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Human Security Report

Discussion in 'Politics (deprecated)' started by Ditto Much, Oct 17, 2005.

  1. Ditto Much

    Ditto Much TRIBE Member

    The Human Security Report

    The report was produced by the Human Security Centre at the University of British Columbia in Canada.

    It was funded by the governments of Canada, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK.

    It’s easy to forget that things are actually improving at a very rapid rate. Often with the specific stories of atrocities around the world we become sensationalized. It’s very similar to how crime rates in Toronto have been dropping for the better part of our lives while public perception of crime is that it’s far worse.
  2. AdRiaN

    AdRiaN TRIBE Member

    Interesting. When was this report released?

    I was just watching Bill Clinton's speech earlier this evening from London, Ontario. He was talking about how one of the most significant, albeit relatively unknown, developments of the past thirty years has been the fact that more than half of the globe now elects their own leaders.

    Sounds very similar.
  3. Ditto Much

    Ditto Much TRIBE Member

    I really don't know, I picked it up off the BBC but they didn't directly date the report. It may be as recent as in the last few days to weeks.

    Actuallys its a fairly interesting read.
  4. Hamza

    Hamza TRIBE Member

    does it cover the fact that the gap between rich and poor is getting larger? environmental degradation is rapid, new forms of illnesses are popping up?

    Hmm...I guess I'm a dirty cynical bastard.

  5. Ditto Much

    Ditto Much TRIBE Member

    Nope this report focuses on death not the crappy lives we lead.
  6. deafplayer

    deafplayer TRIBE Member

    this is weird....

    Figure 1.20 Expectations of violence: Experience versus reality

    percentage of respondents
    who think it likely they will
    become victims of violence
    in the next year.

    United States 17
    Canada 16

    percentage of respondents
    who had actually been
    violently attacked or
    threatened in a violent
    way in the last five years.

    US 12
    Canada 13

    percentage of respondents
    with a household member
    who had been violently
    attacked or threatened
    in the last five years.

    US 12
    Canada 14

    "Pessimism about future violent crime threats is ubiquitous. In every country but Russia, substantially
    more people expected to fall victim to violence in the future than their past experience would warrant."

    (page 53 in part 1)
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2005
  7. SlipperyPete

    SlipperyPete TRIBE Member

    related, and I'm too scared to post new threads

    World is more peaceful now than at any time in 12 years

    Despite the daily horrors in Iraq and seemingly regular spasms of terrorist-sponsored violence, the world is a much more peaceful place than it was a little more than a decade ago, a new study says.

    Since the end of the Cold War, the number of armed conflicts has declined by more than 40 per cent, while the number of the deadliest conflicts -- those involving more than 1,000 battle-related deaths -- has dropped by 80 per cent, said the Human Security Report, which was released here yesterday.

    "Over the past dozen years, the global security climate has changed in dramatic, positive and largely unheralded ways," the report states.

    "Civil wars, genocides and international crises have all declined sharply. International wars, now only a small minority of all conflicts, have been in steady decline for a much longer period, as have military coups and the average number of people killed per conflict per year."

    The one dark spot, not surprisingly, is international terrorism, which has been on the rise since the attacks on New York and Washington in 2001, though the death toll from such attacks is only a tiny fraction of war casualties.

    The report was produced by the University of British Columbia's Liu Institute on Global Affairs, and was funded by several Western governments, including Canada.

    It represents the first comprehensive effort to track the number of wars, both interstate and civil, raging around the globe, as well as the human toll from armed conflicts, terrorism and genocide.

    Andrew Mack, a UBC professor who led the study, said yesterday it is time to put to rest some common myths, including the overarching view that the world is spiralling downward into violence.

    "As is often the case with criminal violence, there is a huge disjuncture between what people believe is the case and what is actually the case," Prof. Mack said.

    "What is actually the case is that we've seen this extraordinary improvement across the board in nearly all forms of political violence, except international terrorism, which doesn't kill a lot of people. And yet most people believe things are getting worse."

