Economic development is an important basis for peace. But the link between economic action and peace building is not an automatic one. Models and assumptions have to be reconsidered in order to make it work. With the need for income generation, jobs, equity and trust building across conflicting parties and social divides on the one side and growth for profit and economic sustainability on the other it is important to shape relationships between the diverse actors and stakeholders.
Key Theses, Thoughts and Ideas
Business and peace – conflict sensitivity and proactive engagement in multistakeholder discussions remain vanishingly rare in company operations. Governments may require businesses to be conflict sensitive and adapt their business plans and/or develop conflict mitigation plans accordingly when collaborating with them in fragile situations. ‘Harm avoidance’ is not enough, conflict sensitivity is required!
Business literacy of peacebuilders has to be improved urgently. Also important is the business ecosystem in contexts where peacebuilders engage and how the engagement fits with peace outcomes at the local level. Incentives matter – what kinds of incentives to provide for businesses making their peace contributions rewarding needs specific attention.
Breaking down silos within governments, UN and across sectors, triggering a culture change and working on complementarity building on what we have – eg working on ESG standards to integrate peace and human security indicators.