Conflict Prevention and Mediation

The Government of Canada supports several conflict prevention and mediation initiatives. This is consistent with the findings from the World Development Report 2011, which found that every dollar spent on prevention would have saved the international community US$4.1billion in post-conflict activities. The Government of Canada uses various tools to prevent and manage violent conflict, including economic sanctions, improving transparency in the use of development assistance, controlling the flow and trade of weapons, particularly of small arms, controlling mercenary and private military activities and implementing targeted programs to support mediation. Conflict triggers may include a range of issues, such as poverty, corruption, lack of government accountability, including for police and the military, or inequality. 

DFATD, through START’s Global Peace and Security Fund, has provided over $24 million since 2006 to projects contributing to four distinct areas of mediation support:

  • Funding for Canadian-led conflict management efforts such as the currently active Afghanistan Pakistan Cooperation Process (formally known as the “Dubai Process”), an exercise in which Canadian diplomats have facilitated discussions between Afghan and Pakistani senior border officials since 2007.
  • Diplomatic and financial support to internationally-led peace processes, including support to the joint African Union-United Nations mediation team supporting peace negotiations in Darfur;
  • Building the mediation capacity of international actors leading peace negotiations, such as the UN, Organisation of American States or the African Union; and,
  • Developing local-level mechanisms, which include the participation of women, to mediate and prevent conflict around such common root causes as land tenure, in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, South Sudan and Colombia.