Ministry of Defence
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MOD launches Building Stability Overseas Strategy
The Ministry of Defence, alongside two other government departments, has yesterday published a new strategy outlining how the UK will promote stability and prosperity in countries and regions where its interests are at stake.
It builds on the National Security Strategy, which identified shaping a stable world as a core government objective, and the Strategic Defence and Security Review, which made a commitment to tackle threats to our national security at source.
The Defence Secretary, Dr Liam Fox, said:
"War-torn countries represent some of the toughest challenges we face overseas.
"The MOD has an important role to play in helping to build stability overseas as our strong reputation and global reach allow us to achieve preferred outcomes through influence and persuasion to protect national security interests.
"Defence engagement is designed to improve our understanding and influence across the world. We will co-ordinate the MOD capabilities with cross-government activity to prevent threats from emerging. Our engagement in many areas helps build democratically accountable security services that may also contribute to international peacekeeping missions."
"The publication of the Government's Building Stability Overseas Strategy today could not be more timely. The Arab Spring has demonstrated just how uncertain the world can be and has highlighted the need for a strategic UK approach to early engagement in places at risk of instability.
"This strategy seeks to address the lessons we have learnt from recent events and marks the first time that the Government has put in place an integrated cross-government strategy to address conflict issues."
The Secretary of State for International Development, Andrew Mitchell, said:
"The Building Stability Overseas Strategy will help the UK to work more effectively to tackle instability upstream, helping to prevent conflict and the suffering it causes. This goes to the heart of the drive to achieve better targeted, more effective aid.
"Not only is this cost-effective and beneficial for the security of the UK, it will also help to improve the lives of some of the poorest and most vulnerable people on the planet."
The strategy also recognises the need to strengthen ties with the Gulf countries, and China, Brazil and South Africa, intensify the relationship with India, and reinvigorate relations with Commonwealth partners.
These countries play an important role in their region and globally, and we will invest greater diplomatic efforts in our partnerships with them.
The strategy is founded on three mutually supporting pillars:
Rapid Crisis Prevention and Response
Investing in Upstream Prevention
An Early Warning System will be established to strengthen understanding of where the risks of conflict and instability are high. The system will make use of all existing source analysis and involve external experts to take a global view of countries at risk of political, economic and security shocks which might trigger violence.
Rapid Prevention and Response will ensure that the UK's comparative advantage of speed and flexibility is enhanced by the right funding mechanisms and capabilities to support an agile response. A £20m Early Action Facility will be created within the Government's Conflict Pool to enable swifter responses to warnings and opportunities.
Upstream Prevention is about tackling the underlying drivers of instability before a crisis occurs - avoiding the enormous human and financial costs of conflict.
This means identifying how and when to intervene with the greatest chance of success, and the UK is integrating diplomatic efforts with development activity and defence engagement to better inform those judgements.
A new cross-government approach to strategic conflict assessments will bring together political, economic, social and security analyses to provide a truly joint approach, and these assessments will inform the development of integrated strategies for key countries and regions.
The strategy is clear that investments must deliver results whilst providing value for money for the UK taxpayer and, to ensure this, a new transparent, cross-government reporting framework, subject to independent scrutiny, will be implemented to measure and compare the UK's impact across regions.