Fredrik Wesslau. Photo: EUAM Ukraine
Building Peace at the Nexus of Organized Crime, Conflict, and Violent Extremism
Organized crime, armed conflict and violent extremism are all becoming increasingly intertwined. Fragility, weak institutions and conflicts provide an attractive environment and breeding ground for illicit networks and extremist organizations and these connected groups can seriously impede peace-building efforts and threaten human security.
This brief outlines how crime and violent extremism have not formed a part of the peace-building agenda, but instead have been treated as separate matters for law enforcement strategies. Although new research shows that dealing with organized crime and violent extremism in countries and societies emerging from conflict requires a multidimensional peace-building approach that includes the perpetrators of organized crime and those involved in armed conflict and violent extremism.
One of the conclusions in the brief is that UN Security Council mandates for peacekeeping operations must be so arranged that they include the fight against organized crime.
Strengthening social cohesion and inclusiveness, trust and legitimacy of the government concerned and its institutions must be at the centre of peace-building strategies, together with realizable peace dividends. The UN, the EU and other actors must meet such challenges with comprehensive policies and approaches because military, diplomatic or police methods alone will not suffice.