Saferworld marks 30th anniversary27 November 2019
At the end of November, we celebrate Saferworld’s 30th anniversary. Launched in Bristol in 1989 as a small, politically independent research organisation, we aimed to build a ‘safer world’ by stopping the irresponsible flow of arms. Since then, we have grown into one of the world’s leading centres of expertise on conflict prevention thinking and strategy, with a track record in improving policies and practices to help build lasting peace. We currently have a presence in 12 conflict-affected contexts and do research, policy and advocacy work in many more, influencing governments, international organisations, and national stakeholders on issues ranging from security, policing, small arms control and conflict sensitivity to gender and peace. While our organisation has changed substantially over the last three decades, our central aim remains the same – to build a safer world where everyone can lead peaceful and fulfilling lives, free from fear and insecurity.
Saferworld has had many significant successes over the years, including: helping to bring into force a legally binding international arms export control instrument – the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) – which became international law in 2014; leading efforts to ensure peace, security and justice were included in the Sustainable Development Goals; influencing the actions of governments, donors and international organisations through the production of high quality research, analysis and practical recommendations to address the underlying and structural drivers of conflict in different contexts around the world; and improving the lives of many communities living with conflict and violence, ensuring that everyone has a say in the important decisions that affect them, and in particular that the voices of women and young people are heard.
Saferworld has never stopped learning from and adapting to the different contexts in which we operate. Partnership and collaboration are central to our approach; we have formal partnership agreements with over 60 partners in the countries where we work, and affiliations with many others.
“I am proud of our international standing in the world today. This recognition is the result of our efforts over 30 years, of building partnerships that have given crucial strength and credibility to our organisation,” explains Paul Murphy, Saferworld’s Executive Director. “In addition to our talented and dedicated staff body, our relationships – with partners, communities, donors, authorities, civil society organisations and others – form the backbone of our organisation and clearly illustrate that when people unite for a common cause, foundations are laid for incredible transformation to take place.”
As we look ahead, Saferworld will continue to tackle the root causes of conflict, keeping people at the heart of everything we do and helping communities affected by conflict to play an active role in uniting across divides to find community-owned solutions to prevent violent conflict and to promote lasting peace.