I will also return later.

Environment Issues. Climate change is the only policy issue, apart from nuclear weapons, where if we get it wrong we run the risk of life on this planet as we know it being destroyed. Modest as its achievement was compared with expectations, the 2009 Copenhagen Accord did at least lock in a goal for aggregate reduction of carbon emissions as well as some monitoring and verification arrangements, but there is a real question as to whether this consensus can be repeated and extended. With the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol due to expire at the end of 2012, and domestic political pressures – accentuated by global economic uncertainty – making it difficult for governments in many countries to take any kind of decisive action, real tension is mounting as to whether our global governance arrangements are such that any kind of momentum can be maintained on dramatically reducing temperature increases.

A recent analysis in Science concluded that rising temperatures have already begun to depress global corn and wheat production, contributing to the growing alarm being felt in many parts of the world now about food security, which is being accentuated in turn by a growing concern about global population, which reaches 7 billion this month, not levelling out, as had previously been predicted, to around 9 billion by 2050, but going on increasing to 2100 and beyond. Perhaps we will be able to achieve a second – and third – green revolution, but there are real issues about the availability of sufficient water, arable land and natural resources like phosphate to meet food sufficiency needs. Again this – and the associated problem of energy sufficiency – is a global problem which has particular resonance in this region, with India expected to overtake China as the world’s most populous nation within the next fifteen years.

Development Issues. This audience will be as familiar as any on the planet with the multiple problems for which the wider international community must accept responsibility if we are to achieve sustainable minimum acceptable standards of living for all the world’s peoples. The eight Millennium Development Goals, further refined by agreed time-bound targets and indicators, define the global agenda: eradicate extreme poverty and hunger; achieve universal primary education; promote gender equality and empower women; reduce child mortality; improve maternal health; combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases; ensure environmental sustainability; and develop a global partnership for development.

We have been making reasonable progress on most of these fronts since 2000, with one pleasing achievement the increase in aid commitment toward the OECD target of 0.7 per cent of GNP by a number of developed countries, including my own, and those commitments being sustained despite difficult global economic conditions. But sustaining the momentum again remains a challenge for policymakers, not least in South Asia, who will continue to need all the external help they can continue to get.

Other Transnational Issues. A number of the issues I have already mentioned are the kind of global public goods which by their nature are often beyond the capacity of even great powers to resolve unilaterally or bilaterally and require cooperative international policymaking and delivery: a clean and safe global environment; a world on its way to abolishing all weapons of mass destruction; a world without mass atrocity crimes; and a world free of extreme poverty. But ‘problems without passports’ also include achieving such goods as a world free of out of control cross-border population flows, of health pandemics, of international trafficking of drugs and people, of organized international crime, of piracy and cross-border terrorism.

All this amounts to a formidably long and complex agenda, and raises acutely the two big questions which I will now come to: how can we improve the overall system of global governance, to increase our chances of success in addressing these issues, and how should national policymakers weigh and prioritize pursuing these global objectives as distinct from national interest objectives more narrowly and traditionally conceived.

Meeting the Challenges: Global Governance and National Government

As interconnected as we are in the contemporary world, we are also profoundly disconnected. Cooperative international governance of the kind we need to effectively address so many of these problems is not totally lacking, but it is very far from being an instinctive habit of mind among the world’s policymakers and decision-makers. And it is enormously far away from being institutionally entrenched to the extent it has to be: dysfunctionality is endemic in the international system at multiple levels. Moreover, within national systems of government – and I hope you will forgive me if I say this is at least as entrenched on the sub-continent as anywhere else - narrowly defined perceptions of what is in the national interest repeatedly trump broader perceptions.

