Security and development: the challenge of peace-building and human security

What does Peacebuilding mean[1] ?
Peacebuilding (literally “consolidation of the peace”) is a term used by the International Community to describe activities involved in the resolutions of armed conflicts in order to establish a sustainable peace.
Peacebuilding includes:
• reform of security sector;
• provide technical assistance for a democratic development (political process);
• stability (development in different sectors);
• promote the resolutions of conflicts;
• improve human rights.
In 2010, in light of the Accra Agenda for Action, after the endorsement of the Principles for Good International Engagement in Fragile States and Situations, following the committment to the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness and fostering the work of the g7+ group of fragile states, the Dili Declaration was set for a new vision of peacebuilding and statebuilding

International Humanitarian Law (IHL) comprises the established laws for the protection of individuals in armed conflicts: the laws applicable to the conduct of hostilities, once a state has resorted to the use of force, which form the so-called ius in bello. In fact the IHL reaffirms and develops the traditional international laws of war (ius in bello) which are considered as customary laws. These laws are codified in several conventions: among the earlier agreements on this issue there are the Hague Conventions of 1907 (largely recognized as customary law) but now the most relevant legal instruments are the four Geneva Conventions of 1949 and the two Additional Protocols of 1977 which are the base of IHL. Also more specific conventions and treaties – like those banning specific weapons – are part of the IHL. Humanitarian law is not concerned with the legality of a state recourse to force which concerns the ius ad bellum.The scope of IHL is to protect individuals rather than states, in particular «IHL comprises all those rules of international law which are designed to regulate the treatment of individuals – civilian or military, wounded or active – in international armed conflict [the Additional Protocol II addresses also internal conflict]». So humanitarian law sets certain bounds to the use of force against an adversary: it determines both the relationship of the parties to a conflict with the other parties and with neutral states – in particular the way in which a state treats the nationals of its adversary. It is also applied to the governing methods of occupied territory. Certain provisions are also applicable in the relationship between the state and its own citizens but this is not its main function. IHL sets these limits to the way in which force may be used by prohibiting certain weapons (such as poison gas), certain methods of warfare (such as indiscriminate attacks – attacks must be directed only against military objectives) and regulating the treatment of non-combatants, prisoners of war, wounded, sick, shipwrecked and of the civilian population.In the past humanitarian law was applicable only in case of war. Now, it is applicable in any international armed conflict: it is not necessary that the parties have declared war and that they recognize that they are in a formal state of war. The rules of IHL apply with equal force to both sides in the conflict, irrespective of who is the aggressor, and the fact that one side in a conflict violates humanitarian law does not justify its adversary in disregarding that laws.
The four Geneva Conventions of 1949:
  • Geneva Convention I for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field
  • Geneva Convention II for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked Members of Armed Forces at Sea
  • Geneva Convention III Concerning the Treatment of Prisoners of War
  • Geneva Convention IV Concerning the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War

The two Protocols of 1977 additional to the Geneva Conventions are designed to reaffirm and develop the rules embodied in the laws of Geneva and part of the laws of the Hague Convention of 1907:
  • Protocols I Concerning the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts
  • Protocols II Concerning the Protection of Victims of Non-International Armed Conflicts

The Security-Development Nexus

Since the end of the Cold War, it has become commonplace to assert that security and development are interlinked, interdependent and mutually reinforcing. Long-term development is regarded as hinging upon security, and lasting security depends upon sustainable development.
Intra-state conflicts have become a major international concern in the last decade. Significant advances have been made by the international community in addressing the causes and consequences of these conflicts, leading to a reconsideration of the relationship between security and development. International actors are increasingly aware that these are interdependent and an integral part of comprehensive conflict management strategies.
Three key sectors are regarded as essential for building sustainable peace: governance, security sector and rule of law. Rebuilding state institutions and enhancing their administrative capacity is a key priority for most international actors. An effective, credible and accountable security sector is also crucial for conflict management. It provides an environment safe and secure enough to enable other initiatives a chance of taking root. Similarly, reestablishing the rule of law through judicial and legal reforms is regarded as a prerequisite for the development of stable and peaceful societies. In the end, there is no development without security and no security without development. Indeed, institutional and personal insecurity has become the primary challenge for economic development and the primary culprit for this state of affairs is intrastate conflict. None of the countries caught in or coming out of a current civil war has reached any of the Millennium Development Goals set by the UN. At the same time, this situation cannot be contained within state borders because refugee flows, massive black marketeering, and organized crime are heavily fuelled.
The World Bank advocates development policies for fragile states that pursue extensive institutional reforms. With these reforms, and the provision of security, there is a greater possibility for sustained development.

