Worldwatch Paper #146: Ending Violent Conflict
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The Cold War is over, little has changed fundamentally as far as reliance on the military is concerned. Thus, at the threshold of the twenty-first century, the international community faces a fundamental challenge: either build the foundations for a lasting peace or be overwhelmed by an endless string of internal wars capable of devastating entire countries, even of re-igniting big-power confrontations. And as events in the Balkans have demonstrated, current peace and security policies are woefully inadequate.
In this paper, author Michael Renner argues that the international community is more likely to avoid crises like Kosovo's by devoting as much energy and enthusiasm to fortifying the nascent infrastructure of peace as it has to building military muscle. He lays out a program for transforming the process of international policy-making by infusing it with human rights, humanitarian, and human development concerns to a far greater extent than has been the case to date-by moving toward human security.
There is no single path to ending conflict. Renner makes a convincing case for a multi-layered strategy that includes: pursuing disarmament; promoting conflict prevention and mediation; building effective, permanent peacekeeping forces; protecting human rights and prosecuting war criminals; and invigorating global institutions like the United Nations and the World Court.