What kind of responsibility do some states have for the rights of the subjects of other states?

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What kind of responsibility do some states have

for the rights of the subjects of other states?

Human rights are “non- derivative and fundamental elements of morality. They embody a form of recognition of the value of each individual that supplements and differs in kind from that which leads us to value the overall increase of human happiness and the eradication of misery”.[1]

Due to the tragic events in Rwanda and the Balkans in 1990s, there was emergence for the international community to engage in serious discussions on taking effective measures in cases where citizens' rights are grossly and systematically violated. The essence of this question is, whether states have absolute sovereignty in charge of their internal affairs, and whether the right of the international community to intervene in the internal affairs of any other state is right for the purposes of humanitarian help.

Any warnings of danger require shared responsibility and cooperation among the States concerned and the international community. Duty to prevent and stop genocide and mass atrocities lies primarily with the concerned State; the international community plays a role that cannot block calls for sovereignty.

Sovereignty protects not only the state from the foreign interference, but it also imposes the responsibility of States for the welfare of its people. This principle is enshrined in Article 1 of the Genocide Convention with the principle of "sovereignty as responsibility" and in the new concept of the “responsibility to protect”.[2]

The term "responsibility to protect" was first mentioned in the report of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty established by the Government of Canada in December 2001. The Commission was established in response to the question of Kofi Annan as at what stage the international community should intervene in the internal affairs of the country for humanitarian purposes. The report stated that sovereignty is not only providing any state the right to “control” their internal affairs, but also imposes an immediate obligation to protect people living within the borders of this state.[3]

“Responsibility to protect” was introduced in 2005 by the UN initiative. It is the new rule of international law. It consists of several principles, united by the idea that sovereignty is not a privilege but a duty. In accordance with this concept, sovereignty gives states not only the right to control their internal affairs, but also imposes a responsibility to protect the people living outside the borders of these countries. In those cases where the state is unable to protect their people - whether due to lack of opportunities or due to a lack of will - the responsibility shifts to the international community.[4]

The implementation of the concept of "responsibility to protect" is held primarily in organizations aimed at protecting international order and maintaining stability of development. First of all, it usually refers to the Council of Europe, the OSCE, the European Union, the African Union and states where the use of the capacity of these organizations will create the need for effective action.

"The responsibility to protect" focuses on preventing and ending the following types of crimes: genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansing. All of these types of crimes are united in a single term - massive atrocities crimes.[5]

The concept is based on three conditions:

. The State has an obligation to protect their populations from mass atrocities;

2. The international community must help the state if it cannot self-defense itself;

3. If a State fails protection or peacekeeping operation fails, the international community must intervene through coercive measures such as economic sanctions. Military intervention is considered only as a last and final measure.[6]

Humanity is faced with a number of conflicts that have shaken the public consciousness in recent years. Among them are the terrible events in Iraq and Syria, the ongoing violence against civilians in South Sudan, the Central African Republic, Ukraine, in the north of Nigeria and in Gaza. International community, in cooperation with the UN, has embarked the emergence of the need to use collective measures of the “responsibility to protect” in order to eliminate the conflicts and safe the peoples around the world.

The activities of the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide should be viewed in conjunction with the closely related work of the Special Adviser on the “Responsibility to Protect”, the primary objective of which is to develop a conceptual, political and operational aspects of the concept. It obliges international community to interact with internal affairs of another state in order to prevent the humanitarian catastrophe. Politicians and heads of states are responsible to their nationals in internal stage and to international community, through the UN. They carry responsibility for their acts of doing and can be held responsible for own wrongdoings. According to the UN, if state cannot resolve the issue, the responsibility lies on the international community and demands that collective measures have been taken in order to resolve the matter.
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However, discussions regarding the concepts are still under way. The international community has not yet come to a consensus on the need to consolidate the concept of the UN Charter by amending as to what situations are legitimate grounds for international intervention. Therefore, today the concept exists only in the form of a "framework" that does not have a universal legal content.

Using alternative formulation of “sovereignty as responsibility” will help shake up the political debate, encourage governments, in particular, think afresh about what the real issues are. Change in terminology from "interference" to "protection" comes from ...

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