Inward Searching at the Security Counci
After it recently spent a day discussing how trade in natural resources can fuel conflict
, the UN Security Council issued a statement
detailing ways for the UN to do more to end illegal natural resources trade in conflict zones. The statement contained no specific directives, however, reflecting the continuing split within the council over the extent of its authority to regulate natural resources. The Chinese delegation warned that sanctions, one tool the UN could use to combat illicit exploitation of natural resources, often harm countries that are already highly vulnerable. Along with other countries, China argued that coordinating and strengthening existing UN agencies, rather than creating new initiatives, would be the best way to prevent natural resources from contributing to violent conflict.
AFRICOM Encounters Challenges to Implementation
The U.S. military’s plan to establish AFRICOM, a new military command in Africa, has been stalled as potential host nations voice their concerns. African countries including Algeria, Morocco, Libya, Egypt, and Djibouti have declined U.S. officials’ proposals to set up the new base in their respective nations. They are reluctant to collaborate publicly with the U.S. military and are concerned about the increased risk of terrorist attacks against new American facilities and the possibility of future American intervention in Africa. The U.S. has stated that the command center will focus on development, peace, security, education, democracy, and economic growth.
Military Should Prepare for Climate Change Impacts, Says British Official
British Chief of Defense Staff Jock Stirrup said the potential impact of climate change on weak and vulnerable states would be “rather like pouring petrol onto a burning fire.” The military must incorporate climate change impacts into its security calculations, warned Stirrup. New challenges for the security establishment could include increasingly frequent natural disasters, shifting poverty stresses, and social unrest. “Now add in the effects of climate change. Poverty and despair multiply, resentment surges and people look for someone to blame,” he said.