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Main Security Threats in the 21st Century

As the world is living in the 21st century and it is growing faster, where the number of threats is also increasing faster. Due to the numerous security threats, it is necessary for a human to protect freedom. Generally, to protect the human from pervasive and critical threats and other situations, it is necessary to build a protective framework with strength and aspiration. It also means that to create a strong system that provides society building blocks of protection, dignity and livelihood and survival. In order to do this, there are two important strategies and frameworks developed such as empowerment and protection. Basically, protection is the shield of people that protect from any harm or danger.  While the empowerment allows the people to establish their own potential well-being and take full participation in decision making and security (Al-Bayaa, 2011).

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There are two categories of human security threats. The first is protected from chronic threats such as hunger, disease, and oppression. The second is a model of everyday life that protects you from sudden and harmful destruction at home, at work, or in society. When securing human security, we must resolve seven conflicts. Economy, food, health, environment, personal, public and political safety (Peoples, 2014). National and international defence are no longer guaranteed only by maintaining the integrity of the borders, but they rely heavily on the ability to navigate the global community safely. Sea, air, space, and cyberspace facilitate the transmission of goods, people, communications and data to protect the territory and interests of the country as well as all members of the international community. But many new trends threaten freedom of action (Tara Murphy, 2010).  In the 21st century, there are so many global agendas which include pollution, hunger, poverty, illiteracy, terrorism, conflicts, shortage of water and other security threats for human. All of these threats are necessary to address with the suitable set of framework and strategies (Williams, 2012). The purpose of the essay is to demonstrate the security threats in the 21st century and also effective ways to address those threats.

Main Security Threats

There are following security threats which are mentioned below:

1. Poverty and Underdevelopment

Much of the world’s population is in poverty and underdeveloped conditions. According to the 2006 Human Development Index, released by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), about 1.2 billion people cannot access safe water (Al-Bayaa, 2011). Nearly 2.6 billion people cannot access sanitation facilities. In addition, about 2 million children die each year due to lack of water and sanitation facilities. Thousands of people live in poverty and underdevelopment, but world leaders cannot agree on appropriate agreements for the development of international trade. For South Korean countries, it is almost impossible to fight poverty and improve the lives of people without a proper international development regime. Therefore, lawmakers around the world must continue to criticize the failure of the Doha Round of international development consultations (Swain, 2012).

2. Inequalities, Democracy and Economic Condition

Poverty, inequality, development in economy and poor governance and lack of opportunities all relate to instability and instability in individual countries and regions. Absolute poverty levels in the world are declining as economic growth, trade and foreign aid grow. This long-awaited trend will continue (Bigo & Walker, 2016). In many countries such as Africa and the Middle East, they have the dominant system in politics and also have internal strong security and authority as well. However, it maintains its dictatorship with weaknesses and limited public participation. Some countries are facing new challenges of politics entering the militia movement politically, using violence and extremist extremism, including Hezbollah and Hamas. This step should be an important welfare provider for the majority of the violent and poor population. Democracy has spread in recent decades, and the dictatorship has been replaced by a democratically elected government. South and Eastern Europe, Eastern Asia, Africa and part of Latin America. In the long term, democracy will continue to spread with institutions which include the EU and the United Nations, as well as the UK and other countries. This is for welfare and prosperity. The UK’s total imports and exports have exceeded £ 750bn (around GDP of 55%) and visible international trade of 95% is mainly depended by means of transport (National Security Strategy United Kingdom, 2008).

3. Cyber Threat

As societies and economies are progressively growing and they rely on global and national communication systems and electronic way of information, it converts increasingly significant to achieve many risks that can threaten integrity and accessibility through terrorism, crime, or major cyber-attacks. System diversity can provide resilience, but increases complication and interdependence, building it much defenceless to total or unintentional attacks. The Internet facilitates many new opportunities, from individuals and businesses, third sector groups and governments to new ways to communicate with friends through fast and reliable financial transactions (Brauch, et al., 2011). The Internet itself is a transnational, rapidly changing and poorly managed organization, but is the main and important part of national infrastructure. Generally, it is the main objective and new opportunity of the national hostiles, criminals, and terrorists. There are some designed to destroy the whole infrastructure. While others use fast-changing uncontrolled characters in other countries on the Internet to conduct illegal activities (Al-Bayaa, 2011).

As in most countries, in which the United Kingdom is also facing this threat over the past decade, which has addressed many problems such as destroying the drug trade network, refusing drug supply, increasing and refining treatments and drugs, and teaching drug users related to hazards of drug use (National Security Strategy United Kingdom, 2008).

4. Climatic Change and Global Population Increase

The population of the world is predictable to increase by about 9.5 billion in the next 50 years. Urbanization tendency is expected to endure. An urban population will increase from less than 50% in 2000 to more than 60% in 2030. An increasingly urbanized world will increase food and water demand, but a change in climate with the additional developments will put more density on supplies. There are billions of people who are facing lots of insecurities and issues of water shortage, in which only 30 countries have got more than the third section of water from the outside regions (National Security Strategy United Kingdom, 2008).

