We live in a complex world where the incentives for conflict, either internal or external, can be found on any major topic; which could include religion, oil dispute, human rights abuses, among many others.
Some could argue that there’s an utmost factor for internal conflict to arise: governance. At least this is the conclusion that UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) reached when analysing the series of conflicts that have occurred in their member countries (Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, United Arab Emirates and Yemen).
But, what’s governance anyway? There’s no easy answer for this, when researching this topic many definitions came up from the World Bank, OECD, UN, IMF, etc. Consequently I’ll drop all those definitions and temporarily use my own; Governance is the way that a given political regime serves the freedom and equality of its citizens.
So, now the question at hand is: Do we agree with ESCWA when they affirm that bad governance triggers internal conflict? My answer is YES.
I shall not go into much detail, nonetheless for me it seems fairly obvious that a country that is unable to deliver good governance segregates and diminishes its citizens. On the opposite, a country with good governance will embrace the engagement of citizens in their political life.
It can be argued that there are many other conditions that will also have an important role in preventing internal conflict. Nonetheless, my conclusion to this argument is that governance matters.
Now the question at hand is: How can the UN help its member states to improve their governance?
The good news is that the Post 2015 agenda has included governance as one of the eleven thematic consultations, thus giving everyone the opportunity to contribute to answer this question.
If you want more information on this topic, please visit http://www.worldwewant2015.org/governance