News & events

What can UK aid do for peace?

26 March 2018

Saferworld's response following the release of the Labour Party's vision for international development. 

Today the Labour Party is releasing its vision for international development – ‘A world for the many’. It affirms ‘building peace and conflict prevention' among Labour’s top five development priorities, and sets out plans to 'drive a shift from reactive crisis management to coherent, effective and sustainable peacebuilding and conflict prevention'. At the same time, it reaffirms two important principles: cross-government coherence on conflict issues, and spending aid in line with 'doing no harm'.

Acting in a personal capacity, Saferworld’s Larry Attree fed evidence and ideas to the task force that helped Shadow Secretary of State for International Development Kate Osamor prepare the document. "It’s great to see Labour accepting that we urgently need to make progress on peace and conflict prevention to make progress toward eliminating poverty and inequality", he said.

Built on the ambitious Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agreed by all United Nations member states in 2015, ‘A world for the many’ orients development policy around the achievement of the SDGs at home and abroad. Other major commitments include a greater focus on tackling inequality and injustice and the adoption of an explicitly feminist approach to development. The policy paper commits to: testing and scaling up investment in innovative and empowering crisis prevention and response approaches led by local civil society; and creating a transparent, human rights-focused peace fund.

Meanwhile, the government is soon expected to release its National Security Capability Review. When it does, it may well reflect the point made by parliament’s Joint Committee on National Security Strategy about ‘implementing DFID’s up-to-date policy guidance on stabilisation across government, and ensuring that money spent in fragile states more directly targets the causes of conflict and stability.’

This recommendation by MPs paves the way for new Secretary of State for International Development Penny Mordaunt to go further in trumpeting the Department for International Development (DFID)’s role in building peace and preventing conflict, as laid out in its comprehensive 2016 Building Stability Framework.