UN chief calls for prevention of conflicts over natural resourcesListen /
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is calling for the prevention of conflicts over natural resources and for maximizing the benefits of these resources for maintaining and building peace.
Mr. Ban's call comes in his message to mark the International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict observed on 6 November.
Charles Appel reports.
The Secretary-General says that war and armed conflict shred the fabric of sustainable development, expand poverty, stunt opportunity and undermine human rights.
According to Mr. Ban, no country affected by conflict has yet achieved any of the Millennium Development Goals that have been set by world leaders to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger by 2015.
He stresses that there can be no durable peace if the resource base that people depend on for sustenance and income, is damaged or destroyed or, if illegal exploitation finances or causes conflict.
Mr. Ban points out that since 1990, at least 18 violent conflicts have been fuelled by the exploitation of natural resources such as timber, minerals, oil and gas.
The Secretary-General calls for a greater international focus on the role of natural resource management in conflict prevention, peacekeeping and peacebuilding.
Charles Appel, United Nations