Peace and security are essential for poverty reduction, preventing the outbreak of armed conflicts and for lasting and sustainable development. They are inseparably linked and interact with each other. Major reasons for slow progress in attaining the United Nations Millennium Development Goals have been armed conflicts and fragile states and situations, which affect about 20 per cent of the world population, largely in the poorest countries. A lesson has been learnt: Mastering fragile situations calls for the effective prevention of conflicts and concurrent peacebuilding, peace consolidation and statebuilding efforts. This poses a new challenge for the international donor community. Safeguarding peace and human security is also a prime aim of Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC). 

Preventing conflict - promoting peace

Austria is committed to a positive vision of peace that seeks to remove both direct and institutional violence and address the underlying causes.

Austria fosters a culture of conflict prevention that enables it to identify tensions early on, make a correct assessment of its own role in conflict situations and conduct timely, appropriate measures for conflict transformation and non-violent solutions.

Specific priorities of Austrian Development Cooperation are:

  •   ADC supports conflict-sensitive approaches in fragile and conflictive countries and regions with the aim of avoiding an escalation of conflict (do-no-harm principle) and strengthening peacebuilding impacts.
  •   ADC is committed to strengthening the role of women in armed conflicts: To promote the involvement of women and their concerns in all phases of peace processes, the Austrian Federal Government adopted a national action plan for implementing UN Security Council Resolution 1325 in 2007. In its programmes and projects, Austrian Development Cooperation takes account of both this UN resolution and ensuing Resolutions 1820, 1888 and 1889.
  • ADC supports regional, subregional and local civil-society organisations engaged in peacebuilding and conflict resolution, particularly in prevention.
  • Effective and democratically legitimate and controlled security systems are a major prerequisite for conflict prevention and resolution. Austrian Development Cooperation is particularly engaged in security sector reform (rule of law, capacity development in the police force, penal system, human rights) and the judiciary.
  • Fragile states can be assisted and fragile situations overcome by building effective, legitimate and resilient state institutions, stable democratic processes and non-violent and constructive conflict resolution mechanisms, based on the principles developed by OECD.
  • In conflict and fragility, Austrian Development Cooperation takes a whole-of-government approach and advocates a coordinated, complementary and coherent procedure for implementing development and peace goals (3C approach).
  • Austrian Development Cooperation aligns its peacekeeping measures with those of OECD (INCAF), the European Union and the international donor community.