‘Conflict’ 50 compared to 41 in 2014. Battle

‘Conflict’ is a term, into which people usually put negative
meaning and define as ineligible. When we talk about our ordinary life, we used
to think about conflicts as of variance of opinions which leads to collision or
disagreement, in extreme cases – to fights, battles and struggles (Collins
English Dictionary, 2012). Unfortunately, a number of arm-forced conflicts all
over the world in recent years is drastically increasing. According to the data
by UN and our lecture notes, counting and analyzing the complicated situations
of armed conflicts, political crises related to civil war and terror, which are
widely spread out, one could learn the Earth’s geography. It is true to say
that war and violence has no borders and has affected almost all continents. Nowadays
national governments, international organizations, NGOs, academic institutions
and other related organizations are considering and working on vivid matters,
concerning ceasefire and demobilization, elimination of violence against
children and women, stopping international human trafficking, creating worthy
living conditions for refugees, delivery of humanitarian aid for internally
displaced people, and many other crucial issues.

Recent paper by Gates, S., et. al. (2016) provides
comprehensive statistics on discussing topic. Thus, the Uppsala Conflict Data
Program has identified 259 distinct armed conflicts since foundation of the UN
in 1945. The number of people killed as a direct consequence of these conflicts
passed 100,000 for the first time in more than 25 years. However, in the 21st
century, conflicts have increased sharply since 2010. In 2015 the number of
ongoing conflicts increased to 50 compared to 41 in 2014. Battle deaths are now
largely concentrated in the Middle East (Syria and Iraq). Another reason for
people’s death is hunger and infectious diseases. By the end of 2014 the number
of refugees and internally displaced persons reached to 59.5 million people (Marc,
A., 2016).

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Moreover, according to the 2017 Global Peace Index,
performed by the Institute for Economics and Peace, among the least peaceful
countries there were listed: Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq. Continuous military
operations result in thousands of urban centers and historical settlements to
be completely destroyed, monuments of ancient architecture to lie in ruins (e.g.
the Arch of Triumph in Palmyra, Syria). And as before, the European Union
remains the world’s most safe and peaceful region.

Today powerful efforts in war prevention, peacekeeping,
social stabilization and overcoming consequences of armed political crises are globally
implemented by the UN Security Council and its Peacekeeping forces. During the
forum, Ms. Rumiko Seya introduced the Japan Center for Conflict Prevention
(JCCP), as one of examples of international organizations, successfully acting
for peace building and conflict prevention. An NGO is specialized in peace
building, capacity building and gender mainstreaming, currently operating in
Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan and Turkey.

As far as we talk about the importance of peace and
security for our life today, we have to mention another great threat to all
humanity that causes a serious anxiety of all national governments and the UN,
which is extremism and international terrorism. Almost every day we see the
titles of newspapers and TV shows informing of regular horrific incidents and
attacks in Syria, South Sudan, Iraq, Nigeria, or Ukraine. But what causes these
collisions around the world? In order to find solutions, first we should
understand why do conflicts and terrorism happen? Then we will be able to draw
some kind of a mechanism for stabilization of current situation and providing
further sustainable development.

Empirical evidence suggest that there is no a universal
‘recipe’ for how to reduce the risk of relapsing into conflict or how to
navigate the difficult path from conflict to peace, and how to fight for and
keep peace around the world. It is worth mentioning, that all these kind of activities
require lot of funds, human and administrative resources from governments and
related organizations to deliver their mandate to prevent, manage and resolve
conflicts. However, as we observe from international practice most commonly
used mechanism
of conflict management and further search for progress includes the following main
steps (stages) to be undertaken.

