I wish to update the House about our plans for funding conflict prevention, stabilisation, security and peacekeeping activities for the financial year 2015/16. As announced in the spending round 2013, the Government have introduced a new, more strategic approach to work in conflict-affected states where the United Kingdom has key interests, which pools new and existing resources from across Government into a new conflict, stability and security fund (CSSF) under the strategic direction of the National Security Council (NSC). The new approach seeks to streamline Whitehall structures, enable further collaboration and create a closer link between the NSC’s strategic decision-making and action on the ground. It will ensure our work in fragile or conflict-affected states supports the full range of UK objectives, as set out in the national security strategy and underpinned notably by the building stability overseas strategy framework. We will draw on the most effective combination of defence, diplomacy, development assistance, and national security assets at Her Majesty’s Government’s disposal to promote peace and stability and to tackle threats to UK interests arising from instability overseas. This work will be funded from core departmental budgets, supported by the new CSSF worth £1.033 billion.
The NSC has agreed a range of country and regional strategies, along with approaches on peacekeeping and multilateral institutions which together form a strategic framework for NSC departments to prioritise HMG’s effort to tackle instability and insecurity overseas. These strategies are designed to cover the breadth of HMG interests and resources. They set the objectives which will guide our stabilisation and security-related activity, whether funded by the CSSF or from other sources.
Bureaucracy has been reduced, with a streamlined Whitehall structure. Newly created regional boards, will be chaired by FCO senior officials and include senior representation from all NSC departments. The regional boards are responsible for effective implementation of the strategies in their region, including monitoring of all activity funded by the CSSF. The National Security Council (officials) will provide oversight and assurance to support NSC level decision-making.
The CSSF will come into being on 1 April 2015 and replace the conflict pool. The CSSF’s larger scope will include conflict reduction and development assistance as well as tackling threats to UK interests. It will also be used to fund the UK’s contributions to multilateral peacekeeping budgets and related commitments. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office will continue to be responsible for managing and reporting to Parliament on the peacekeeping element of the CSSF, which it manages on behalf of Government.
The NSC has now agreed CSSF allocations for FY15/16. These allocations may change during the course of FY15/16 to reflect changing priorities or to enable the Government to respond more effectively to new cases of conflict and instability.
Peacekeeping and Multilateral
Security and Defence
Delivery Support, including the Stabilisation Unit and National School of Government International