| Developing ideas: Issue 5 |
What you're about to read could well be the future of international security. Security used to have everything to do with defending nations. But now that the Cold War has thawed and conservatives have gone green, national security is in many circles being interpreted as having more to do with building partnerships than defending borders. Common security is where human and ecological security meet - where forging alliances takes precedence over fortifying divisions. Take the newly minted Arctic Council - a regional alliance being announced this fall between Russia, the USA, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Finland and Canada. Where icy suspicions and isolated settlements once cooled any sense of regional cooperation, the countries now hope to work together on sustainable development strategies for the Arctic - whether to conserve the ecologically fragile North or to develop trade, eco-tourism and community development programmes for aboriginal and other local people. Aboriginal groups within the countries wanted their voices to be heard. The problem was overcome when it was agreed that three aboriginal organizations the Inuit Circumpolar Conference, Saami Council and Russian Association of Indigenous Minorities of the North, Siberia and Far East - would receive permanent (but non-voting) representation. The one item the Council will not address, at least for the time being, is military security in the Arctic - it's still too sensitive politically. With time and luck, however, the countries may find their new common-sense approach to security makes old-style military security models all but obsolete Who knows, we could even end up with a Common Security Council at the UN. [a new model of post-military security]
Hard regimes n. governments that adopt strong-arm tactics in a desperate attempt to relieve environmental and social insecurity.
Preventive diplomacy n. resolving disputes before violence breaks (a recently reincarnated idea receiving new currency).
Human security n. the social side of common security's social-ecological equation, strongly promoted by the UNDP.
ul Haq, Mabub. New Imperatives of Human Security: a Policy Paper Commissioned by the UNDP for the World Summit for Social Development. Copenhagen, March 1995. New York: United Nations Development Programme, 1995. 12p.
Homer-Dixon, Thomas Fraser. Environmental Scarcity and Global Security. Headline Series No. 300. New York: Foreign Policy Association, 1995. 80p.
NOT HOT - Military Insecurity
Feeling a little amiss about missile silos? Blue about bombs? Anxious about nuclear annihilation? Relax! You're probably just suffering from an end-of-the-millennium hangover called military insecurity. The onset of the condition occurs when a nation/ruler/drug dealer spends billions building up an arsenal, but still feels besieged. Some cases in point a governments in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia that can't feed their people yet dish out a fortune on the latest weapons. What good is a fortress if its inhabitants are hungry and unhappy? Fortunately, the condition can be cured. The first step of treatment requires that the boys put away their toys. A lengthy program then ensues that involves addressing real people's needs - with determination, it may lead to a brighter future based on common security.
On world peace and sustainable able development
Case studies of environmental insecurity
http://www.library. utoronto.ca/www/ pcs/state.htm