Article Details

Organised Crime And Conflict: The New Challenge For Peacebuilding

Categories: Articles:Peacemaking | Published: 05/01/2015 | Views: 1565
1.5 billion people (about one quarter of the world's population) continue to live in fear of violence. War, characterised by formal peace agreements and U.N. peacekeeping operations, is being replaced by insecurity caused by urban and cross-border crime, such as drugs, human trafficking and gun trade. According to the report, such violence poses one of the biggest threats to development in the 21st century. Experts are warning of a new epidemic caused by a rise in the number of 'fragile cities' in the world - spaces where violence is flourishing and creating humanitarian crises on par with war zones. (Phil Champain, TRF, 08/12/14)

This presents a serious problem for those of us involved in building peace. Are we working in the right places? Are we tackling the right problems? Engaging the right actors? Because of its changing face, much of today's violence takes place in middle income countries that are not the traditional stomping ground of the peacebuilding sector (Mexico and Jamaica, for example). And in the "fragile states" more familiar to peacebuilding organisations (Mali, Colombia and Afghanistan, to name a few) the new cocktail of motivations for violence presents new challenges.

Over the past few decades, the number of wars has been decreasing - there were approximately 30 armed conflicts in 2010 compared to 50 in 1990. Conflicts between state militaries are becoming less frequent, and there are now more peace agreements than ever. So isn’t peacebuilding winning? Despite the decline in the number of wars in the world, the safety – and wellbeing – of ordinary people is not improving as markedly as these statistics would suggest. The World Bank Development Report 2011 revealed that 1.5 billion people (about one quarter of the world’s population) continue to live in fear of violence. War, characterised by formal peace agreements and U.N. peacekeeping operations, is being replaced by insecurity caused by urban and cross-border crime, such as drugs, human trafficking and gun trade. According to the report, such violence poses one of the biggest threats to development in the 21st century. In addition, experts are warning of a new epidemic caused by a rise in the number of “fragile cities” in the world – spaces where violence is flourishing and creating humanitarian crises on par with war zones.

Read More

Print Bookmark and Share

Return to previous page
http://www.justiceandpeacescotland.org.uk/Campaigns/Peace-making/ctl/details/itemid/1624/mid/653