Alyson J. K. Bailes/ SIPRI Yearbook Introduction – 2005-06-08 09:51:52
SIPRI Yearbook 2005
Global security governance: a world of change and challenge
Alyson J. K. Bailes
Today’s world cannot be secure without security for all, yet the events of the past few years have done little to bring global solutions closer. The United Nations Secretary-General was right to seek suggestions for new approaches from the High-level Panel that reported in December 2004, and right to endorse their major proposals for consideration at the 2005 UN General Assembly.
Part of the problem is that traditional means of assessing, and balancing, different actors’ power in the global system are out of date. The USA today possesses supreme power by most reckonings, but was limited in what it could achieve in Iraq without institutional backing, and is labouring under heavy costs as a result.
Many other states are preferring to seek influence as well as power by pooling their resources in multilateral groupings and/or working through systems of international regulation. It would be hasty to assume that the unilateral rather than the multilateral approach to wielding power will shape the globe’s future.
Security solutions today must take account of the growing power of non-state actors: including not just terrorists, but the capacity for both good and ill of the private business sector, civil society movements, non-governmental organizations and the media. They must also tackle the challenge of a widening gap in security experience and priorities between most of the northern and most of the southern hemisphere.
The greater emphasis placed recently on universal ‘transnational’ threats — as well as the growing economic clout of some ‘southern’ powers — should have underlined North – South interdependence and common interests. Sadly, many actions of the USA and other ‘northern’ powers since 2001 seem rather to have polarized attitudes further.
It is, therefore, also timely that efforts should be made in 2005 to revive the UN’s ‘Millennium’ agenda, with its emphasis on universal human development and its hopes of reducing inequality.
No single principle or method of action can, in fact, tackle the full complexity of the world’s security problems. The three main methods in current use each have their strengths and weaknesses.
External intervention, which does not just take military form but includes all methods used by stronger actors to alter the internal situation of weaker ones, may have many noble motives.
However, it brings unpredictable costs and risks, and places heavy responsibilities on the intervener. As the reasons or excuses for intervening multiply, the world needs more than ever an international authority and code to govern such actions, and a better system to create and deploy the optimum mixture of resources, including non-state ones, for them.
The regulatory or legislative approach to governing security-related phenomena has practical as well as normative advantages, not least in covering non-traditional actors. Present approaches, however, have yet to solve the challenges of universality, fairness and ownership, enforceability and enforcement.
Creating security through integration is a relatively new method pushed furthest in Europe. It can encompass most of the threat spectrum and cope with non-state actors, but has its own weaknesses and problems of popular legitimacy. Even so, several other regions are currently exploring it.
The UN stands at the centre of all these challenges and of debates on solving them. Properly understood, enhancing its role offers advantages to the strong as well as the weak. Yet the UN does not govern all (e.g., monetary and economic) dimensions of global action relevant to security, and the norms and goals it sets require the help of many others for fulfilment.
All actors that have the power to respond to the proposals of the High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change have a shared responsibility to help realize them: ‘the buck stops here’.
SIPRI Yearbook 2005
Armaments, Disarmament and International Security
ISBN 0-19-928401-6 and 978-0-19-928401-6
c. 840 pages, £80.00
Introduction. Global security governance: a world of change and challenge
Part I. Security and conflicts, 2004
Chapter 1. Euro-Atlantic security and institutions
Chapter 2. Major armed conflicts
Chapter 3. Multilateral peace missions: challenges of peace-building
Chapter 4. Governing the use of force under international auspices: deficits in parliamentary accountability
Chapter 5. The greater Middle East
Chapter 6. Latin America and the Caribbean: security and defence in the post-cold war era
Part II. Military spending and armaments, 2004
Chapter 7. Financing security in a global context
Chapter 8. Military expenditure
Chapter 9. Arms production
Chapter 10. International arms transfers
Part III. Non-proliferation, arms control and disarmament, 2004
Chapter 11. Arms control and the non-proliferation process
Chapter 12. Nuclear arms control and non-proliferation
Chapter 13. Chemical and biological warfare developments and arms control
Chapter 14. Libya’s renunciation of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons and ballistic missiles
Chapter 15. Conventional arms control
Chapter 16. International non-proliferation and disarmament assistance
Chapter 17. Transfer controls
Chapter 18. The Proliferation Security Initiative: international law aspects of the Statement of Interdiction Principles
Annex A. Arms control and disarmament agreements
Annex B. Chronology 2004
A glossary with membership of multilateral organizations, tables, figures, data appendices and extensive documentation as well as a detailed account of the armed conflicts in 2004.
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