Robert Zoellick, former President of the World Bank, briefly explains why the Bank needs to address violence as part of its development agenda.

Water Security in Central Asia Region

The Central Asia Region (CAR) includes: Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, KyrgyzRepublic, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. It has always been a bridge between Europe and Asia. During the XIX century its control passed under the influence of the Tsarist Russia. When it became Soviet Union the problem for this region began. It put into effect a high exploitation of resources, soil and environment, built many factories, installed nuclear plants and create intensive monoculture (cotton mainly).
The main consequence has been had on water. The water system of the area is composed by two rivers: Amu Darya and Syr Darya and the Aral Sea. The rivers are so drain that they don’t rich anymore the Sea. The Aral Sea was the largest inland body of salty reservoirs in the world; it functioned as a gigantic evaporator, contributed to hydrothermal regime improvement, influence water regime and pasture productivity. Now it is going to disappear and became a salty desert. Experts predict the extinction for 2020. The drainage is 91% caused by irrigation and the pollution of the water is caused by the sewage discharge by industries, agriculture and household. The major pollutant components are: pesticides, chlorides, sodium, petroleum products and radioactive substances. The causes that get to this situation are: over-expenditure of water, inefficient drainage system, pesticides and a weak legislation. The effects are: on climate change with a seasonal changes, on the soil structure (salty), on biodiversity with a lose of species and on social and economic sphere. The health situation is dramatic; the diseases are related to water pollution (cancer, child mortality, tuberculosis, diarrhoea, born abnormalities, reproductive pathology,…). Many people had to change their activity (from fishery to camels’ breed).
There is a wide legislation and also intervention of international community but the results are equal to zero. The solution could be,limit the use of water for irrigation and developed practices to ensure clear water. We are now facing a human crisis.

Piracy: Security, Peace-building and State-building. The Somali case

Despite the obvious fact that piracy can be traced back to the beginning of any fishery activity, in the Somali narrative it is often argued that piracy started off as self-defense by impoverished fishermen against international fleets fishing illegally in their waters.

This reading of facts, even though embedded in an extremely peculiar and almost unique context, shows the bright link between security, peace and institutions.
Over time the exacerbation of wars, famines, inaction of the international community, and therefore the total absence of any real power on ground or sea has led to the ocean off the Horn of Africa becoming no man's land, justifying robin-hoodesque interpretations of what actually is one of the biggest waves of organised crime in scale, geographical extent and violence.
The number of piracy episodes with hijacks off the Somali coast peaked between 2005 and 2011, where attacks reached a high of 243, meaning 96% of the world's total number of hijacking episodes.The consequences have been felt globally, affecting trade flows (re-routing, insurance mark-ups, private security on board costs) , tourism and the fishery sector.

