Humanitarian Intervention: A new doctrine of Imperialism

By Aqsa Amin | 12, October, 2016 |

United Nations came into being  after the 2nd world war in 1945 when international community thought that there should be an institution who play central role in order to create the state of tranquility and prevent globe from massive destruction in future. Formation of United Nations led towards the concept of state sovereignty, democracy and peace among states of the world. And UN premeditated many laws and doctrines to promote human rights and peace in the world, and in this series the doctrine of “Responsibility to Protect” or R2P was accepted in United Nations World Summit in September, 2005. That means “ when any State fails to meet her responsibility, all States (the “international community”) are responsible for helping to protect people by peaceful means including diplomatic, humanitarian and others. Or when national authorities “manifestly fail” to protect their populations, the international community should act collectively in a “timely and decisive manner” through the UN Security Council and in accordance with the UN Chart.

Great powers are always influential in order to create their hegemony and imperialism in small and weak states. And on the name of “Humanitarian Intervention” or the doctrine of “Responsibility to Protect”, they are exploiting the weak states. The concept of “Humanitarian Intervention” defined as the attempts of a foreign state to prevent violations of human rights in another state, often through the use of armed force. But, are they (intervenors) actually intervene in particular state to stabilize the situation and protect human rights?

The United Nations has demonstrated that it can effectively organize and influence international relations in many situations. But the question is that “United Nations” on its own working for the stability and human rights protections or certain powers are operational on the behalf of UN in order to implement imperialism and to create their influence and hegemony. The concept of “R2P” or humanitarian intervention is distorted by great powers as they are using this concept to fulfill their own interests. This concept is not implemented with its actual purpose but it is used as a tool by certain powers to achieve their objectives and interests. Right intention is very important when a state intervene in another state but this is rare because behind any humanitarian intervention there is always some political objectives.

The role of great powers as standard bearer for the R2P concept remains a question. Iraq invasion in 2003 was started under the banner of humanitarian intervention but the real intention was not truly “humanitarian” as the “Chilcot Report” reveals the truth behind the Iraq war. Iraq invasion or Libyan intervention was initiated for the sake of democracy and to protect the public from authoritarian regimes but these attempts were failed. Yet even if the intervention does ultimately give birth to a stable and prosperous democracy, this outcome will not prove that intervention was the right choice in Libya or that similar interventions were attempted elsewhere.

The point to be ponder is that if R2P or humanitarian intervention is for peace maintainance or the protection of human rights than why it is smeared on specific countries, why international community ignoring the pathetic condition of human rights violation in Kashmir, Palestine and Burma. Because great powers are not interested in these states or there is no oil resources and other eye-catching resources in these states which attract these “human right protectors”. There is need to question these great powers that why only Iraq, Libya or Syria and why not Kashmir, Palestine and Burma, why they close their eyes on the situation of these states, why they ignore the worst condition of human rights in Kashmir, Burma and Palestine. Are they actually human right protector and their “Humanitarian Intervention” are really “Humanitarian”. We  should think about it!

The writer is student of International relations at International Islamic University Islamabad, can be reached #

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