Internalization of Responsibility to Protect (R2P): Responsibility to Invoke ‘Peace from Within’ Afghanistan by the Taliban Regime (2021)


  • Fujin Naz Haidery PhD Candidate at Defence and Strategic Studies (DSS) Department Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan



Responsibility to Protect (R2P), Humanitarian Crisis, Human Rights, Afghanistan, Taliban


Sovereignty, concerning state authority, endows the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) the rights of citizens. This redefined and broadened scope of sovereignty is ascribed to the international norm of the R2P. The pioneering assertions of R2P were conceptualized by the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in ‘Two Concepts of Sovereignty’ after NATO intervened in Kosovo (1999). During a humanitarian crisis, the more serious concern lies in the unchecked systematic violations of human rights rather than the question of the legitimacy and legality of intervention by the international community. In the 2005 World Summit, Sovereignty was redefined as an R2P by the state against atrocious violations of human rights. In case of failure of the host state, the international community could intervene through the Security Council. This paper will implicitly consider the normative contours of the R2P framework while assessing the current multifaceted humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan. The post-war humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan is characterized by poverty and internal displacement. Additionally, human security concerns arise from the inter-group rivalry between the Islamic State Khorasan (ISK) and the Taliban, accompanied by human rights violations against women and ethnic minorities under the Taliban regime. Aligning with the first pillar, the responsibility to protect Afghan citizens rests with the Taliban as the sovereign authority of the state. However, internalizing the principles of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) can pave the way for prospective peace in Afghanistan.


A barrier to securing peace: HR violations against former government officials & former armed force members. (2023). UNAMA.

Afghanistan Situation: Regional Refugee Response Plan. (n.d.). UNHCR.

Afghanistan: Humanitarian Response Plan 2023 Response Overview. (2023). ReliefWeb.

Afghanistan: UN human rights experts denounce idea of “reformed” Taliban. (2023). OHCHR.

Amnesty International Report 2022/2023: The state of the world’s human rights. (2023). Amnesty International.

Balkan-Şahin, S. (2022). Afghanistan: An R2P Concern. In: Gözen Ercan, P. (Eds.), The Responsibility to Protect Twenty Years On. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

Barr, H. (2021). For Afghan women, the frightening return of ‘Vice and Virtue.’ Human Rights Watch.

Bellamy, A. J. (2006). Whither the Responsibility to Protect? Humanitarian Intervention and the 2005 World Summit. Ethics & International Affairs, 20(2), 143-169.

Bellamy, A. J. (2009). Realizing the Responsibility to Protect. International Studies Perspectives, 10(2), 111-128.

Bellamy, A. J. (2022). Sovereignty Redefined: The Promise and Practice of R2P. In Pınar Gözen Ercan (Ed.), The Responsibility to Protect Twenty Years: On Rhetoric and Implementation (pp. 13-32). Springer Nature Switzerland AG

Evans, G. (2004). The Responsibility to Protect: Rethinking Humanitarian Intervention. Proceedings of the Annual Meeting (American Society of International Law), 98, 78-89.

First humanitarian flight to Kabul marks ‘Turning Point’ in crisis: WFP. (2021) United Nations.

Gannon, K. (2022, April 23). Afghan IS group claims series of bombings targeting Shiites. The Diplomat.

Institute for Economics and Peace. (2023). Global Terrorism Index 2023: Measuring the Impact of Terrorism. Sydney.

Government, UNHCR verify 1.3 million Afghan refugees in Pakistan. (2022) United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Pakistan.

Haddad, M., & Chughtai, A. (2021). Afghanistan: Mapping the advance of the Taliban. Aljazeera.

Human Rights Watch (2023). Afghanistan Under the Taliban: The Crime Against Humanity of Gender Persecution.

Human Rights Watch. (2022a). Afghanistan: Taliban deprives women of livelihoods, identity: severe restrictions, harassment, fear in Ghazni Province.

Human Rights Watch. (2022b). Afghanistan: ISIS Group Targets Religious Minorities.

Humanitarian needs overview: Afghanistan. (2023) United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

International Commission of Jurists. (2023). Taliban War on Women: The Crime Against Humanity of Gender Persecution in Afghanistan. Amnesty International.

IOM Comprehensive Action Plan for Afghanistan and Neighbouring Countries (2021). Reliefweb.

Iqbal, A. (2020, July 26). 6,500 terrorists still active in Afghanistan: UN. Dawn.

Lauterpacht, H. (1945). Recognition of Governments: I. Columbia Law Review, 45(6), 815-864.

