Multilateral organisations tasked with promoting and enforcing norms for stability and security continue to face difficulties in generating the political will and financial resources needed to meet
their mandates, and gaps remain which require new or more effective mechanisms. That’s the word from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
“A far greater focus will need to be placed on less militarized solutions to the security challenges ahead. Perhaps most crucially, many of the most important security challenges in the years ahead will not readily lend themselves to traditional military solutions. Instead, what will be needed is an innovative integration of preventive diplomacy, pre-emptive and early-warning technologies, and
cooperative transnational partnerships, SIPRI director Dr Bates Gill says in the introduction to the Swedish-based organisation’s 2012 yearbook.
“In 2011 established powers in the world system—especially the United States and its major transatlantic allies—continued to face constraints on their economic, political and military capacities to address global and regional security challenges. These constraints were primarily imposed by
budget austerity measures in the wake of the crisis in public finances experienced throughout most of the developed world,” Gill says.
“At the same time, uprisings and regime changes in the Arab world drew international attention and responses, including the United Nations-mandated and NATO-led intervention in Libya. The widespread support for and expansion of traditional peace operations over the past decade are also facing constraints in the years ahead,” he warns.
“Moreover, the world’s major donors to peace operations are largely looking to cut support to multilateral institutions and to focus on smaller and quicker missions.”
Gill further notes that states outside the traditional US alliance system are building greater economic, diplomatic and military global security developments. In-depth tracking of armed violence
around the world also reveals the destabilising role of non-state actors in prosecuting conflicts and engaging in violence against civilians. “Unfortunately, the global community has yet to fully grapple with the ongoing structural changes that define today’s security landscape—changes that often
outpace the ability of established institutions and mechanisms to cope with them. It will certainly take time for established and newly emergent powers to reach an effective consensus on the most
important requirements for international order, stability and peace, and on how to realise and defend them.