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The Human Security Centre reports...
Comprehensive Three-Year Study Shows Surprising Evidence of Major Declines in Armed Conflicts, Genocides, Human Rights Abuse, Military Coups and International Crises, Worldwide.
The Number of Armed Conflicts Has Dropped 40% since 1992.
This Unheralded Decline is Linked to a Dramatic Increase in UN Conflict Prevention and Peace Building Efforts.
NEW YORK -- Confounding conventional wisdom, a major new report reveals that all forms of political violence, except international terrorism, have declined worldwide since the early 1990s.
Supported by five governments, published by Oxford University Press and released today, the Human Security Report is the most comprehensive annual survey of trends in warfare, genocide, and human rights abuses. The Report, which was produced by the Human Security Centre at the University of British Columbia, shows how, after nearly five decades of inexorable increase, the number of genocides and violent conflicts dropped rapidly in the wake of the Cold War. It also reveals that wars are not only far less frequent today, but are also far less deadly.
In tracking and analyzing these trends the Report draws on specially commissioned studies and confirms the little-publicized findings of earlier research to explode a number of widely believed myths about contemporary political violence. The latter include claims that terrorism is currently the gravest threat to international security, that 90% of those killed in today’s wars are civilians and that women are disproportionately victimized by armed conflict.
Analyzing the causes of the improvement in global security since the early 1990s, the Report argues that the UN played a critically important role in spearheading a huge upsurge of international conflict prevention, peacekeeping and peace building activities.
Although marred by much–publicized failures, these efforts have been the major driver of the reduction in war numbers around the world. The Report examines alternative explanations for the decline and finds them wanting.
Professor Andrew Mack, who directed the Report project, says that these extraordinary changes have attracted little discussion because so few realize that they have taken place. ‘No international agency collects data on wars, genocides, terrorist acts, or core human rights abuses,’ he said. ‘The issues are just too politically sensitive. And ignorance is compounded by the fact that the global media give far more coverage to wars that start than those that quietly end.’
Read the full press release (PDF format).
Read the report.