The perennial problems of collective action are alive and well when it comes to global public goods of the kind we are talking about. Whether it’s reducing carbon emissions, nuclear disarmament, effective action to address cross-border health risks or just about anything else, all the familiar barriers to take-up such goods that economists describe are on display here: preservation of sovereignty (countries’ reluctance to accept international binding rules and monitoring of their own compliance with agreements); differing preferences (the fact that countries have different strategic, economic and political stakes in specific solutions to global problems); the “free rider” problem (the incentive to wait until others provide the solution and then enjoy it); the “weakest link” problem (meaning that an effective solution can only be applied when every country fully complies with a common approach); and the “summation” constraint (whereby the successful solution of a global problem is literally the sum of the individual efforts of all the separate participants, which can mean a very long wait before enough is done to make a difference).

Global Governance Gaps. Meeting the challenge of improving global governance is about as impossibly big a problem as there is. But it becomes a lot more manageable conceptually – and I think ultimately practically – if one breaks it down into the five distinct sub-problems which Thomas Weiss and Ramesh Thakur have identified in their recently published book, Global Governance and the UN. To find effective solutions to most current global problems there are five big gaps that need to be closed, which we have done so far only very erratically and incompletely: the knowledge gap, normative gap, policy gap, institutional gap and compliance gap.

The first is the knowledge gap: getting something done about an international problem means, for a start, ensuring that all the relevant players know that it exists. In the case of conflict prevention, for example, it is critical that there be knowledge both of the risk of impending violence, and the factors at work — political, economic, cultural, personal — in creating that situation, and appropriate mechanisms to communicate that knowledge to the appropriate decisionmakers;

The second gap is normative: one of the most crucial factors in determining whether there will be an appropriate response is the existence or absence of relevant international norms, i.e. generally accepted standards of proper behaviour for the kind of situation in question, especially as recognised and embodied in UN resolutions and declarations (at the soft end of the normative spectrum) and conventions and treaties (at the harder end). There are some important and recent examples of normative gaps being significantly filled in the peace and security area: including the emergence of strong international sentiment against landmines and cluster bombs through the Ottawa and Oslo treaty processes are two of them, and the embrace in 2005 of the ‘responsibility to protect’ principle in response to mass atrocity crimes.

The third gap that needs to be filled is policymaking: generating understanding and agreement about the right levers to pull in response to a particular problem. The international system cries out for a workable global policy formulation mechanism that recognises the reality that in the contemporary world security, economic and other major policy problems like saving the global environment overlap, and that will consolidate ideas, debate options, and generate policy conclusions that have an inherent credibility and momentum, and universal take-up potential.

The G8 (United States, Canada; France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom; Japan; Russia) has long had aspirations to play that global policymaking role, and is tenaciously trying to hang on to it, but its composition prevents it from being seen as a legitimate policy leader, certainly in this part of the world. The best available practical solution – certainly from Australia’s perspective, and I’m sure India’s as well– lies in the further evolution of the G20, from a meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors in 1999 to an all-purpose global policy formulation and advocacy body, meeting regularly at the head-of-government level, as it has now done since the onset of the global financial crisis.

The present G20 structure (United States, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico; France, Germany, Italy, Turkey, the United Kingdom; Russia; China, India, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, Australia; Saudi Arabia; South Africa), does incorporate all major regions, some 80 percent of world trade, 85 percent of global GNP and roughly two thirds of the world’s population. It is just small enough to make decisions, but large enough to be genuinely representative – encompassing all, or nearly all, of the world’s major and emergent strategic and economic powers.

The G20’s present policy remit extends to financial stability and macro-economic rebalancing, with additional toes dipped into economic development, food security, anti-corruption and, most recently, nuclear energy safety. Two further non-economic areas that have been canvassed for possible inclusion on its agenda, and which would be important new stages in its development as a general policy-setting body, are climate change and clean energy, and (building on the work of the G8 in this respect) nuclear security and counter-terrorism.

This raises the fourth gap, that of institutional capacity to deliver effective results. Many of the institutions in which we have invested responsibility for today’s most pressing global questions have representation and legitimacy problems (being slowly overcome in the case of the international financial institutions but still acute in the UN Security Council), or seem simply no longer fit-for-purpose, e.g. the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva,which despite quite a proud history has had no discernible negotiating achievement to its name for the last thirteen years. If the urge to cooperate is to translate into effective international cooperation in practice, then some significant institutional renovation is going to be necessary.

