International Security

Decisive measures must be taken by nations and international organizations to ensure mutual survival and safety. In the past several years, key governments and multilateral institutions have devoted considerable effort to the task of more effectively integrating development and security policy responses to the related challenges of countries affected by conflict, post-conflict peacebuilding, and conflict prevention. The looming deadline of the Millennium Development Goals, has focused attention on this important nexus and the near impossibility of crisis- and conflict-affected states achieving these goals unless development and security is more effectively integrated. Despite progress on several fronts, including at the United Nations and at the international financial institutions, developing policy for effective development and security engagement remains a challenge in both conceptual and operational terms – not least because discussion of political, security, economic, and humanitarian issues traditionally has occurred in different multilateral fora, among different sets of stakeholders.

Consequently, coherent and integrated development, security and political support to countries emerging from conflict has proven difficult. Organizing the international response around early support to economic recovery, livelihoods, and services, and the core task of statebuilding has proven a greater challenge. Core political, security, economic, and humanitarian tasks are carried out by an ad hoc and fragmented array of bilateral and multilateral development actors. CIC’s focus is to aid global actors in creating more effective and everlasting security. 

Related Publications

  • In June 2018, the United Nations (UN) Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy—adopted by the General Assembly in 2006 and reviewed every two years—underwent its sixth biennial review in New York. It took place with lots of raised expectations—particularly around strengthening obligations to comply with human rights law while countering terrorism, and increasing the inclusion of women and civil society organizations in policymaking and programming in this area. Sadly, the results fell short. Here is what happened.

    Aug 15, 2018
    Hanny Megally
  • An integrated approach to crisis and conflict prevention requires clarity on what is meant by prevention, and how the concept of prevention fits with the 2030 Agenda, sustaining peace, and other relevant frameworks. This new briefing paper by Sarah Cliffe and David Steven proposes a new paradigm for prevention that has three levels: (i) universal prevention strategies that aim to build healthy societies that manage conflict productively, provide safety and security, increase resilience, and enhance social, political, and economic inclusion; (ii) “at risk” prevention strategies that target groups, communities, and countries that face elevated risk of conflict, or where violence is highest and resilience lowest; and (iii) prevention strategies that are tailored to situations of ongoing conflict or crisis. 

  • On Secretary General Antonio Guterres’ first day in office, he signaled his intention to reform the peace and security pillar by immediately co-locating staff from the Department of Political Affairs (DPA) and the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) and establishing an internal review team to work on the bigger proposals for change made by the High Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations (HIPPO), the Advisory Group of Experts (AGE) on the Review of the United Nations Peacebuilding Architecture, and the Global Study on the Implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325. CIC supported some of the independent review team’s work through our report Restructuring the UN Secretariat to Strengthen Preventative Diplomacy and Peace Operations. The Secretary-General has now made proposals based on the team’s recommendation.

    Sep 15, 2017
    Sarah Cliffe

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