Lindsay, M. (2023). The Taliban in Afghanistan. Council on Foreign Relations. Council on Foreign Relations.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs Government of Pakistan (2021, June 9). “2021 Pakistan Humanitarian Response Plan” jointly launched by the Government of Pakistan and the United Nations (2020).

Ministry of Information and Culture, Afghanistan. (2021, December 3). Special decree issued by Amir Al-Momenin on women’s rights.

Mir, A. (2020). Afghanistan’s terrorism challenge: The political trajectories Of Al-Qaeda, the Afghan Taliban, and the Islamic State. Middle East Institute.

Musto, J. (2020,). Pompeo: Al Qaeda a ‘Shadow’ of Its Former Self, Time to ‘Turn the Corner’ in Afghanistan. Fox News.

Nehan, N. (2022). The Rise and Fall of Women Rights in Afghanistan. LSE Public Policy Review, 2(3).

Nijat, A., Hamdard, N. M., & Hikmat, S. A. H. (2023). Legitimacy, International Recognition, and the Taliban. International Journal of Contemporary Issues in Social Sciences, 2(4), 361-368.

Ponzio, R.., & Barakat, S. (2021). A step-by-step roadmap to peace in Afghanistan. Stimson Center.

Rana, M. A., & Sial, S. (2022). Pakistan Security Report 2021. Conflict and Peace Studies, 14(1).

Riphenburg, C. J. (2005). Ethnicity and civil society in contemporary Afghanistan. The Middle East Journal 59(1), 31-51.

Rotmanna, P., Kurtzb, G., & Brockmeierc, S. (2014). Major powers and the contested evolution of a Responsibility to Protect. Conflict, Security & Development, 14(4), 355-377.

Seligman, L., Desiderio, A., Bertrand, N., & Toosi, N. (2021, April 14). How Biden’s team overrode the brass on Afghanistan. Politico.

Šimonović, I. (2016). The Responsibility to Protect. UN Chronicle 4 Vol. LIII, Human Rights. United Nations.,and%20the%20responsibility%20of%20the

Small, M. (2014). An Analysis of the Responsibility to Protect Program in Light of the Conflict in Syria. Global Studies, 13(1), 179-200.

Syed, B. S. (2021). OIC pledges money and food aid for Afghanistan amid fears of chaos. Dawn News.

Thakur, R. (2019). Reviewing the Responsibility to Protect Origins, Implementation and Controversies. Routledge

Thakur, R., & Weiss, T. G. (2009). R2P: From Idea to Norm―and Action? Global Responsibility to Protect, 1(1), 22-53.

United Nations Country Team in Afghanistan (2023). United Nations Strategic Framework for Afghanistan 2023-2025.

United Nations General Assembly. (2005, September 16). Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 16 September 2005, para 139, Responsibility to Protect Populations from Genocide, War Crimes, Ethnic Cleansing and Crimes Against Humanity, UNGAOR, 60th Sess, UN Doc A/RES/60/1.

UNHCR RBAP Afghanistan Situation - Voluntary Repatriation of Afghan Refugees. (2023). UNHCR.

United Nations Security Council. (2022). Fourteenth report of the Secretary-General on the threat posed by ISIL (Da’esh) to international peace and security and the range Of United Nations efforts in support of member states in countering the threat.

United Nations. (2014). Framework of Analysis for Atrocity Crimes: a tool for prevention. United Nations Office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect.

United Nations. (2022, June 23). Amid plummeting humanitarian conditions in Afghanistan, women, girls ‘Are Being Written Out of Society’ by De Facto authorities, briefers warn Security Council.

United Nations. (2022, March 17). World must deliver support to Afghans: UN Refugee Chief.

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. (2021, August 23). Museum Statement on the Hazara.

Watson Institute. (2021, September). Cost of War.

Women's rights in Afghanistan. (2022). Amnesty International.

World Bank. (2023). The World Bank in Afghanistan.

World Food Program. (2023a). WFP Afghanistan: Situation Report.

World Food Program. (2023b). WFP supports earthquake survivors in Afghanistan.




How to Cite

Fujin Naz Haidery. (2024). Internalization of Responsibility to Protect (R2P): Responsibility to Invoke ‘Peace from Within’ Afghanistan by the Taliban Regime (2021). NUST Journal of International Peace & Stability, 7(1), 1–19.





Most read articles by the same author(s)

Obs.: This plugin requires at least one statistics/report plugin to be enabled. If your statistics plugins provide more than one metric then please also select a main metric on the admin's site settings page and/or on the journal manager's settings pages.