Due to climate change this number increases and the likelihood of arguments increases. The change in climatic condition will increase a burden on foodstuff due to reduced rainfall in several areas and failures of crops production. Health promotion will further increase food demand: Britain has put prominent international effort to decrease a number of public. Increasing the number of city groups can have a direct impact on stability (Brauch, 2011). In the poorest countries with the highest unemployment rates, the youngest generation reaches working age. The risks of political instability, disability, violence and extremism increase with elements which includes prompt urbanization, isolation in politics, absence of elementary facilities and economic opportunities. The entire migration is impacting the negative reactions to the transition to the economy and society will increase the overall risk. But the movement of people around the world also pose a security threat. In this uptrend, we manage the impact of identifying people with threats to security, infrastructure, and social cohesion to bring in relatively fast, large-scale workforce (National Security Strategy United Kingdom, 2008).

5. Terrorism

The UK is facing thoughtful and continuing threats from violent extremists. They are barely supported in this country community and widely known to claim that religious justification is widely mistaken. However, there are greater threats and ambitions to threaten all terrorists which have been faced in the past. As terrorist want to attack the broad infrastructure of public. They mainly use electronic attack through advanced weapons. Recent attacks by civilians and foreign companies as well as UK attacks reflect a broader transnational trend (National Security Strategy United Kingdom, 2008). The terrorism war is due to the result of all the violation of the basic human standards and their rights. It includes fair trial rights and arbitrarily arrested rights which is not detained (Al-Bayaa, 2011).

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The threats of the UK in the form of serious and organized crimes are not serious, they are not evaluated by organized criminal organizations and do not cause serious harm to the United Kingdom, but they are not threats spread throughout the world. Effectively undermines legitimate trade and the supremacy of government and law. But this is a serious and rapidly spreading threat in the UK. Organized groups of crime sectors become more complicated and they are specialized by using the approach of the portfolio that shifts the focus to the lowest and most profitable areas. This is a threat that requires a constant perimeter and constant efforts to get helps to catch all the criminals and this strategy is being adopted by UK and all across the world (National Security Strategy United Kingdom, 2008).

6. Mass Destruction from Nuclear and other Weapons

The organization named as Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) remains an atomic weapon and it is the most destructive threaten weapon to world safety (United Nation, 2019). The number of nuclear weapons states has increased, despite the fact that some countries (such as South Africa and Libya) have abandoned the program because many nations have won more nuclear weapons than many expect. Due to the fact that North Korea has directed the nuclear and ballistic missile tests, and Iran continued to participate in its nuclear activities, ignoring the obligations of the UN Security Council. There is a possibility that nuclear weapons, materials or technologies (including commercial ones) could fall into the hands of terrorists. The proliferation of ballistic missile technology, which increases the likelihood that will directly threat to the UK (National Security Strategy United Kingdom, 2008).

7. HIV AID and Communicable Disease

The world is still struggling to effectively combat diseases such as AIDS and other pandemics. The tremendous impact of HIV and AIDS is taking away many of the economically active populations. HIV and AIDS are already burdened by overly long public resources, especially in the health sector. Many people still suffer from preventable diseases, especially malaria, in Africa and other low economic countries who are facing lots of monetary and health issues (Al-Bayaa, 2011)

Addressing Security Threats

The challenges and threats are facing human security are different and require different levels of intervention. However, as noted in the Human Rights Council report, there is no doubt that an integrated approach from all stakeholders is needed (Al-Bayaa, 2011)

First, it is necessary to reaffirm that multilateralism within the United Nations is important as the only legitimate realm to guarantee world peace. Putting the United Nations at the centre of world events means that the process of UN reform and reform must continue. For example, Congress and lawmakers should be able to effectively influence the newly created Human Rights Council. They should also be able to comment on the activities of the UN Peacebuilding Commission. Second, it is necessary to ensure the implementation of important international commitments such as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). “Most developing countries in Africa today are not reaching the MDGs (uneca, 2016).

Thus, concluding that it is really important to analyse the extent to which humans achieve their human security goals. It is also important to assess the progress made and actions taken by affected world leaders. It is also important for lawmakers to question the degree to which their country has incorporated human security issues into its legal system. At the international level, it is necessary to examine the extent to which human rights are considered by international, regional and national security authorities, in line with the recommendations of the Commission on Human Rights.


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  • Bigo, D. & Walker, R., 2016. Europe’s 21st century challenge: delivering liberty. s.l.: Routledge.
  • Brauch, H., 2011. Concepts of security threats, challenges, vulnerabilities and risks. In Coping with global environmental change, disasters and security. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg., pp. (pp. 61-106).
  • Brauch, H. S. Ú. M. C. et al., 2011. Coping with global environmental change, disasters and security: threats, challenges, vulnerabilities and risks. Springer Science & Business Media.
  • Cherp, A. & Jewell, J., 2011. The three perspectives on energy security: intellectual history, disciplinary roots and the potential for integration. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, pp. 3(4), pp.202-212.
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  • Tara Murphy, 2010. Security Challenges in the 21st Century Global Commons. [Online] Available at: http://yalejournal.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/105205murphy.pdf
  • Uneca, 2016. MDGs to Agenda 2063/SDGs Transition Report 2016. [Online] Available at: https://www.uneca.org/publications/mdgs-agenda-2063sdgs-transition-report-2016
  • United Nation, 2019. Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). [Online] Available at: https://www.un.org/disarmament/wmd/nuclear/npt/
  • Williams, P., 2012. Security studies: an introduction. Routledge. In Security Studies, pp. (pp. 23-34).


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