“We have a general duty to assist
victims of grievous injustice...persons in grave danger if wecan do it at reasonable cost to ourselves. If this is true, we have, by
definition, a right to do so.”
(Tesón, 97)In his article Niezen
claims that the human rights idea has “a wider global reach than any onemajor religion or system of thought.” (Niezen, 86) He further attributes the end of apartheid inSouth Africa and the collapse of Eastern European regimes to “the moral power” of hum
an rightsthan to any other product of international law (Niezen, 87-88). Therefore, according to sometheorists, the significant progress that human rights have made in the international politics andthe conscience of individuals has earned it enough credibility to justify interventions intosovereign affairs.The second argument for intervention builds upon the first and concerns itself with therole of international opinion. Having acknowledged the importance of human rights and seeingthem violated by tyrannical governments, states come together under the auspices of the UN andsimilar organisations, denouncing the violator state and taking a series of measures to influenceits behaviour. This consensus essentially constructs legitimacy to intervene as the last resort, dueto overbearing international condemnation. Here the function of the Security Council needs to beemphasised. New developments in international affairs in the 1990s have increased its influencein decisions with regard to peacekeeping and peace enforcement operations (R2P, 7). The sharedcommunal identity of states within the international system also produces responsibility towardsthe people of those states. This is the idea conveyed in the modern concept of Responsibility ToProtect (R2P) as a fresh look on interventions.