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Peace and Conflict around the World

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The United States federal budget allocated a military budget of approximately $693 billion for it’s Department of Defense. Spending only a quarter of that, i.e. $116 billion annually could have fed 650 million people and end world hunger. However, in a realist world, security and political interests remain a top priority. When the biggest super of the world spends this enormous amount of money on the military, it goes to show how even the modern world has been plagued by wars and conflicts.

The inception of the United Nations following the League of Nations has upheld a third catastrophic World War from proceeding but the Middle East has been a breeding ground for terrorist groups such as ISIS/ISIL and rebellions ravaging the African continent with groups such as Boka Haram. These are perhaps a case of structural violence (hunger, political repression, psychological alienation) caused by the instability created by imperialists. Despite the rise of liberalism, trade has created power imbalances and not facilitated peace everywhere. The end of imperialism brought the rise of post-colonialism which has further raged internal conflicts.

Peace in these area seems unlikely at the moment as these are cases are not just at a latent stage, but a confrontational stage where the states and terrorist groups don’t just have different goals but are unwilling to listen to each other. Before ISIS/ISIL, the terrorist group Al-Qaeda terrorised the world with infamous attacks such as the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Centre. Despite the assassination of Al-Qaeda’s leader Osama bin Laden, the group continues to terrorise the Asian continent and even more terrorist groups are on the rise. These rising terrorist groups suggest that conflicts in the Middle East are in an infinite game. Some examples of conflicts in the Middle East include countries such as Yemen, Syria, Palestine and in Africa such as Sudan, Libya, Somalia, Nigeria and Congo.

An ideological conflict caused by the difference between norms, values and ideology also seems to be on the rise. Some of the pressing issues in the world at the moment is the ethnic cleansing of Uighur Muslims in China and the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar. Due to diplomatic alliances, even Muslim majority country Pakistan’s prime minister Imran Khan has denied the truth regarding the oppression on the Uighurs. The case is different for Myanmar as Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi is being testified at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at The Hague for Rohingya genocide.

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Ethnic cleansing is a relational conflict caused by political (ideology) and social (religion, cultural difference). In the case of China, Uighurs are being punished for being Muslim. In Buddhist majority Myanmar, the cleaning was again a suppression of Muslims. Cases of suppression due to religion can be seen in India where Hindu ‘cow protectors’ have killed Muslims accused of killing cows. Due to India being a Hindu demographic region, even the police were unable to protect the Muslims. Another case in India is the Mir nomadic tribe which an ambiguous faith of being both Hindu and Muslim, who have to travel from one village to another being expelled for following both religions. Oppression can also be seen for the LGBT community in Russia.

In other news, Hong Kong is in the midst of conflict for democracy. Hong Kong under the ‘One country, two systems’ had enjoyed their autonomy whilst under the British rule and isn’t ready to compromise on their rights. Their decline of freedom under the Chinese government is seeing a backlash with riots running for many months and is hanging on a deadlock from either party.

In the United States, the 2020 presidential elections are going at a full swing where a Marxist dimension of inequality has been the focal point of the popular presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders. Senator Sanders has emphasised how the middle class in the US is disappearing and that taxes are favouring the rich. The top 1 per cent have increased their share of the wealth from 23 per cent in 1989 to nearly 32 per cent in 2018. The enormous wealth has therefore resulted in the wealthy class having more power and prestige in the society. Perhaps, if a president focuses on income equality, many of the societal conflicts could, therefore, be solved.

To make sure that we do not have more conflicts or that they can be resolved sooner, there is a need for to identify the deep-rooted reasons for the conflicts—understand the causal factors behind the conflict. It goes beyond satisfying just the parties and underlying resources must be identified. Negotiating interests should go beyond meeting just the base needs and focus on facilitating ways to respect the underlying values and identities.

For all the cases at the crisis, hopefully, there will be negotiations or human rights violators will be presented to the court. Justice is important for the psychological healing of the victims and for the assurance that such incidents do not repeat itself. Peace enforcement, peacekeeping, peacebuilding and peace consolidation processes are utmost necessary to make sure that the crisis can come to an end and we can have peace and stability. A better way forward could be for the UN to get involved before the crisis at the open conflict, unstable peace and peaceful stage so that further conflicts do not escalate.

References

  1. https://comptroller.defense.gov/Portals/45/Documents/defbudget/fy2020/FY20_Green_Book.pdf
  2. https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2015/07/how-much-would-it-cost-to-end-hunger/
  3. https://www.csis.org/analysis/return-isis-iraq-syria-and-middle-east
  4. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/13/world/africa/nigeria-boko-haram.html
  5. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/13/world/africa/nigeria-boko-haram.html
  6. http://www.filmsouthasia.org/film/akashvani-voice-from-the-sky/
  7. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/11/world/asia/aung-san-suu-kyi-rohingya-myanmar-genocide-hague.html
  8. https://www.history.com/topics/21st-century/9-11-attacks
  9. http://africasunnews.com/wars.html
  10. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jul/20/mobs-killing-muslims-india-narendra-modi-bjp
  11. http://www.filmsouthasia.org/film/akashvani-voice-from-the-sky/
  12. https://www.hrw.org/report/2018/12/11/no-support/russias-gay-propaganda-law-imperils-lgbt-youth
  13. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-48607723
  14. https://feelthebern.org/bernie-sanders-on-economic-inequality/

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Peace and Conflict around the World. (2022, Jun 16). Edubirdie. Retrieved January 29, 2023, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/peace-and-conflict-around-the-world/
“Peace and Conflict around the World.” Edubirdie, 16 Jun. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/peace-and-conflict-around-the-world/
Peace and Conflict around the World. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/peace-and-conflict-around-the-world/> [Accessed 29 Jan. 2023].
Peace and Conflict around the World [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Jun 16 [cited 2023 Jan 29]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/peace-and-conflict-around-the-world/
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