Upstream conflict prevention and the Sustainable Development Goals

In October 2015, the governments of China and the UK launched a renewed development partnership, committing to work together in support of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Both sides have also agreed to cooperate towards promoting global peace and security.

Building upon this renewed partnership and the potential for the SDGs to become a common language with which countries can debate and coordinate their development efforts, this briefing looks at how both China and the UK perceive upstream conflict prevention and its link to the SDGs, whilst attempting to identify synergies in their approaches and opportunities for cooperation.

This is the third and final contribution to a series of briefings authored by members of Saferworld’s Conflict Prevention Working Group (CPWG). Over the past two years, the CPWG have been exploring different approaches to conflict prevention and assessing the prospects for China-UK cooperation to prevent conflict. The work of the CPWG has been broadly framed around early warning; crisis response; and upstream conflict prevention – three key pillars of the UK’s Building Stability Overseas Strategy.

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“[The SDGs] can be the basis on which both China and the UK can have the same conversation with conflict-prone countries about how that conflict can be avoided.”

Conflict Prevention Working Group