Conflict and Fragility


Conflict, violence and disaster risks are widely recognized as some of the most significant obstacles to MDG achievement in all developing countries. The link between conflict and development was highlighted in the Secretary-General’s 2009 Report on “Peacebuilding in the Immediate Aftermath of Conflict.”

At the Fourth High Level Forum in Busan in November 2011, the International Dialogue (ID) on Peacebuilding and Statebuilding shared with the international community a “New Deal for Engagement with Fragile States” intended to address gaps in development in conflict affected states that had not been sufficiently addressed by the global development agenda, particularly the MDGs. The New Deal outlined five Peacebuilding and Statebuilding goals as basis for development. The ID is expected to bring these goals up for discussion during the post-2015 debate.

Conflicts, violence and disasters (including natural hazards, as well) are closely linked issues. On the one hand, disasters can create or exacerbate existing conflict, for example by creating or deepening inequality in access to resources. On the other hand, conflict and criminal violence can increase vulnerability to disaster through displacement and strain on institutions and public services. Additionally, the adverse effects of climate change are likely to exacerbate extreme events and therefore increase the possibility of resource based conflicts.

These developments reinforce the need to consider the impact of conflict, violence and disaster in the post-2015 development goal setting process.

Consultation – Objectives

1.) To provide a platform where all stakeholders in Post 2015 Agenda will get opportunity to examine and debate current thinking on conflict and disaster risks in order to deepen understanding of the impact of conflict, violence, and disasters caused by natural hazards on development, as well as the role of underdevelopment in amplifying the impact of conflict and disasters;

2.) To critically review existing policies, theories, and tools in use for understanding and responding to these conflict fragilities and disaster vulnerabilities;

3.) Building participatory coalitions around a post-2015 conflict prevention, armed violence reduction, and disaster risk reduction agenda;

4.) Foster understanding among stakeholders and develop shared visions while promoting a culture of participation;

5.) Generate lessons learnt on the impact of conflict, violence and disasters on development and vice versa, particularly in the implementation of the MDGs;

6.) Identify a commonly agreed way forward for the post-2015 agenda on conflict, violence and disaster;

7.) Build networks among the actors involved in on-going initiatives on the post-2015 development agenda;

8.) Provide direct contribution to the formulation of a post-2015 development agenda; and

9.) Establish an Expert Reference Group on the impact of conflict, violence and disaster on development post-2015 that will continue to support the agenda setting process beyond the consultation phase.

Consultation - Process

This dialogue will be based on the introspection and experiences of especially the poor and vulnerable groups through broad civil society representation.

1.) Desk Review – Useful policy research work done in recent years by various UN departments, agencies, and fund, the World Bank, the EU, academic think-tanks, civil society organizations, etc. will be reviewed to get a sense of what is already known, and to focus on what needs to be researched/understood at a deeper level to better inform the post-2015 development agenda-setting in the area of conflict and disaster-risk reduction.

2.) E-Discussion – A web-based consultation using the various UN and non-UN community of practice platforms, including civil society, will be launched for dialogue on key fragility and vulnerability issues.

3.) Background Papers – Research on conflict, violence and disaster related fragility/vulnerability factors will be conducted in cooperation with key partners. Research is aimed to engage the most vulnerable communities, including those without access to web based platforms. Background papers will draw from materials from e-discussions and will serve as background documents for regional and global consultations.

4.) Regional Consultations – There will be three regional consultations (including one in Latin America), with a focus on lessons learned in citizen security, armed violence, and its impact on development. Regional consultations will engage partners at the regional level, including think-tanks, regional inter-governmental institutions and networks of regional civil society organizations. The consultation in Latin America will be held if sufficient funding can be mobilized, and will be held in a country that is engaged in the debate on citizen security and armed violence reduction.

5.) Global Consultation – A final global consultation will be held in Helsinki to bring together findings from regional consultations. It will be attended by representatives from regional consultations and high level leaders from countries at most risk from these fragilities and vulnerabilities. The outcomes of thematic consultation related to disaster risk reduction are expected to feed into Fourth Session of the Global Platform on 19-22 May 2013, and into the preparations for the second World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in 2015.

Extra Information

UNISDR has been organizing consultations at different levels with multiple stakeholders to collect recommendations on post 2015 framework on disaster risk reduction (DRR) and resilience building. A regional consultation is planned during the 2012 Regional Platform for DRR. The following survey has been created to collect initial recommendations for the consultations during the 2012 Regional Platform which will take place in Santiago, Chile from 26-28 November 2012. Responses as soon as possible are appreciated – Survey

Source: “Impact of Conflict, Violence, and Disaster on Long-Term Development: A Global Thematic Consultation, Building the Post 2015 Development Agenda” – July 2012-Feb 2013 – UNDP, PBSO, UNISDR, UNICEF