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Responsibility for the disadvantaged lies with all of us

Financial Times: Responsibility for the disadvantaged lies with all of us

“Mr McCredie described the increasing manifestations of insecurity that Shell and other oil companies face around the world. Threats include attacks on oil facilities, corrupt officials, industrial espionage, kidnapping, piracy and the potential for large-scale political instability.”

10 October 2005

By Gordon Thompson

Published: October 10 2005

From Mr Gordon Thompson.

Sir, The FT reports (“Oil groups face rise in threats to security”, October 4) on remarks by Ian McCredie, head of Global Security Services at Shell International, at a conference on political risk.

Mr McCredie described the increasing manifestations of insecurity that Shell and other oil companies face around the world. Threats include attacks on oil facilities, corrupt officials, industrial espionage, kidnapping, piracy and the potential for large-scale political instability. Many of these threats derive from weak governance, but that in turn reflects deeper problems that many societies experience in meeting the demands of the modern era.

Oil companies, working at the interface between the industrial world and regions where life is harsh and uncertain, cannot ignore the problems of those regions. Prudence and humanity dictate, however, that all of us devote more attention to the security of the disadvantaged. Societies are increasingly interdependent and shared threats such as new infectious diseases loom on the horizon. Security is becoming indivisible, and we ignore global interdependence at our peril.

Gordon Thompson,

Executive Director,

Institute for Resource and Security Studies,

Cambridge, MA 02139, US

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