IPI HomePublicationsMeeting NotesStrengthening the Security-Development Nexus: Assessing International Policy and Practice Since the 1990s

 

print print  |  share share back back

Meeting Notes - May 14, 2004

Strengthening the Security-Development Nexus: Assessing International Policy and Practice Since the 1990s

Agnas Hurwitz and Gordon Peake, rapporteurs

 

 

From the Executive Summary: Intrastate conflicts have become a major international concern in the last decade. Significant advances have been made by the international community in addressing the causes and consequences of these conflicts, leading to a reconsideration of the relationship between security and development. International actors are increasingly aware that these are interdependent and an integral part of comprehensive conflict-management strategies. Yet, more research is needed on the conceptual underpinning of the security-development linkage, and on its implications for project analysis, planning, and implementation.

Three key sectors are regarded as essential for building sustainable peace and have generated extensive international programming: governance, security sector, and rule of law. Rebuilding state institutions and enhancing their administrative capacity on the basis of good governance principles is now a key priority for most international actors. An effective, credible, and accountable security sector is also crucial for conflict management. It provides an environment safe and secure enough to enable other initiatives a chance of taking root. Similarly, (re) establishing the rule of law through judicial and legal reforms is regarded as a prerequisite for the development of stable and peaceful societies.

A common theme emerges across the review of sectoral programming by international actors: the policy commitments to integration have yet to be systematically mainstreamed into programming. Achieving reform requires disentangling thick Gordian knots of management, leadership, attitudes, established behaviors and lack of public trust. However, systemic blockages do not alone explain poor programming outcomes. Conflict management design is often alien to the prevailing context, in part because there is insufficient engagement of local actors. Coordination among the many external agencies involved is rare, even within the sectors themselves. At the same time, efforts are burdened by unrealistic expectations that do not match the level of funding and staffing available.

Realism and humility are required: the international community must do better rather than more. Reorienting these sectors is a difficult and long-term endeavor. Institutions need to learn lessons from past practice and devise strategic approaches. Solutions must be rooted in, and appropriate to the contexts within which they take place. The missions planned for Burundi, Ivory Coast, Haiti, and Sudan will determine whether policy commitments to comprehensive and integrated conflict management can parlay into reality on the ground.

The Global Observatory

Can UN-led Talks Bring Together a Fractured Libya?
The success of the negotiations hinges on the UN's ability to bring all parties to the table.

Key Global Events to Watch in January
A list of key upcoming meetings and events with implications for global affairs.

2015: Ten Multilateral Events to Watch This Year
A list of ten events that are likely to impact international peace and security in 2015, compiled by IPI’s Francesco Mancini.

The Global Observatory, produced by IPI, provides timely analysis on peace and security issues, interviews with leading policymakers, interactive maps, and more.

Recent Events

January 20, 2015
Mongolian Foreign Policy Between ''Two Giants''
On January 20, Mongolia’s new Foreign Minister Purevsuren Lundeg visited the IPI Vienna office and gave an informal briefing on Mongolia’s contemporary foreign policy priorities and challenges.

January 20, 2015
Dutch FM Koenders: ''The Security Council Has to Change''
Speaking to an overflow IPI audience on January 20th, Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders acknowledged how far the United Nations has come since its inception 70 years ago but said that the organization still “has a lot of growing up to do.”

December 15, 2014
Fathi: Iran and the Struggle Between Hardliners and Reformers
Discussing her new book The Lonely War: One Woman’s Account of the Struggle for Modern Iran at IPI on December 15th, author Nazila Fathi said that 35 years after the revolution, Iran is divided between hardliners and a large moderate middle class, but admitted that it is still unclear which of the two sides will gain the upper hand.

View More