European Security: The Roles of Regional Organisations

The European Union
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Although several authors have explored the concept of state collapse and failure Zartman , Menkhaus , , Rotberg , state fragility is not static but varies from one status to another Rotberg What emerges from the available literature is that many writers do confuse state failure with state collapse, with most of them using the terms interchangeably Klare , Herbert Jeffrey , Van de Walle Ken Menkhaus a, probably one of the most prolific writers on state collapse distinguishes between state collapse and state failure, he however fails to link the collapse with regional security concerns.

His analysis is however useful to describe the difference between collapse and failure, which will help in clearing the definitional confusion in the literature and thus help in understanding state fragility. Robert Rotberg , is of the opinion that violence; disintegration and weakness threaten the very foundation of the international system, as we know it.

The Roles of Regional Organisations, 1st Edition

The rebels therefore turn into merchants of violence and no state boundary can hold them when they assess that benefit could be made across such borders. The IGAD peace and security mandate does not include the imposition of peace in situation of deterioration of peace in member states. In this regard, some of the data used in this research may be dated and could lead to faulty deductions being made. A contextualisation of EU—Africa relations: Trends and drivers from a reciprocal perspective. Thus institutions emerge and survive because they serve to maximize the exogenously determined interests and preferences of their members. In this regard, it is tempting to suggest that core decision-making in the EU should be left to a group of states taking the lead, as France and UK did in favour of an intervention in Libya.

This argument if accepted has the potential to encourage deviant behavior within the state, resulting in total disintegration of the nation state as understood within the international system. In South Sudan, a similar situation has obtained and reversion to traditional judicial system is firmly in place Deng This has however not contributed much to peace and can indeed be seen as part of the security problem in the country.

The failure of formal law enforcement in such contexts means that provision of goods and services are no longer centrally regulated. Instead provision of public goods in fragile state is more in the hands of warlords or militia faction leaders who invent ingenious methods of extracting rent from the citizens or the environment in order to sustain their operations.

In all these examples, the lack of strong central government provided violent rent seekers opportunity to exploit local populations. Klare In Roterberg has argued that state failure is not a sudden occurring phenomenon but is a result of prolonged interaction amongst a number of interlocking factors. By coaching their desires in ethnic garb, such militias create fiefdoms from which they establish a quasi state complete with pseudo government structures Klare op. Klare however, does not link state fragility with the effects the phenomenon has on the regional stability and security.

Without identifiable effects on the region, there is no incentive for the regional organizations to engage in security management. Nicholas van de Walle uses a political economy approach to try and explain the nexus between state stability and fragility Van de Walle in Rotberg He opines that political communities break down as one or more identifiable groups cease to recognize the legitimacy of the state and pursues a violent struggle to replace the central state authority or secede from it Van de Walle op cit, In south Sudan, the central state manages to control the capital but most of the countryside remains lawless and under the control of militias.

Collier on the other hand attempts to advance the theory of economic deprivation view of fragility. He argues that, the levels of income, degree of ethno-linguistic fractionalization, population and the proportion of primary commodity exchange and exports all help to determine the outbreak and duration of civil wars Collier and Hoeffler Moreover, the perception of deprivation as a result of patrimonial exchange contributes to increase hatreds between communities further aggravating insecurity.


Europe has undergone quite profound changes since the end of the Cold War. Having been a highly militarised, conflict-ridden and war-ridden region, the core of Europe today constitutes a security community where armed conflicts among the. Having been a highly militarised, conflict-ridden and war-ridden region, the core of Europe today constitutes a security community where armed conflicts among.

Thus there is an implicit assumption and an explicit conclusion that open ungoverned spaces will be available for exploitation by terrorist and other criminal groups to the detriment of US security. If the US can fell threatened, how much more should weak states in the neighborhood of a fragile entity fear? As Buzan points out, since the advent of the nation state system, the state has remained the referent object on security analysis and within the international milieu it will probably continue to hold pole position in matters security. The state will in this regard obscure other referent objects such as individual security and thus continue to determine how security unfolds internationally Buzan 65 This means that state fragility will remain of concern to international relations in as far as regional security is concerned.

This position is further amplified by the USAID white paper , which states that when development and governance fail in a country, the consequences engulf entire regions across the world. State fragility is however not a permanent status and states can rise from such situations and improve themselves in the fragility continuum Rotberg Instead we see states rise out of failure and especially in Africa, remain in the weak and failing states band.

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Historically, Africa is not alone in producing failed and collapsed states. Europe led in this area during the formation of its modern day nations. Ayoob in fact comes close to relating the concept of state collapse and regional security when he examines the case of a declining Germany and the consequences this had on England and France Ayoob Subsequently a similar argument can be made in regard to the consequences one would expect in Kenya and Ethiopia following the collapse of Somalia.

