Promoting Long-term Peace Overseas

The role of the UK

Engagement in conflict-affected and fragile states has taken an increasingly prominent place in the UK’s diplomatic, development, and defence policy and practice overseas. However, it is crucial that this engagement strives to effectively address not just the symptoms but also the causes of insecurity and violent conflict.

This briefing provides an overview of key areas of UK policy and practice relating to conflict issues. It highlights recommendations for how a conflict prevention approach to overseas engagement might be taken forward, in order to improve the lives of those directly affected by insecurity and violent conflict. This briefing also highlights Saferworld’s programming work in conflict-affected or fragile states, illustrating through case studies some practical examples of what conflict prevention activities look like.

Saferworld believes the priority areas of UK policy within the conflict prevention agenda include:

  • the UK Building Stability Overseas Strategy
  • the Arms Trade Treaty and UK arms export controls
  • the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative and the UK’s work on gender, peace and security
  • the debate over the ‘securitisation of aid’
  • the UK’s role in promoting peace as part of the global development framework to follow the Millennium Development Goals after 2015

“The UK has a responsibility to ensure that its work in conflict-affected states is comprehensive and meaningfully contributes to conflict prevention.”