Only an intense intervention of more than 40 countries in counter-piracy military operations has managed to reduce the attacksDespite the decrease in frequency, still today the costs bared by international community to tackle this issue are estimated to be between 7 to 18 billion US$ a year, which appear to be a barely sustainable solution. A different approach to the topic is needed in order to include all the drivers of piracy.When the focus is shifted from sea to land, from the victims to the perpetrators it appears clear that fighting piracy only off-shore leaves out the roots, the den and the destination of piracy profits. Building serious centralized and de-centralized control capacity in the new-born government, that is some statebuilding activities, will allow not only higher opportunity costs for pirates and for on-shore accomplishes, but also a rightful gain in legitimacy. Given the situation, besides the market-approach solution, a long-term solution must also include the creation of political and economical fora where to express needs, explore conflicts and build solutions. Alternatives for the unemployed youth that sees in piracy as its only way of making a living are needed especially given the high percentage of youth in the total somali population.
However, all these measures risk being costly and ineffective if political debate with the long-ignored and self-structured population throughout the whole process does not take place: through participatory involvement and discussion those conditions that have allowed piracy to thrive and secure stakeholders support, could be re-addressed in favour of a wider, more democratic development and state-building effort.
Sources: IMB 2012; UNODC–WB 2012.
IMB Piracy Reporting Centre
Foreign Affairs Committee. 2012. Piracy off the Coast of Somalia. London: The Stationery Office, UK House of Commons

Conflict, Security, and Development. World Development Report 2011
World Bank Report, Pirates of Somalia

Land Grabbing. A New Colonialism?
Land grabbing is a old but still present phenomenon. Talking about land grabbing means talking about the exploitation of the resources of developing countries at the hand of developed and industrialized countries.
Land grabbing is usually conceptualized as the expropriation of large tracts of land by corporate interests (especially transnational corporations), often for the purpose of establishing agribusinesses in food production, tilling land for agro fuels, or high-class tourism development. What determines whether there is a land grab is not the purpose to which the grabbed land is put, important as that is; rather, it is whether there is the alienation or expropriation of land, usually from people in weaker socioeconomic classes. Land may be grabbed by governments too, as in taking land from people in the name of national interest and refusing to pay fair compensation promptly.
Land grabbing is a so relevant phenomenon because it concerns a fundamental resource of developing countries: land. The ownership and use of land, indeed,especially in developing countries, is not just a source of livelihood, but a symbol of identity, dignity, solidarity and peace. It facilitates the access to credit, it gives the poor more voice in the political arena, it arrests the intergenerational transmission of poverty.

The paper attached below (Laura Bossini. Martina Ronchetto, Land Grabbing. A New Colonialism?) examines in detail land grabbing problem.

Peace building obstacles in Middle East: Palestine Refugee issue and UNRWA

UNRWA - United Nation Relief and Work Agency for Palestine Refugee in Near East - were created in 1949 with UNGA Resolution n.302 to carry out in collaboration with local governments the direct relief and works programmes as recommended by the Economic Survey Mission and to provide this countries with the tools to manage by theirselves this issue[2] . Even though it was supposed to be temporary, this subsidiary agency of UNGA is still working to fulfill all the needs of Palestine refugees, to allow them to reach their full potential in human development. It works in Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Gaza and West Bank, implementing 6 main programmes to absolve its mission: education, health care, relief and social services, microfinance, infrastructure and camp improvement (more than 1/3 of total still live in refugee camp) and emergency programmes.

But who are "Palestine refugee" and when did this issue rise and why? According to UNRWA definition, a Palestine refugee is that persone whose normal place of residence was Palestine during the period 1 June 1946 to 15 May 1948, and who lost both home and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 conflict. Palestine Refugees, and descendants of Palestine refugee males, including legally adopted children, are eligible to register for UNRWA services[3] . The question came out with all this fierce in 1948, after the end of the British mandate for Palestine and after the declaration of the birth of an Independent State of Israel in Palestine by David Ben Gurion on 14 May of 1948, when the neighbors Arab State invaded the newly born State of Israel on 15 May 1948. Since this conflict started, more than 700 000 palestinian people have been displaced. Now, although in UNGA Resolution n. 194 were recognized their right to return, they are still hosted in refugee camps or in foreign countries (especially those countries where UNRWA provides its services), subjected to discriminations (often they have less rights than a foreigner, because they have no citizenship, with the exception of Jordan where they are recognized as citizens) and with restricted access to work.
In the last sixty years UNRWA has kept its role of permanent takecarer, educating and feeding those refugee who, at same time, are keeping awake the hope of getting back in houses and villages that doesn't exist anymore. This issue of the refugees together with the issue of the settlement are two of the main obastacles and controverse opened question that stops the peace building process in that region. Find a solution to these two problems will mean to find a solution to the unresolved conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.