Exiting the fragile state status is not by magic or wishful thinking but requires effort and determination. Instituting good governance is a possible panacea to the existing fragility in Africa. A simple definition of governance is synthesized to mean the way the people of a particular political or social construct are managed and how the decision-making process is structured to involve a large portion of the society. Issues of governance in Africa can be traced to the days of colonial rule and its subsequent demise.

Almost all African countries, except Ethiopia and Liberia suffered from colonialism. Thus a more robust and foundational state making is necessary to emancipate the continent from the curse of colonialism. Several factors combine to nudge a state towards total collapse.


Arguments and counter argument have been proffered to explain why states degenerate into civil wars Menkhaus , Collier Thus it is not surprising that many of the internal conflicts, which have obtained in Africa and elsewhere, are almost always attributed to some kind of oppressive action by the state machinery. Economic grievances have been widely used to explain why states degenerate and cease to function altogether. The rebels therefore turn into merchants of violence and no state boundary can hold them when they assess that benefit could be made across such borders.

This is one of the main reasons that regional organization engages in pacification measures. The very nature of African boundaries, drawn as it were arbitrarily, further complicates administration in border areas. Collier however does not advance this argument choosing instead to concentrate on economic causes of civil conflicts. He explains how scarcity, crime, overpopulation, tribalism, and disease are rapidly destroying the social fabric of our planet' Kaplan, Subsidiarity determines which level of authority will achieve the objectives of the proposed action more efficiently, and justifies action by a higher level of authority only if the proposed objectives cannot be achieved equally well by the lower levels of authority, and only if that action does not interfere unnecessarily with their authority Nicholas Tsagourias, , p 5.

As a result of frequent droughts, communities in Kenya, Ethiopia and Uganda often fought over grazing lands and thus the intention of the Organization was to manage these conflicts through development based programmes that would change the peoples lifestyles across the borders.

J M Julius Minyori Author. There are many examples of this evolving relationship in matters related to crime prevention and criminal justice.

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Beyond cooperation between the United Nations and regional and sub-regional organizations, recent experiences have demonstrated the increasingly important value of trilateral cooperation between the UN and more than one regional organization. For some time, a number of United Nations documents, reports and surveys have reflected the increasing importance of regional organizations to criminal justice and crime prevention.

The General Assembly has emphasized the intrinsic link between sustainable development and effective and accessible criminal justice systems and institutions. Regional and sub-regional organizations may also have an important contribution to make in implementing the Agenda for Sustainable Development. Access to fair justice systems, accountable and inclusive institutions as well as measures to combat corruption, curb illicit financial flows derived from criminal activity and counter all forms of exploitation, trafficking, violence and torture are integral to sustainable development.

The implementation of the UN Conventions dedicated to organized crime, corruption and drugs and other criminal phenomena is thus of the utmost importance, and we must commend all the UN bodies and international actors that are committed to making those legal instruments and the UN crime prevention and criminal justice programme effective.

One of the questions that will be addressed in the thematic debate is how to tackle social and economic challenges and promote sustainable development through strengthening crime prevention and criminal justice systems, norms and standards, while combating the threats that undermine them, in particular transnational organized crime, illicit trafficking and corruption.

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In this vein, the debate will focus on priorities, gaps and emerging issues that require further attention and support in the implementation of the Agenda for Sustainable Development — from the standpoint of regional organizations and the point of view of national policies and international cooperation. Going forward there are lessons to be learnt from past and present cooperation for concrete actions to be taken in building more effective partnerships between the United Nations and regional and sub-regional organizations on crime prevention and criminal justice, drawing on their respective strengths.

Doing so will facilitate the implementation of their mandates and the overall objectives of the United Nations as enshrined in the Charter.

European Security

The main objective of the High-level thematic debate is to provide a platform for participants to exchange views on:. The High-level Thematic debate will consist of a high-level opening segment, a high-level segment for interventions from Member States, followed by two consecutive interactive panel discussions and concluding remarks by the President of the General Assembly. First, the majority of cross-border refugees and migrants move between neighbouring countries , i. Often times this is related to the limited availability of resources of migrants, but also to benefits of migration to closer by destinations with linguistic or cultural similarities yet higher levels of political or economic stability.

West Africa, where more than 80 percent of international migrants move within the sub-region , is paradigmatic in this regard. Concerning movement outside sub- regions, many move to other countries on the African continent. While decisions to move are often taken against the background of dire socio-economic circumstances and lacking alternatives in countries of origin, temporary or permanent mobility do represent crucial coping strategies for migrants and their dependent household members.

This said, forced displacement is a reality in a sizable number of African countries too, with for instance the Horn of Africa figuring among the major refugee producing and hosting regions in the world.

How do regional and continental organizations in Africa manage the variability of these migration flows, in terms of drivers, patterns and outcomes? Given the pre-dominance of intra-regional migration and the often regional nature of drivers such as poverty, drought or conflict this is a pertinent question.