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In a globalised world the issues of peace and security are inextricably linked with one another. Events like the September 11 2001 terrorist attacks dramatically show that the security of the developed world cannot be dealt with traditional hard power methods without also tackling the development needs of poorer countries. We live in an interdependent world where the security agenda cannot be categorised into previous modes of thinking- namely, ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ threats.

The problems of international terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction cannot be adequately solved without dealing with the phenomena of the failure of states often leading to major regional instability and conflicts, and a whole range of issues which have not traditionally been considered as part of the peace and security nexus at all – poverty, environmental degradation, pandemic diseases and the spread of organised crime – to mention the most prominent.

The new security debate triggered by the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 requires the main players of the international community to invest a political will to finding multilateral solutions to these global threats. Heightened awareness of the deadly threats facing even the most advanced societies is creating a new sense of global community, and these challenges require a collective response through international organisations like the United Nations. The Report of the UN High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change is a document which provides specific recommendations as to how the security framework can be better adapted to the 21st century. These recommendations compliment the findings of the UN Report Investing in Development, which outlines a programme of action for the completion of the Millennium Development Goals by the year 2015. The issue of nuclear proliferation represents one of the more marked illustrations of the perils of globalisation. The advent of nuclear weapons and their unprecedented capacity for wreaking destruction across territorial boundaries has transformed the globe. Although only five states (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States) are acknowledged by the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) as possessing nuclear weapons, others have the capability to construct nuclear devices and deliver them, if necessary, by increasingly sophisticated means. This latter aspect was emphasised in May 1998 when India and Pakistan demonstrated their respective capabilities by conducting a series of nuclear tests followed by ballistic missile launches.  

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