Among the instruments that can be exploited for conflict prevention and peacebuilding activities, dual-use technologies are gaining attention in scholarly and technical debates. Born as spin-offs of military projects, dual-use technologies are now developed in both the military and the civilian domain and operate in a vast number of fields, ranging from biology to security.
How do local peacebuilding actors develop their own models of post-conflict reconstruction? This question has been subject to extensive academic discussion since the limitations of mainstream liberal peacebuilding models became evident in the late 1990s. Many local peacebuilders in Cambodia and Mindanao have presented strong potential to promote advanced ownership of their programmes as well as limitations that should be addressed to offer good foundations for stable peace and sustainable development.
Policymakers and practitioners in conflict prevention, management, and resolution have been turning their attention towards new technologies and analysing their potential in helping international and local actors utilise innovative technologies in security operations.
The consequences of conflict are far-reaching and clearly threaten the EU’s expressed core values of peace, security, sustainable development, poverty reduction, and human rights. Therefore, all the organs of European Union external action should be concerned with making sure that the EU’s engagement in environments affected by conflict (1) does no harm and (2) is designed to reduce the risks of conflict and maximise sustainable peace.
There is no shortage of challenges to focus on for 2018 when it comes to conflict, peacebuilding, and humanitarian crises. However, one which shouldn’t be forgotten (assuming it ever received much attention) is the war in South Sudan. South Sudan’s conflict highlights the dilemmas surrounding the protection of civilians.
Seventy years since General Assembly Resolution 181 (partition), a just, lasting and comprehensive peace between Israelis and Palestinians, and the emergence of a sovereign and independent State of Palestine alongside the State of Israel as recognised in that resolution, are yet to be achieved. World leaders have tried – and failed – to achieve a just resolution for the most symbolic conflict in the Middle East. What should they be focusing on now and in the new year?