Ultimately the most crucial institution for the maintenance of global peace and security is the UN Security Council, the only international body with full, universally accepted executive decision-making authority. But its composition, together with the veto powers vested in its five permanent members, of course reflects far more the power realities of 1945 than those of the 21st century. If it remains unreconstructed and unreformed, without countries like India, Brazil and South Africa being always at the table, it is only a matter of time – maybe another fifteen years at best – before its credibility and authority will diminish to dangerous levels in the eyes of most of the world.

The only solution for which any kind of consensus seems possible in the short term would be to lift the limit on non-permanent members being immediately re-elected after serving a two-year term, so as to enable continuous engagement – if not formal permanent membership – by the new major powers. The current Security Council includes Brazil, Germany, India, Nigeria and South Africa (with Japan and Turkey both having recently completed two-year terms) so it does seem that there is an emerging consensus in the General Assembly as to who needs to be at the table.

What has been intriguing about the current Council is that even with so many strong voices, the paralysis that many feared would follow from this has simply not eventuated, the best example being the consensus achieved in March on the extraordinarily sensitive issue of the use of coercive military force for internal civilian protection purposes in Libya. (The way in which the NATO-led international forces subsequently exercised that mandate has been controversial – as I’ll come back to below – but that doesn’t alter the force of the basic point.)

The other crucial institutional gap to fill is strengthening the regional organizations which both the UN Charter and practical experience tell us are crucial in the maintenance of international peace and security. That applies to the notionally most advanced and sophisticated such organizations like the European Union (still anything but an effective union in terms of its foreign policy clout; to the important but still very incompletely developed, such as the African Union (AU) and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN); to what I’m afraid I would have to describe as the barely functioning, such as the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and the Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation (IOR-ARC). Despite their origins in economic cooperation, all these organisations have actually or potentially important roles to play in peace and security issues, including under Chapter VIII of the UN Charter, and will need to take up more of the burden in this respect in the future.

In the wider Asia Pacific – or Indo Pacific – region, the biggest institutional gap, and it’s a policy gap as well, has been the absence of any dialogue and cooperation forum bringing together at leadership level all the key players to discuss economic, security and other key issues and the interconnections between them. APEC focuses only on economic issues and does not include India, the ASEAN Regional Forum focuses only on security issues and at ministerial rather than head of government level, and until recently the East Asian Summit (EAS) has not does not included key players, the US and Russia. But with the EAS now responding to that omission, and – from later this month – meeting at head of government level, with a full complement of all the major players, and a broad-ranging political agenda, that gap seems at last to be effectively filled, in a way which I hope will attract India’s strong support.

Of course what we need with this new architecture, if it is really going to enhance stability, prosperity, state security and human security, is real dialogue and policy cooperation that will not only defuse potential conflicts and maintain overall stability but produce, among other things, real incentives for open investment and strong economic growth. We do not need just another expensive series of photo-opportunities of leaders making set-piece speeches endorsing pre-cooked lowest-common denominator communiqués.

There is one more gap that needs to be mentioned – the compliance gap – which shows up particularly in comparing international and national governance. Even the Security Council itself, whose decisions are supposed to have, at the formal level, the force of law, has to rely on individual member states to apply the diplomatic isolation, or economic sanctions or in extreme cases forceful military action on which it might agree. The decisions of the International Court of Justice are not self–executing, and in any event apply only to those states who accept its jurisdiction. Equally the establishment of the new International Criminal Court has not been accompanied by the creation of any international marshall’s service, fully supported by the whole international community, which would enable its indictees to be apprehended, brought before the court, and effectively punished, and give the Court really substantive rather than mostly symbolic teeth. Here as with most of the other gaps I have been identifying, there are no quick and easy fixes: just a long, grinding process of identifying areas where greater cooperation is required, and encouraging governments to provide it.

