UN Calls for Strengthened Efforts to Bring Natural Resource Management to Peacebuilding

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States, intergovernmental organizations and other partners need to step up efforts to better integrate natural resource management into post-conflict reintegration programmes, according to a new UN report.

The Role of Natural Resources in Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration – Addressing Risks and Seizing Opportunities, launched in New York on Tuesday, stresses that natural resources – which, in many conflict-affected countries, can be used to fuel and finance armed groups – can also play a major role in bringing about sustainable peace.

The report further suggests that incorporating natural resources into plans for reintegration and recovery can also help to mitigate potential conflicts, such as disputes over land or water.

The report also emphasizes that natural resources, such as minerals, oil, gas and timber, need to be properly managed in order to achieve these goals.

It notes that, despite the opportunities that they present, plans for the fair management and distribution of natural resources are usually excluded from peace negotiations and disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) programmes, which have become an integral part of the UN's post-conflict peace consolidation over the last 20 years.

 UNDP Assistant Administrator and Director of the Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery Jordan Ryan, said "When helping former fighters and their communities to start new lives after a conflict, it is often critical to help them turn existing natural resources into economic opportunities," adding, "However, natural resources need to be managed properly as part of a well thought-out peace process".

Donn Bobb, United Nations

Duration: 1’30″

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