The Protection of Civilians (PoC) expands the responsibility of the UN Security Council (UNSC) for international peace and security to the internal affairs of conflict-ridden countries. As such, it bolsters the authority of the five permanent members (the P5) in world politics and presents them with a flexible tool for exercising this authority. In addition to shaping their responses to situations like Syria and Libya, the principle of PoC shapes the very dynamics of the Council itself, and ultimately the decisions of conflict actors anticipating international responses.
Lidén, Kristoffer & Simon Reid-Henry (2016) What’s in It for Them? Why the Veto Powers All Support Protection of Civilians (And Why They Often Fail to Agree on It), PRIO Policy Brief, 10. Oslo: PRIO.