National Government Decisionmaking. I have been referring in all of this to international governance or decision-making as if this were something separate and distinct from national governance. But of course it isn’t. Most international organisations don’t have much of a life of their own away from the governments that created them, fund them, critically watch their every move and often directly constrain them – and this brings us back to our topic of the particular responsibility of national policymakers, here in South Asia as elsewhere, in responding to global issues.

What is crucial at the national governance level is that there be real buy-in to the improvement of global governance in all the ways I have been describing: a real willingness to pursue an external policy that takes seriously the big challenges of peace and security, development, and human rights and dignity that remain, and puts the necessary human resources and financial resources into meeting them. But that kind of commitment is much rarer than it should be.

External policy is of course like any other aspect of government policy in that at its heart must be the protection and advancement of one’s own country’s national interests. And most leaders are very comfortable with defining those interests in quite narrow security and economic terms – what’s necessary or desirable to protect the country from threat or attack, and to increase the income and quality of life of its people.

But that’s a position that has become much more difficult to sustain, intellectually and practically, in recent decades, as the world has become ever more globalised and interdependent. For those governments and leaders who remain resolutely tradition-minded, and reluctant to see these concerns as anything more than discretionary and entirely dispensable add-ons when it comes to external policy, I have argued for a long time that they should look at the issue in different way, and see the pursuit of all these global challenges as being actually a third category of national interest: in addition to security and economic interests narrowly defined, there is every country’s interest in being, and being seen to be, a good international citizen.

The idea, in a nutshell, is that to seek to make a cooperative contribution to meeting a whole range of the global challenges I have referred to is not just the foreign policy equivalent of boy-scout good deeds, but works to a country’s advantage in two main ways.

First, because much of good international citizenship is not really selfless at all: in a globalised, interdependent, fast-travelling, fast-communicating world, a lot of what at first sight seem to be just remote and abstract values issues really do have the capacity to impact quite strongly on each of our own traditional security and economic interests.

Secondly, to the extent that selflessness is involved, to the extent that we support, and spend time and energy and political and financial capital on, things that are much more important to others than to us and from which we don’t stand to derive, directly or indirectly, any obvious economic or security benefit – like a particular aid project in a country with no oil or mineral resources, or trying to mediate a far-away conflict, or contributing to international peacekeeping efforts in Central or East Africa – nonetheless a reputational advantage accrues which can be very useful indeed when an issue comes along that is more important to us than to others, and on which we want others’ support.

Of course there is also a straightforwardly moral dimension to all this as well: governments should act on catastrophic human rights violations, or on contributing a significant share of our GDP to development assistance, or work to stop drug trafficking and human trafficking, or for that matter on responding to climate change, not just because our own narrow economic or security interests might be directly or indirectly advanced now or in the future, but simply because it’s the right thing to do, and we diminish our common humanity if we don’t.

Good International Citizenship in Practice: Two Examples

Let me spend a few last minutes putting some flesh on these bones by taking a couple of examples of what it might mean for a country like India to act on the basis of a broader than traditional view of national interest, viz. one that adds to the traditional mantra the idea that it is in the country’s national interest to be, and be seen to be, a good international citizen.

Nuclear Disarmament. This poses a real dilemma for Indian policymakers because the country has long had a strong intellectual and emotional commitment to nuclear disarmament, articulated very powerfully by Rajiv Gandhi in particular, but finds itself also now holding a substantial stock of nuclear weapons acquired with the stated national security rationale of defending the country from possible Chinese attack, and retaining the capacity to deal simultaneously with a potential nuclear attack from Pakistan – but all this in an environment where China has always maintained its own posture to be based on no first use and minimum deterrence, with no evidence of basic stockpile numbers or (at least until recently new acquisitions) inconsistent with that, and plenty of evidence of greater preoccupation with internal stability than external adventurism; and an environment where Pakistan can plausibly claim to have weaponised only because India did so first, but where its nuclear weapons do now operate as a strategic equalizer.