First, opening a secure corridor for delivery of humanitarian
cargo, ceasefire and ending violence, further disarmament and demobilization of
combatants. The human inalienable right for inviolability of life and freedom
should be under protection of international law principles. No one has a right
to determine someone else’s destiny. In case if efforts to reach a diplomatic
resolution have not been successful, forces from outside could be applied.
Anyhow to start a political dialog, opposite sides should realize that they
need to come to a ‘table of negotiations’ and be ready for a compromise. It is quite
important to provide the transparency of the process through providing the
access to the fragile and conflict affected areas for international community
and mass media (Ban, K., 2014).

There is a one interesting fact. As the Russian News Agency
TASS reports (2017), in accordance with the decree of President Bashar Assad by
July 2016, the Law on Amnesty was adopted in Syria. The decree promised an
amnesty for all armed persons, as well as for those ex-combatants who previously
escaped judicial punishment, if they surrender and lay down arms. The decree
noted that all consonants who are ready to comply with these conditions would
not be persecuted, on the contrary, they all could return to peaceful life or could
be accepted into the Syrian Army. Surprisingly, the decree made a sufficient
progress.

Second, validation for the rule of law through close
collaboration with police, as well as improvement of medical care and
psychosocial support. Creation of employment and livelihood opportunities, especially
for women and youth. The latter goal could be achieved through implementation
of infrastructural projects, including road construction and agriculture
projects, development of microfinancing and involving the population into
entrepreneurship. For this purpose, it would be useful to organize special
trainings, seminars, and workshops on business start-up tips. Another essential
component on this stage is an improvement of educational system and
institutional capacity building.

An appropriate example of creation of self-employment opportunities
comes up from initiatives by Kaaba Micro Finance Institution (K-MFI), set up in
Somalia in 2009 to provide access to credit for low-income earners and the self-employed,
especially women. Currently K-MFI is covering more than 6,000 beneficiaries,
who receive ‘cheap’ and long-term micro loans. So far, among target group are micro-
and small entrepreneurs, small traders and market vendors, low salaried
workers, small-scale farmers, and dairy, poultry and fisheries businesses (UNDP,
2012).

Third, promotion of harmonization of the situation and further
strengthening of constructive relationship within war-affected community. One
should not forget about the role of intermediaries and consultants in the
conflict adjustment process. How faithful, professional, and forward-looking
there are, determines how fast a cessation of hostilities could be reached.
Sides of the conflict and intermediaries should realize that they are fully
responsible for peace building before future generations. Movement from weak fragility
to sustainable reconciliation and peaceful co-existence in the long-term. Implementation
of wide range reforms aimed to provide economic growth and enhancement of the judiciary.

As the European Commission’s Progress Report (2013)
notes, during 2004-2010 in Macedonia (the Western Balkans) a number of court
system reforms were introduced, including “significant changes to the
Constitution, the Law on Courts and the Judicial Council, the establishment of
the Academy for Judges and Prosecutors, the introduction of stricter
professional requirements, the establishment of an Administrative Court and
High Administrative Court, the shift towards enforcement of court judgments by
professional bailiffs, the establishment of an automated case management system
and e-justice, as well as the complete overhaul of the criminal procedure
legislation and reform of the police”.

Since the world has made a huge step towards the 21st
century and globalization, rivaling forces collide each other and things around
us are changing rapidly. In such conditions modern nations are treating the ‘peace
and security’ as the most essential value and guarantee of prosperity and
stable future, which could not be sold or bought at any market. In this regard,
in accordance with the UN General Assembly resolution (2007) it has become a
good tradition, annually worldwide to celebrate the International Day of
Non-Violence on October 2nd, established on birthday of Mahatma
Gandhi. Thus to conclude, the famous phrase by a pioneer of the philosophy and
strategy of non-violence best summarizes all the thoughts and opinions above, “Non-violence is the greatest force at the
disposal of mankind. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction
devised by the ingenuity of man” (Gandhi,
M., 2011). From this point
of view, the GRIPS Forum on November 6th, 2017 was very challenging
in terms of bringing policymakers, diplomats, consultants, researchers and students
together to address and discuss the most pressing issues relevant for achieving
peace around the world.