Helping the Marginalized Reduces Conflict

marginalizedJudy Woodruff of the PBS News Hour sat down with United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon of South Korea. The Secretary General spoke with Woodruff about violent extremism and conflict around the globe, and explained how helping the marginalized could potentially reduce conflict and global poverty.

Violent extremism is perhaps the greatest present threat to world stability because terrorism has no borders; it is a global crisis. There is no definitive solution to violent extremism, which has recently caused thousands to move from their homes and even cost them their lives.

Conflict and global poverty are connected, and the more people are marginalized, the farther conflict will spread. People become marginalized when they are pushed to the edge of society instead of finding a place within it. An EQ Review article states that “some [people] can become skeptical, embittered or violent, and they often model and raise children to think and act similarly.” Violence and conflict become a way of life and a solution to unstable societies and difficult upbringings. The desperation for a “better” life pushes people to drastic measures, increasing marginalization, poverty and violent extremism.

According to an EQ Review article, “political and social turmoil in [many regions] has resulted in the abduction and recruitment of young soldiers, extensive socio-economic and cultural upheaval, and extreme poverty.” The Borgen Project notes “that investments, non-military tools of development, and diplomacy…strengthen our allies and fights the spread of poverty, disease, terrorism and weapons of mass destruction.” Halting the spread of conflict is vital in a new era of technology and transnational terrorism.

But there is hope. By educating the youth of impoverished nations, security and opportunities are both created. Ban Ki-moon states in the interview that the United Nations is doing everything it can to find a solution that will affect global politics as well as global poverty.

– Alaina Grote

Sources: PBS,  USAID,  The Borgen Project
Photo: Yemen Fox