DDR and SSR
The purpose of this module is to provide policy makers, operational planners and officers at field level with background information and guidance on related but distinct sets of activities associated with disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) and security sector reform (SSR). The intention is not to set out a blueprint but to build from common principles in order to provide insights that will support the development of synergies as well as preventing harmful contradictions in the design, implementation and sequencing of different elements of DDR and SSR programmes.
DDR and Transitional Justice
This module on DDR and transitional justice aims to contribute to accountable DDR programmes that are based on more systematic and improved coordination between DDR and transitional justice processes, so as to best support the successful transition from conflict to sustainable peace. It is intended to provide a legal framework, guiding principles and options for policymakers and programme planners who are contributing to strategies that aim to minimize tensions and build on opportunities between transitional justice and DDR.
Coordination between transitional justice and DDR programmes begins with an understanding of how transitional justice and DDR may interact positively in the short-term in ways that, at a minimum, do not hinder their respective objectives of accountability and stability. Coordination between transitional justice and DDR practitioners should, however, aim beyond that. Efforts should be undertaken to constructively connect these two processes in ways that contribute to a stable, just and long-term peace.
DDR and Natural Resources
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The relationship between natural resources and armed conflict is well known and documented, evidenced by numerous examples from all over the world. Natural resources may be implicated all along the peace continuum, from contributing to grievances, to financing armed groups, to supporting livelihoods and recovery via the sound management of natural resources. Furthermore, the economies of countries suffering from armed conflict are often marked by unsustainable or illicit trade in natural resources, thereby tying conflict areas to the rest of the world through global supply chains. For DDR processes to be effective, practitioners should consider both the risks and opportunities that natural resource management may pose to their efforts.
As part of the war economy, natural resources may be exploited and traded directly by, or through local communities under the auspices of, armed groups, organized criminal groups or members of the security sector, and eventually be placed on national and international markets through trade with multinational companies. This not only reinforces the actors directly implicated in the conflict, but it also undermines the good governance of natural resources needed to support development and sustainable peace. Once conflict is underway, natural resources may be exploited to finance the acquisition of weapons and ammunition and to reinforce the war economy, linking armed groups and even the security sector to international markets and organized criminal groups.
These dynamics are challenging to address through DDR processes, but are necessary to contend with if sustainable peace is to be achieved. When DDR processes promote good governance practices, transparent policies and community engagement around natural resource management, they can also simultaneously address conflict drivers and the impacts of armed conflict on the environment and host communities. Issues of land rights, equal access to natural resources for livelihoods, equitable distribution of their benefits, and sociocultural disparities may all underpin the drivers of conflict that motivate individuals and groups to take up arms. It is critical that DDR practitioners take these linkages into account to avoid exacerbating existing grievances or creating new conflicts, as well as to effectively use natural resource management to contribute to sustainable peace.
This module aims to contribute to DDR processes that are grounded in a clear understanding of how natural resource management can contribute to sustainable peace and reduce the likelihood of a resurgence of conflict. It considers how DDR practitioners can integrate youth, women, persons with disabilities and other key specific needs groups when addressing natural resource management in reintegration. It also includes guidance on relevant natural resource management related issues like public health, disaster-risk reduction, resiliency and climate change. With enhanced interagency cooperation, coordination and dialogue among relevant stakeholders working in DDR, natural resource management and governance sectors – especially national actors – these linkages can be addressed in a more conscious and deliberate manner for sustainable peace.
Lastly, this module recognizes that the degree to which natural resources are incorporated into DDR processes will vary based on the political economy of a given context, size, resource availability, partners and capacity. While some contexts may have different agencies or stakeholders with expertise in natural resource management to inform context analyses, assessment processes and subsequent programme design and implementation, DDR processes may also need to rely primarily on external experts and partners. However, limited natural resource management capacities within a DDR process should not discourage practitioners from capitalizing on the opportunities or guidance available, or to seek collaboration and possible programme synergies with other partners that can offer natural resource management expertise. For example, in settings where the UN has no mission presence, such capacity and expertise may also be found within the UN country team, civil society, and/or academia.
DDR and Organized Crime
Organized crime and conflict converge in several ways, notably in terms of the actors and motives involved, modes of operating and economic opportunities. Conflict settings – marked by weakened social, economic and security institutions; the delegitimization or absence of State authority; shortages of goods and services for local populations; and emerging war economies –provide opportunities for criminal actors to fill these voids. They also offer an opening for illicit activities, including human, drugs and weapons trafficking, to flourish. At the same time, the profits from criminal activities provide conflict parties and individual combatants with economic and often social and political incentives to carry on fighting. For DDR processes to succeed, DDR practitioners should consider these factors.
Dealing with the involvement of ex-combatants and persons associated with armed forces and groups in organized crime not only requires the promotion of alternative livelihoods and reconciliation, but also the strengthening of national and local capacities. When DDR processes promote good governance practices, transparent policies and community engagement to find alternatives to illicit economies, they can simultaneously address conflict drivers and the impacts of conflict on organized crime, while supporting sustainable economic and social opportunities. Building stronger State institutions and civil service systems can contribute to better governance and respect for the rule of law. Civil services can be strengthened not only through training, but also by improving the salaries and living conditions of those working in the system. It is through the concerted efforts and goodwill of these systems, among other players, that the sustainability of DDR efforts can be realized.
This module highlights the need for DDR practitioners to translate the recognized linkages between organized crime, conflict and peacebuilding into the design and implementation of DDR processes. It aims to contribute to age- and gender-sensitive DDR processes that are based on a more systematic understanding of organized crime in conflict and post-conflict settings, so as to best support the successful transition from conflict to sustainable peace. Through enhanced cooperation, mapping and dialogue among relevant stakeholders, the linkages between DDR and organized crime interventions can be addressed in a manner that supports DDR in the context of wider recovery, peacebuilding and sustainable development.
Armed Groups Designated As Terrorist Organizations
Concepts, Policy and Strategy of the IDDRS
Structures and Processes
Operations, Programmes and Support