The obligation to protect International Law concerning the Afghan Crisis

The Responsibility to Protect

The obligation to protect is a global standard that was evolved to ensure that states that have been hit by mass atrocities, like genocide or crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansing, and war crimes, are not left out by the group of states. Instead, the whole state community shares the obligation to protect their citizens equally, and the conditions in such dire times do not do it. The concept was established through the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (ICISS) in 2001 to address the international community’s inaction in the Rwandan massacre and atrocities that occurred within the Former Yugoslavia.

The obligation to safeguard is a broad notion founded in sovereignty. The idea that sovereignty is a concept has been broadened to encompass the obligation (responsibility) of the states to safeguard their citizens. However, when the form isn’t in a position to do so, that is, it cannot defend its citizens and its citizens, the responsibility shifts to states in the vicinity or stronger. In the ICISS Report, “sovereign states have a responsibility to protect their own citizens from avoidable catastrophe- from mass murder and rape, from starvation- but when they are unwilling or unable to do so, that responsibility must be borne by the broader community of states” 1. The principle reflects the significance of protecting human rights by shifting responsibility from the nation of origin of individuals to states to protect their rights as human beings. Protection of rights for human beings is among the main goals that are the main goals of United Nations, as mentioned in Art. (1) (3) in the UN charter.

It was accepted at the UN World Summit, a large gathering of heads of Government and State, in 2005. The Outcome Document adopted at the World Summit [2] referred explicitly to the principle in paragraphs 138 and 139.139. The focus was reiterated through the General Assembly and re-affirmed by the Security Council. However, it has not been made law as it isn’t an international treaty or recognized as an international standard.

The Responsibility to Protect, as first introduced by the ICISS and the ICISS, is in favor of the possibility of taking military action when the burden passes to the global community when peaceful ways to protect civilians from mass murder are not effective. However, the World Summit in the Outcome Document does not support this, which only approves collective action via the Security Council acting under Chapter VII of the UN charter.

In contrast to the notion of human intervention, the Responsibility to Protect is not as controversial since it recognizes the sovereignty of the state, its territorial integrity, and the political independence of a nation and acknowledges the obligation of the state’s territorial government that is constantly stricken by violence and strife to ensure the safety of its citizens. In addition, this principle will come into effect only if the state’s government administration keeps law and order of its citizens. In this case, it assigns this responsibility to the state’s community.

According to the ICISS Report [33, the responsibility to safeguard is composed of three obligations, i.e., the obligation to prevent, the duty to react, and the commitment to rebuild. It’s, therefore, much more than humanitarian intervention, which allows any state to interfere in the internal affairs of a country for humanitarian reasons and has often led to armed interventions without any obligation for rebuilding.

The ICISS report states that the obligation to stop is the main component of the responsibility to protect. It will tackle the direct and indirect reasons for internal conflict or insurgency and prevent the emergence of a crisis. The second component, the responsibility to respond, allows the third state, acting on the principle of duty to safeguard, to take action in response to a Crisis that has already occurred. This might include imposing penalties, prosecutions in international courts, or using military force to defend the rights of people from abuses and other harm to their liberty and life in extreme circumstances.

As previously mentioned, the use of force by the state that intervenes in the context of its Responsibility to Protect is only suggested by the ICISS. At the same time, the same is not mentioned within the Outcome Document, which only permits collective actions from the Security Council as per Chapter VII of the UN charter. This notion is diminished if veto power is exercised by the Security Council, making the whole concept of the Responsibility to Protect unnecessary if a decision stalled in the Council. The veto power of the permanent members has proved detrimental to the credibility of R2P, and Syria has confirmed this. 

The reasoning behind this could be derived from natural laws: when a state falls or is the victim of mass human rights abuses, other parties have the power and an obligation/obligation to intervene. Thus, any intervention not accompanied by the consent of the Security Council can be legal to this theory. By views of the realist theory of constructivism, the violation of the formal provisions for humanitarian reasons of the UN charter by people from the global community, acting as trustees of the public interest, also allows for intervention to fulfill the erga omnes obligations and to prevent international crime, even without having the permission from Security Council. Security Council.

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