World Transnational Issues - 2003
SOURCE: 2003 CIA WORLD FACTBOOK
Disputes - international: Globally, there are over 250,000 km of international land boundaries that separate the world's 192 independent states, along with 70 dependencies, areas of special sovereignty, and other miscellaneous entities. Maritime states have claimed limits and have so far established over 130 maritime boundaries and joint development zones to allocate ocean resources and to provide for their national security at sea. On land, ethnicity, culture, race, religion, and language have divided states into separate political entities as much as history, physical terrain, political fiat, or conquest, resulting in sometimes arbitrary and imposed boundaries. All of these factors have contributed to a wide array of boundary, borderland, and territorial disagreements that vary in intensity from unresolved or dormant to outright war. Territorial disputes may evolve from historical and/or cultural animosities, or they may be brought on by resource competition. Ethnic clashes continue to be responsible for territorial fragmentation around the world. Undemarcated, indefinite, porous, and unmanaged boundaries encourage illegal cross-border activities, uncontrolled migration, and political confrontation over boundary allocations. Other sources of contention include the use of water and mineral (especially petroleum) resources, fisheries, dams, and nuclear power plants. Many islands or island groups are also disputed, including those at sea and in streams. Nonetheless, many nations are actively cooperating to clarify, delineate, and demarcate their international borders. The tragic aspect of international discord is the impact on the sustenance and welfare of populations caught in the conflict. It is frequently left to members of the world community to cope with enormous refugee situations, and the resultant hunger, disease, and impoverishment that they create.
NOTE: The information regarding World on this page is re-published from the 2003 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Guinea Geography 2003 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about World Transnational Issues 2003 should be addressed to the CIA.