By Liang Leorine
The legendary reggae singer and Rastafarian Robert Nester Marley in one of his popular songs
‘War’ reminded the world that,
“Until the philosophy which holds one race
Superior and another inferior
Everywhere is war”
That until there are no longer
First-class and second-class citizens of any nation
Until the colour of a man's skin
Is of no more significance than the colour of his eyes
Me say war
That until the basic human rights
Are equally guaranteed to all
Without regard to race
Dis a war”
That until that day
The dream of lasting peace
Rule of international morality
Will remain in but a fleeting illusion to be pursued
But never attained
Now everywhere is war”
The inequalities currently in society caused by the current economic and political architecture
will always stimulate violence, aggression against countries, communities, and individuals.
The words of this iconic song are excerpts from a speech delivered by H.I.M. Haile Selassie I,
Emperor of Ethiopia, at the United Nations in 1963.
The world for many centuries is exposed to an unprecedented coming together of international
threats and instability, intensifying conflict, and instability. The wide range of instability includes
regions and states that are not necessarily in overt conflict, but that are institutionally and
economically weak and vulnerable to shocks.
These threats include regional coercion and meddling, transnational terrorism, health insecurity,
use of chemical and other unconventional weapons, massive displacement of populations, and
overwhelming humanitarian crises- creating a complex operating environment.
The current approaches to solving international conflict and crimes used by some countries have
failed. Therefore, to combat this violent scourge on society there is a need for a global security
architecture that will seek to bring countries to the table to collaborate and build alliances.
Countries of the globe are increasingly interconnected and interdependent, giving rise to the need
for a security initiative that must consider the following.
1. Transnational Threats: Many security challenges transcend national borders, such as
terrorism, cyber-attacks, transnational crime, and the proliferation of weapons of mass
destruction. These threats require a coordinated global response to effectively mitigate and
2. Interconnectedness: The world is more interconnected than ever before, with rapid
advancements in technology, communication, and transportation. Events in one part of the world
can have far-reaching consequences globally. A global security initiative can help facilitate
information sharing, intelligence cooperation, and coordinated responses to emerging security
3. Humanitarian Concerns: Global security encompasses not only military and political
aspects but also humanitarian concerns. Issues like climate change, pandemics, and mass
migration can have severe security implications. A global security initiative can help address
these challenges collectively, ensuring the well-being and safety of people worldwide.
4. Preventing Conflicts: By promoting dialogue, mediation, and conflict prevention
mechanisms, a global security initiative can play a crucial role in preventing conflicts between
nations. Early detection and resolution of disputes can help avoid escalation and maintain global
5. Peacekeeping and Stability Operations: International peacekeeping missions are often
conducted under the auspices of global security initiatives like the United Nations. These
operations aim to restore and maintain peace in conflict-affected regions, protect civilians, and
support post-conflict reconstruction efforts.
6. Effective Resource Allocation: A global security initiative can facilitate the pooling of
resources, expertise, and capabilities from multiple countries, avoiding duplication of efforts and
ensuring a more efficient allocation of resources to address security challenges.
7. Norms and Standards: A global security initiative can establish and promote international
norms and standards for behavior in the security realm. This can include guidelines for
responsible state behavior in cyberspace, arms control and non-proliferation agreements, and
regulations for humanitarian interventions.
While existing international organizations and frameworks address various aspects of global
security, a dedicated and comprehensive global security initiative can enhance coordination,
cooperation, and effectiveness in tackling the evolving security landscape.
The recently published concept paper by the government of the People’s Republic of China on
‘the Global Security Initiative’ is a welcomed and most timely and positive contribution to the
international conversation on how to solve the problem of securing the world in which we live.
According to the concept paper “the issue of security bears on the well-being of people of all
countries, the lofty cause of world peace and development, and the future of humanity.”
This highlights the recognition by China that fundamentally, global security is about protecting
and preserving people’s livelihoods and sustainably securing our future.
The Global Security Initiative promoted by China “aims to eliminate the root causes of
international conflicts, improve global security governance, encourage joint international efforts
to bring more stability and certainty to a volatile and changing era, and promote durable peace
and development in the world.”
The uniqueness of this GSI is hinged on its core principles and China’s genuine respect for
sovereignty and commitment to real collaboration and alliance building.
These principles call on countries participating in the initiative to:
1. Stay committed to the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative, and
2. Stay committed to respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all
3. Stay committed to abiding by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter.
4. Stay committed to taking the legitimate security concerns of all countries seriously.
5. Stay committed to peacefully resolving differences and disputes between countries
through dialogue and consultation.
6. Stay committed to maintaining security in both traditional and non-traditional
To date over 80 countries and organizations have signaled support for this initiative which is
guided by some critical principles that will help to ensure success in their efforts to navigate
instability and fragility, the challenges, and pragmatic options to meet a range of security
According to the GSI concept paper “Upholding world peace and security and promoting global
development and prosperity should be the common pursuit of all countries. The visionary
Chinese President calls on participating countries to adapt to the profoundly changing
international landscape in the spirit of solidarity and address the complex and intertwined
security challenges with a win-win mindset.