|Oct.17,2018-- UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday called for better management of natural resources to reduce violent conflict across the globe.
"The exploitation of natural resources, or competition over them, can and does lead to violent conflict," Guterres told the Security Council. "Preventing, managing and resolving such conflicts is one of the major and growing challenges of our time."
UN studies have shown that more than 40 percent of internal armed conflicts over the last 60 years have been linked to natural resources.
"Unfair distribution of natural resources, corruption and mismanagement can and do lead to conflict, especially in countries with weaker institutions," Guterres said, adding these pressures can also exacerbate existing ethnic or religious divides within societies and across borders.
Moreover, since 1990, 75 percent of civil wars in Africa have been partially funded by revenues from natural resources.
Taking the Democratic Republic of the Congo for example, the UN chief said natural resources has generated almost a billion dollars in revenue for rebels and criminal groups.
Likewise, in the Central African Republic, he said the illicit exploitation of minerals by numerous armed groups and militias has contributed to sustain and prolong the conflict.
"More needs to be done to regulate the provenance, sale and trade of minerals through cooperative arrangements involving civil society, governments and regional and international organizations," Guterres said.