There is no easy way now out of this cul de sac in which both India and Pakistan now seem trapped, but the most productive approach would seem to be one founded on the basic principles of common and cooperative security, whereby a major effort would be made by New Delhi to enter into sustained strategic dialogue with both Beijing and Islamabad, aimed not only at trying to find long-term solutions to the border and other issues of potential volatility between them, but more immediately at identifying the numbers and deployment of weapons that would constitute a genuinely minimum deterrent nuclear capability for each side, with each then setting a cap on the production of any further weapons beyond that, and a similar voluntary cap (until such time as a formal treaty on fissile material is negotiated) on the production and stockpiling of fissile material capable of being used for weapons purposes.

India could at the same time take a major step toward regaining a position of moral and political leadership – rather than simply follower-ship – on nuclear weapons by ratifying the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty without waiting for the U.S. and China to do so first, a position which would be consistent with its stated absence of intent ever to test again anyway. At the end of the day national policymakers will make their own call, but it is strongly arguable that the reputational rewards for India (and Pakistan, if it were to also embrace this course) would far outweigh any risks.

Responsibility to Protect. Another example of a major contentious policy area in which India (and perhaps other countries represented here) could, by taking a good international citizenship approach to its assessment of national interest, win substantial reputational rewards, would be by taking a leading role in the further development of the responsibility to protect principle. Initially hesitant on traditional sovereignty grounds when the issue was debated at the UN World Summit in 2005, New Delhi seemed until very recently to have overcome that caution, with then Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee referring in 2008, in the context of its endgame assault on the last Tamil Tiger redoubt and the civilians caught in between, to the Sri Lankan government’s responsibility to protect its own people; and further, agreeing with in February and not opposing in March this year the invocation of the principle in the context of Gaddafi’s assaults on his own people in Libya.

However, with the NATO-led international intervention taking a very expansive view of its mandate, on the principle that all Libya’s civilians could not be effectively protected without regime change, India refused – together with its BRICS colleagues (Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa) – to support even a very moderately crafted resolution on Syria, on the grounds, in essence, that even a first condemnatory step would be to tacitly accept an escalator ride leading inexorably to coercive military intervention. While I can well understand that reaction, given the way the Libyan intervention was handled, it is important for countries who aspire to international leadership roles not to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

A constructive way forward would be for India to lead the way in asserting the continued relevance of the R2P norm, as the organisational framework for ensuring that we never again shame our common humanity by allowing the mass atrocity catastrophes of the Holocaust, Cambodia, Rwanda and the Balkans to be repeated, but at the same time emphasising, in the post-Libya environment, that coercive military intervention can never be a routine or inevitable policy response, but only justified in extreme and exceptional circumstances. And in this context it could lead the very much unfinished international debate as to what those circumstances should be by arguing for the adoption of limiting guidelines for the use of military force of the kind argued for, but rejected, at the time R2P was adopted.**

I hope I haven’t worn out my welcome by going a little further in these remarks than just listing the global challenges with which policymakers in this region, as elsewhere in the world, are going to have to wrestle in the period ahead. But I do have a very strong sense that when it comes to tackling these problems, we really are all in the same boat; that it is really important that we find cooperative ways of bailing out and sailing that boat together; and that the policymakers of this region – particularly if they can look at some of these problems through slightly different glasses than they have tended to wear in the past – have a hugely positive contribution to make as we embark on the journey ahead.





*Chancellor of Australian National University, President Emeritus of International Crisis Group, Co-Chair of International Commissions on Intervention & State Sovereignty (2001) and Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (2009) , and former Foreign Minister of Australia (1988-96).

** As articulated in the report of the International Commission on Intervention on State Sovereignty (2001), the UN Secretary-General’s High Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change (2004) and UN Secretary-General Annan’s In Larger Freedom report (2005): he first test is seriousness of risk: is the threatened harm of such a kind and scale as to justify prima facie the use of force? The second is whether the primary purpose of the proposed military action is to halt or avert the threat in question. The third is last resort: has every non-military option been explored and found wanting? The fourth is proportionality: are the scale, duration, and intensity of the proposed military action the minimum necessary to meet the threat? The final, and usually toughest, legitimacy test, is balance of consequences: will those at risk ultimately be better or worse off, and the scale of suffering greater or less?