    The report lays out what it calls "myths and misunderstandings," including: The number of genocides is increasing; wars are becoming more deadly and claimed the lives of five million people in the 1990s, and 90 per cent of those killed in today's wars are civilians, mainly women and children.

    "None of these claims are based on reliable data. All are suspect; some are demonstrably false," the report said.

    The report's authors calculated that civil and external wars killed about 700,000 combatants and civilians in 1950 but that figure dropped to about 100,000 in 1992 and 20,000 in 2002.

    Prof. Mack acknowledged that his data end in 2003, but insisted the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that have been raging for the past two years have not dramatically increased the death toll or reversed the long-term trend.

    In 2004, there were just 25 armed secessionist conflicts under way in the world, the lowest number since 1976.

    In addition to the Middle East, Africa remained mired in armed conflict. At the turn of the 21st century, more people were killed in wars in sub-Saharan Africa than in the rest of the world combined.

    Prof. Mack, a former adviser to United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, cited a number of reasons for the decline in armed conflicts around the world: the end of the post-colonial era and wars of independence; the end of the Cold War and ideologically driven engagements by superpowers and their proxies; the expansion of democratic government through much of the developing world; and the success of UN peacemaking and conflict resolution.

    "There is absolutely no doubt that the UN has been a critical actor, albeit an imperfect one, in bringing the numbers down," he said.

    Despite its failures in places such as Bosnia and Rwanda, the UN has frequently succeeded in preventing armed conflict or in maintaining peace once a conflict has ended.

    Prof. Mack insisted the report is not offering a rose-coloured view of the world.

    He noted there are about 60 wars being fought and a continuing threat of international terrorism, perhaps even of a terrorist group gaining access to weapons of mass destruction.

    "We're not Pollyannaish on this. We don't necessarily think there is going to be an upsurge in new violence but we think it is quite possible," he said.

    "But we also think that if the international community gets its act together, it could actually make a real reduction in the risk."

    War waning across the planet

    Wars between countries are more rare than in previous eras. The number of armed conflicts has declined by more that 40% since 1992. The deadliest conflicts, those with 1,000 or more battle deaths dropped by 80 per cent, and the number of international crises, often harbingers of war, fell by more than 70 per cent between 1981 and 2001.

    Countries at war most between 1946 and 2003

    Countries involved in the highest number of international armed conflicts:

    U.K. 21
    France 19
    U.S. 16
    Russia 9
    Australia 7
    Holland 7
    Israel 6
    Egypt 6
    China 6
    Thailand 6
    N. Vietnam 5
    Turkey 5
    Jordan 5
    Portugal 5
    Canada 5
    Chad 4
    Libya 4
    Spain 4
    Syria 4
    Italy 4
    Iran 4
    Ethiopia 4
    Iraq 4
    N. Zealand 4
    S. Vietnam 4

  8. AdRiaN

    AdRiaN TRIBE Member

    Re: related, and I'm too scared to post new threads

    There seems to be a real disconnect between the number of international armed conflicts and the amount of flack these countries receive about their foreign policy over the past 50 years.
  9. Ditto Much

    Ditto Much TRIBE Member

    Re: Re: related, and I'm too scared to post new threads

    I think its more a matter of everyone is forced to forgive the UK and France, the worst is behind them and they're getting better. The US frightens me in that it appears to be going the other way.
  10. deafplayer

    deafplayer TRIBE Member

    Re: Re: related, and I'm too scared to post new threads

    I agree that the other western powers dont get nearly enough flack, even though the US is far more powerful and has committed a correspondingly greater amount of crime since WWII
    America can serve as a convenient distraction from what your own country is doing
    Some Canadians talk all about American imperialism this and American imperialism that...

    # of governments US has attempted to overthrow since WWII: 40
    # of countries bombed: 25
    [edit: # of equivalent statistics Ive run into regarding other Western powers: none]

    ...either Willium Blum or the Human Security report is off by a fair bit

    # of sections in "Human Security Report" dedicated to imperialism: ... well i havent seen the whole thing but im going to guess none
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2005
  11. Ditto Much

    Ditto Much TRIBE Member

    Re: Re: Re: related, and I'm too scared to post new threads

    Willium Blum may very well be right, he may also be defining things differently and using different sources. However here is how this report defined and got its numbers.

