The principle of the responsibility to protect (RtoP) conceives of a broad set of measures that can be employed in preventing and responding to atrocity crimes. Nevertheless, the UN Security Council remains an important part of the implementation architecture, given what the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty referred to as its authoritative position in international society as the “linchpin of order and stability.” As part of the roundtable “The Responsibility to Protect in a Changing World Order: Twenty Years since Its Inception,” this review of the Council's role in fulfilling its responsibility to protect advances two somewhat contrasting arguments about the original ICISS report. First, it suggests that the commissioners may have underestimated the Council's potential contribution, by concentrating on the authorization of coercive means to address crises of human protection. Over the past two decades, the Security Council has not only employed various diplomatic, political, and humanitarian measures to address atrocity crimes but also adjusted the purposes and practices of peace operations to advance protection goals and more subtly shaped discourses and expectations about state responsibilities for protection. However, I also argue that the willingness of the ICISS to identify potential alternatives to the Security Council when its members are paralyzed appears in retrospect to have been both bold and forward looking, in light of the Council's failures to act in a timely and decisive manner to protect amid crises and the contemporary realities of geopolitical rivalry. The article concludes by suggesting that future efforts to protect populations from atrocity crimes should focus not only on the herculean task of trying to change the behavior of P5 members of the Council but also on encouraging a new institutional balance between the Security Council and other intergovernmental bodies.