Armed conflicts are diminishing

by RO on 週六, 24 三月 2007 評論
We might not have noticed yet, but since the end of the Cold War, armed conflict and nearly all other forms of political violence have decreased. The world is far more peaceful than it was. Published in 2005 and 2006, the Human Security Report, an independent study funded by five countries and directed by Andrew Mack (University of British Columbia in Vancouver), has revealed that after five decades of increase, the number of armed conflicts started to fall worldwide in the early 1990s. The decline has continued. By 2003, there were 40 percent fewer conflicts than in 1992. The deadliest conflicts -- those with 1,000 or more battle-deaths -- fell by some 80 percent. The number of genocides and other mass slaughters of civilians also dropped by 80 percent, while core human rights abuses have declined in five out of six regions of the developing world since the mid-1990s. International terrorism is the only type of political violence that has increased.
The end of the Cold War, which had driven at least a third of all conflicts since World War II, appears to have been the single most critical factor for this phenomenon. Also, the role of international organizations has been increasing, with very positive results: the number of U.N. peacekeeping operations and missions to prevent and stop wars has increased by more than 400 percent since the end of the Cold War. As this upsurge of international activism grew in scope and intensity through the 1990s, the number of crises, wars and genocides declined. U.N. peace-building operations have a two-thirds success rate, and are cost-effective. In fact, the United Nations spends less running 17 peace operations around the world for an entire year than the United States spends in Iraq in a single month.
There have been some horrific failures, of course -- the failures to stop genocide in Rwanda, Srebrenica and Darfur notably. And Iraq and the Middle East are a source of major international oncern. But the quiet successes -- in Namibia, El Salvador, Mozambique, Eastern Slovenia, East Timor and elsewhere went largely unheralded.

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