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Human security first appeared as a post-Cold War attempt to transform the traditional understanding of security – which was framed in terms of the security of the territory from external military aggression and of the protection of national interests in foreign policy.
According to the World Bank, more than 1.5 billion people live in countries affected by repeated violence. In absolute terms, the need for direct physical protection of civilians against imminent violence has never been greater than it is today. Local and international actors are struggling to protect all those under direct threat, wherever conflict occurs.
Conflicts and wars have been recurrent throughout history. In 2010, over 300 conflicts have affected the lives of millions of individuals around the world. Despite their different occurrences, conflicts have common characteristics and working mechanisms. Only by analyzing the causes, actors and specific dynamics, conflicts can be efficiently mediated.
With the increasing call for and formation of truth commissions, trials, and other justice mechanisms worldwide, the concept of ‘transitional justice’ has become widespread. Peacebuilding actors face immense challenges when assisting societies devastated by conflict or emerging from repressive rule to re-establish the rule of law and confront large-scale human rights violations.
Over the past decades, the world has witnessed armed conflicts marked by systematic violence and mass atrocities against civilians. In recent years, hundreds of political conflicts around the globe have affected the lives of countless people.
Conflict resolution is the set of methods and approaches used to facilitate the peaceful de-escalation and termination of a conflict. Defined broadly, it may include democratisation or even development. Indeed, political participation through democratic processes may be a method to avoid conflict in the first place or at least to ensure the fair treatment of the causes of the conflict.
Peacekeeping is one of the many tools employed by the United Nations and other international organizations to help address diverse threats to international peace and security. Since its inception, peacekeeping has contributed to preventing and managing violent conflict between and within states and to the support of national actors in protecting and building peace after conflict.