Conversion survey 2005 - Global disarmament, demilitarization and demobilization

Release date: 2004-12

More than two billion human beings throughout the world still live on less than US $2 per day, a situation the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of the United Nations were designed to redress. Despite progress in a number of areas, the Goals are unlikely to be met without major policy changes. A strong argument is made in this book that new approaches towards states in conflict and governments which do not provide their citizens with basic security and welfare are crucial. In addition, the authors argue that high military spending detracts from the agreed goal of substantially increasing the levels of overseas development aid to facilitate major improvements in the lot of the poorest people. Discouragingly, data in this survey confirm that military expenditures are continuing to rise worldwide?to the detriment of human development. 
These and other incontestable links between security and development hover in the background of the analysis in this year’s conversion survey. While much lip-service is paid to the inter-dependence of the two?not least by heads of states?the authors note that this seldom translates into integrated policies, let alone policy implementation guided by the overall goal of improving human security. The MDGs provide a powerful vision for lifting people out of absolute poverty through more equitable sharing of the benefits of economic growth and through the social empowerment of marginalized groups of people. What is still lacking, however, despite recent international reports offering useful suggestions, is an added perspective aimed specifically at improving people’s security, for instance by enhancing conflict prevention, post-conflict peacebuilding, and conversion.
Having adapted its areas of expertise to some degree to reflect the realities of the twenty-first century, BICC presents its analysis of developments over the last year in the Update section of the survey by examining three issue areas: arms and resources; the conversion-related aspects of peacebuilding; and the link between conflict and resources. Conclusions drawn here are complemented by the analysis of global trends, backed up by figures presented in the Data Appendix.
In addition, three topical chapters explore certain aspects of conversion in more detail. The first examines how privatization is increasingly permeating the military sphere and with what effect; the second assesses options for implementing disarmament, demobilization and reintegration, making a case for DDR without camps; and the third reviews progress? or the lack thereof?in two prominent cases of security sector reform (SSR), Afghanistan and Iraq.