It wouldn't cross your mind at the moment, the moment a lot of people wait their whole lives for, your wedding day, that the diamonds in the ring may well have come from the war fields of Angola or Sierra Leone, where hundreds of thousands of people have been killed in order for regional groups to gain control of diamond fields. Nor would it cross your mind when you send a text message on your mobile that hundreds of thousands of people have died in the Democratic Republic of Congo to gain access to a mineral called coltan, needed to produce electronic equipment such as mobile phones. However conflicts over commodities such as these are a reality- a reality that the consumers of the world need to be aware of and a reality that will no doubt continue unless there is international measures to address the problem.
Though water and oil may be the two most highly sought after resources, there are still many other resources that are considered valuable enough to ignite conflict within states or between neighbouring states.
Resources such as gold, diamonds, valuable minerals and old-growth timber are in high demand around the world, which means their possession can be a source of considerable revenue. It is the demand for such products that gives them a high price and consequently governments or other movements, most often within developing nations, will fight violent wars for many years in order to gain access to these valuable resources.
In developed nations and in developing nations with strong central governments, competition for valuable resources is usually resolved through the operation of a marketplace and the mediation of the state, whereas in developing nations, matters are often more haphazard and conflict consequently more common. Conflict tends to occur when certain conditions are...