International management of the world's natural resources


#1

It is a known fact that the worlds natural resources are unequally distributed between countries. On paper, each country has sovereignity over the natural resources that lie within it’s borders or EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone). This legal framework has 2 problems:

  • It is not fair, as the resources are assigned by pure luck (for instance a few countries contain the largest part of the world’s oil reserves)
  • It cannot work as a strong country will never accept the sovereignity of a weaker country over strategic resources just because they happen to be there.

So in reality the sovereignity is limited as the powerfull countries are trying to control the world’s strategic resources by any means necessary (diplomacy, bribery or force) in a no-holds-barred fight that is the cause of most of contemporary wars. The end goal is to control the goverments of the resources-rich countries. This creates a lot of problems, which are described as the “curse of natural resources” for resources-rich regions:

  1. The probability of wars and tension rises
  2. Unpopular cleptocratic local goverments are supported by external forces, just for the reason of control (plunder) of natural resources.
  3. Because of (2) whole societies are prevented from progress, which might otherwise stand a change.

We have recognize that the current legal framework is a pipe-dream and set an international mechanism for the control of strategic resources. Of course the power balance will be mirrored in this international mechanism but the following “side efects” will be avoided:

  1. The huge cost of wars and violent confrontation (both for the war-theaters and the powerfull countries organizing and fighting those wars)
  2. The huge cost of supporting unpopular and regressive local goverments

Thus, such kind of solutions will be beneficiary both for the people of the resources-owning countries and the powerfull resource-grabbing countries as their costs as a total will be lower as well. The big challenge is for the latter to agree on the shares.

It’s bit like legalizing drugs, drug use will continue but we escape the by-products of drug-trade.