Why should the prevailing concept about peace and security be revised?
The prevailing security concept is seriously flawed; it does not take into account the changes in the security situation, which have taken place since end cold war. Moreover it ignores the close linkage between four basic facts:
• Extreme vulnerability of modern society, even for the most powerful nation in the world.
• The availability of an apocalyptic destructive potential of modern arms.
• Modern terrorism with its wide-ranging potential to cause chaos.
• The high degree of interdependence in our global world.
The first two elements make it imperative to look for other (non- military) ways to deal with conflicts. Warfare can no longer be seen as an effective way of dealing with conflicts. Only when all options are exhausted – and all conditions of the just war tradition are met – there should be a resort to military means within an international context. Governments should however realize that a major war between leading powers is no longer a realistic option under present circumstances. Not only for the simple reason that costs would largely exceed possible benefits, but also because it would entail the risk of elimination of a greater part of humanity! Hence, the futility, yes even the irresponsibility of preparing the stage for such an event! Also ‘limited conflicts’ should be handled with much prudence in view of the danger of escalation and other harmful consequences. There is simply no other way out, in our highly vulnerable modern world we are compelled to look for non- military means for solving conflicts! 
Modern terrorism – the third element – constitutes indeed a grave threat. It is therefore of the utmost importance that the fight against it will be conducted in the most effective way. This requires however more than military means. The underlying causes of terrorism should be taken seriously. The heinous terrorists attacks during past years in major cities have opened the eyes of many people for the extreme vulnerability of modern society. There still is however not enough awareness of the full significance of interdependence in our world. Those comfortably living in the ‘North’ can no longer ignore hunger, misery and despair of millions of people in the ‘South’. The factual degree of interdependence is such that poor conditions for human security in developing countries affect directly the security situation within prosperous nations. There is therefore – apart from moral reasons – a real need to develop a global perspective and a mechanism for a just resource allocation. 
It is precisely this close connection between all four factors, which make it imperative to apply political/economic justice together with solidarity, to all parts of the world!
Towards a comprehensive concept of peace and security
Peace and security can no longer be assured by preparing for war. This classic maxim should be replaced by exactly its opposite: “If you want peace, prepare for peace”. This means developing a comprehensive concept, which will be able to deal with the major threats to human security.
For centuries attention was focused on threats to state-security and the military means needed for defending it. During the Cold War we became familiar with the concept of collective security, which meant a system in which States pledge that aggression against one is aggression against all, obliging to react collectively. In recent years it became clear that the classic borderline between internal and external security was rapidly fading. Our modern world is in need for a broader concept of security as new threats to security have emerged, which cannot be met with military means. This development prompted the Secretary General of the United Nations to appoint a High Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change. This authoritative Report gives three major reasons for a new approach to collective security: today’s threats recognize no national boundaries; they are connected and must be addressed at a global, regional and national level. No state, no matter how powerful, can by its own efforts alone make itself invulnerable to today’s threats. 
The Panel defines six clusters of threats we will be facing in the decades ahead:
• Economic and social threats, including poverty, infectious diseases and environmental degradation
• Inter-state conflict
• Internal conflict, including civil war, genocide and other large scale atrocities
• Nuclear, radiological, chemical and biological weapons
• Trans-national organized crime
All these threats are interconnected, requiring a comprehensive approach and a framework for preventive action. Thus, the relevance of economic and social development. The Panel rightly sees this as the indispensable foundation for a system of collective security. It could significantly contribute to combat the actual threat to human security for many millions of people.
Another, noteworthy feature of the new look at collective security, is that the primary role is no longer assigned to military power but to political, economic, cultural, religious and other non-military means. Military force should be relegated to a subordinate role within the context of the UN or regional security organizations. Only to be employed in last resort! The new comprehensive approach towards peace and security entails therefore a radical revision of priorities in dealing with major global threats.
What should be kept in mind is that peace, once achieved, is not something permanent. It could be easily disturbed. Whether peace will be stable depends on mainly on three main conditions:
• Concern about vital security needs should be met. Instead of living under fear for sudden military strikes a sense of security should be created. This basic sense of common security involves however also other conditions for living related to an adequate supply of food, water, energy and environmental security!
• Justice. The practice of justice is of prime importance for peace in our world. Already in the Psalms we find a poetical expression for this old wisdom: “Justice and Peace kiss each other”. Without application of this principle to the political situation (for instance in the Middle East) and in North/South relations there will be little chance for a stable peace. Justice instead of military power should determine the access to scarce natural resources.
• Respect for human rights. Violation of basic human rights – certainly whenever these occur on a large scale – constitutes a serious threat to peace and security.