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Conflict Prevention

Volume 454: debated on Monday 11 December 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the need for a stronger institutional framework at the UN to ensure that early warnings of conflict are followed by effective conflict prevention measures. (105318)

The 2004 “UN High-level Panel Report on Threats, Challenges and Change” and the 2005 “World Summit Outcome Document” clearly highlighted the need for more systematic UN early action in response to UN early warning systems. DFID’s recent White Paper “Making Governance Work for the Poor” sets out the UK’s commitment to improving the UN’s effectiveness in acting on early warnings and tackling the underlying causes of conflict.

Through the Global Conflict Prevention Pool, we are supporting a number of UN initiatives in this area. We provide funding to the UN Interdepartmental Framework for Co-ordination on Early Warning and Preventive Action, which draws together 23 UN bodies to jointly analyse threats to peace and adjust UN programmes to tackle them. We are also planning to support the special adviser to the Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide, who is mandated to draw to the attention of the Secretary-General and the Security Council potential conflict situations that present a risk to international peace and security.

DFID is also working with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to ensure that the new UN Peacebuilding Commission and the UN Peacebuilding Fund—to which we have committed £30 million over three years—help prevent countries falling back into conflict by addressing the underlying causes of conflict.