    Oh yeah and if imperialism was mentioned once I probably would have stopped reading it. Its over used its poorly used and its sceamed by teenagers the way anarchy used to be called


    Deï¬ning armed conflict
    One of the primary sources of the Human Security Report’s
    armed conflict data is the dataset created jointly by the
    Uppsala University’s Conflict Data Program and the
    International Peace Research Institute, Oslo (PRIO). The
    main Uppsala/PRIO dataset now covers the entire period
    from 1946 to 2003.

    The Uppsala/PRIO dataset was selected for a number
    of reasons.

    ° Unlike other datasets, it is updated annually.
    ° It is widely used within the research community.
    ° It is becoming increasingly recognised in the policy
    ° It relies on more sources than other data collec-
    tion projects.
    ° Its deï¬nitions are precise and coding of conflict events
    can be checked by other researchers. (This is not the
    case in some conflict datasets.)
    ° With the new data commissioned for the Human
    Security Report (see Part II) the Uppsala/PRIO
    dataset is the most comprehensive single source
    of information on contemporary global political

    The Uppsala/PRIO dataset has traditionally counted
    only ‘state-based’ conflicts: armed disputes in which
    control over government and/or territory is contested,
    in which at least one of the warring parties is a state,
    and which result in at least 25 battle-related deaths in
    a year.6 The category ‘battle-related deaths’ includes
    not only combatants but also civilians caught in the
    crossï¬re. The data on most conflicts do not permit distinctions
    between civilian and combatant deaths to be
    made consistently.

    Conflicts are also categorised according to their intensity.
    ‘Conflicts’ have at least 25 battle-related deaths
    per year; ‘wars’ at least 1,000 battle-related deaths
    per year.

    Finally, the Uppsala/PRIO dataset divides conflicts
    into four types. The two primary categories—interstate
    and intrastate (civil)—are self-explanatory.

    The third type is extrastate, a conflict between a state
    and a non-state group outside of the state’s own territory.
    This deï¬nition applies primarily to wars fought to gain independence from colonial rule.

    The last category used by Uppsala/PRIO is internationalized internal conflict. This type of conflict is essentially an intrastate conflict in which the government, the opposition, or both, receive military support from another government
    or governments, and where the foreign troops actively
    participate in the conflict.7 The war in the Democratic
    Republic of the Congo, in which a number of foreign
    military forces were operating within the country, is a recent example. Internationalized internal disputes rarely
    make up much more than 10% of the total number of con-
    flicts worldwide.
  12. wayne kenoff

    wayne kenoff TRIBE Member

    Thanks for posting this. I, for one, am weary of all the chicken-little-sky-is-falling media hype. .
  13. deafplayer

    deafplayer TRIBE Member

    Re: Re: Re: Re: related, and I'm too scared to post new threads

    That association kept me from even listening to the shit i did hear, nevermind seeking out better material, for years
    And same with "anarchy"
  14. ~atp~

    ~atp~ TRIBE Member

    Just because a word is abused does not mean that the word itself is abusive.

    Context is always very important, but I'm sure Ditto Much just meant it as a sort of anecdotal, tongue-in-cheek retort.
  15. Ditto Much

    Ditto Much TRIBE Member

    It’s similar to my ‘anti-neo’, and my dislike of most usages of ‘Zionist’. A government report should not have to use pop-culture terminology to get its point across. Same token I don't like business buzzwords floating into my daily news or being spoken by my political representatives.

    In itself the term isn't specific enough to be all that helpful it’s just too easy to apply. Without the negative connotation it can be used to describe to many circumstances for my liking and its application to the USA doesn't really add anything to the description. Most times I find people use the term for dramatic reasons rather than anything else. It’s a temper tantrum for teenagers and adults who have yet to face the fact that they've grown up.

    In general when someone uses ‘neo’ I respond with a picture to remind us all how much more popular the term became after the movie the matrix came out. Before that really it wasn’t used in the same connotations. I think its time for me to pick an image for imperialism.

    For now…


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