March 2012
Saferworld
Saferworld

Saferworld’s newsletter this month brings you comment and analysis on China’s increasing engagement in conflict-affected states, the recent Arms Trade Treaty preparatory committee meeting, and the outcome of the London Somalia conference.

 

The recent capture of 29 Chinese road constructors by rebels in Sudan made clear that rising powers like China are increasingly involved in countries where peace is fragile. Two new publications from Saferworld assess the risks and opportunities that this creates for peace and stability in conflict-affected states, drawing on research in Nepal, Sri Lanka, Sudan and South Sudan. You can download the briefing and full report from our website.

 

In early February, the global civil society alliance Control Arms (of which Saferworld is an active member) was nominated for the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize by the International Peace Bureau. This was a great honour and a symbolic boost to Control Arms’ campaign for a ‘bulletproof’ Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). It was also timely, as February saw the last ATT preparatory committee meeting at the United Nations to agree the rules of procedure for July’s month long Diplomatic Conference. Saferworld’s Small Arms and Transfer Controls Advisor Elizabeth Kirkham, reflects on the wrangles of February’s preparatory meeting and the road towards July’s conference.

 

After the much-anticipated London Conference on Somalia, hosted by the UK government at the end of February, in this issue we also examine what the outcomes of the meeting mean for Somalis and the future of Somalia. While the international community’s commitments are welcome, their real worth will depend on how they are implemented.  

 

In other news, Saferworld will be working in partnership with Resonate! Yemen and the Tamkeen Development Foundation to develop a more inclusive transition process in Yemen, through a one-year project called “Amplifying Youth Voices in Yemen’s Transition”. Saferworld and Tongji University’s School of Political Science and International Relations have also launched a new website to stimulate dialogue and deepen understanding in China on the global proliferation of conventional arms.

 

And finally, two new ‘People’s Peacemaking Perspectives’ policy briefings examine the risks of electoral violence in Timor Leste, and the use of Jirga as a conflict prevention tool in Pakistan.

China's increasing engagement in fragile and conflict-affected states brings risks and opportunities

China’s growing involvement in countries where peace is fragile brings new policy choices for Beijing, as well as a new reality for Western donors. These changes create risks and opportunities for peace and stability in conflict-affected states, according to new findings from a 12-month research project in Nepal, Sri Lanka, Sudan and South Sudan.

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Saferworld reflection on the February 2012 ATT Prepcom

A week of intense wrangling over Rules of Procedure at the final Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) Preparatory Committee at the UN in New York saw the real possibility of the process falling apart. Ultimately, an agreement was reached on rules for the month-long Diplomatic Conference to negotiate the treaty in July. As delegations and NGOs start looking towards the negotiations, we reflect on where we go from here.

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Defining the future of Somalia

The outcome of February’s London Conference on Somalia was a welcome endorsement of the principle that Somalis must define the future of their own country. International actors now need to support Somalis in this endeavour.

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New website promotes Chinese dialogue on arms controls

Saferworld and Tongji University’s School of Political Science and International Relations have launched a new website to stimulate dialogue and deepen understanding in China on the global proliferation of conventional arms.The site, which is available in both Chinese and English provides news, links, information and analysis on a range of topics related to arms controls.

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Raising the voices of Yemeni youth

Saferworld is starting a new project to develop a more inclusive political transition process in Yemen that is responsive to the needs and concerns of young people, through a one-year project “Amplifying Youth Voices in Yemen’s Transition”.

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