Good Governance and Development.

Empirical studies have specifically demonstrated that various dimension of “good governance” are prerequisite for sustainable economic development. Good governance including the rule of law, has been found to be a critical success factor for sustainable development. Economic performance instigates governments to improve their institutions through generous funding. On the other hand, many studies suggest the absence of “virtuous circles” in which higher incomes due to an economic boost and massive development aid lead to further improvements in governance. Experiences in South America and eastern Europe in particular show that higher levels of affluence do not necessary translate into better governance. In period of prosperity, established interest groups unduly influencing state policies may grow even more powerful. Higher income levels may therefore increase rather that decrease Mafia interest in business state. In the same way, economic prosperity based on exploitation of natural resources such as oil or diamonds acts form many developing countries as an economic “curse disguise”. In many cases, resource dependency provokes the capture of the state by corrupt and criminal groups. The revenues from these economic activities are more likely to generate rampant corruption and subsequent weakened institutions and diminished economic growth. Examples: Angola, Nigeria, Zambia, Gabon and Venezuela. Anyway, the economic growth plays a fundamental role in development, but it must be controlled by a good governance. All countries would succeed in building up justice and security sectors, but they have to be controlled and monitored in all phases of this process, in which the most important thing to do is to bring under control corruption and crime.

Immigration in a globalized eraThe immigration field takes particular importance in a globalized scenario, such as the one we are living today in our countries, expecially in States that present relevant labour or capital resources. Immigrationhas produced important social, political, economic and also cultural consequences expecially in large urban centre, that represents the “pull factor” of immigration. In particular circumstances, countries have refused to became “country of immigration”; in other cases, countries accepted the multiculturalism migration produces. When involved in immigration flows, host countries have to manage with the presence of immigrants and the best practice to be realized by the host countries themselves is promoting integration. Although it could be a good point to start, integration is very often discouraged or simply made up by a temporary term. This way, immigrants are attended to come back their own country rather than to be integrated in their new society. But how can be (im)migration related to globalization? It coul be possible to distinguish several factors. The most important one involves immigration and labour: in industrialized countries and centrers, labour is an attractive "pull factor" able to push people from poorest countries to most advanced and industrialized ones. Immigrant labour is seemed to be a necessary force which is able to help both the host and the home economies to be richer in the future. Immigrants are used to maintain strong family, bussiness and cultural connection with the home country. Very often, immigration is able to create concrete transnational communities: this is possible also thanks to globalization – that produces more efficient links among the whole international community. In this sense, does integration play a strategic role in the immigration field? Host countries can promote social integration of immigrants, getting in touch with the common frameworks the new society presents, such as the national law or the language. Integration very often produces difficulties: both native people and immigrants might be radicalized at their own culture, common values or traditions; this is due to the great diversity that can intercur by home countries and host one. In this terms, social integration produces hostility and fractures rather than cohesion. In a globalized era, the increase of migration flows is seemed to be a natural outcome of the globalization itself. Nowadays, societies have to deal with the importance of multiculturalism and the population of countries of immigration has to face the presence of new members in "their own society". So immigration can be conceived as an important resource for the future: immigrants can play an active role in host society, by enjoyng the equal sense of appartenence of citizens, by promoting a positive diversity. At the same time, it's important to point out that immigrant have to satisfy certain criterias to be fully integreted in the host society, such as the respect of the national law and socio-political pillars. Integration can lead to social cohesion, even if social cohesion is not a direct result produced by immigration. Immigrants can be fully integrated in the host society – that has becoming also “their” society – without apport any contribution to social cohesion. In this sense, integration can be helped by the globalization itself, that can be considered at the same time the push of immigration, as mentioned above.
  1. ^ For further analysis of current developments on the topic, in addition to brief history and related documents see
  2. ^ UNGA Resolution n.302 ch.7, 18 December 1949
  3. ^ UNRWA - Consolidate Eligibility and Registration Instruction (CERI) ch.3A; 1 January 2009