When violent conflict breaks out, the costs to the country and the international community are enormous. Lives are lost, people displaced, trade links cut, and organised crime groups or terrorists are given an opportunity to take root, exacerbating instability. Addressing instability and conflict overseas is both morally right and in Britain’s national interest.
The Building Stability Overseas Strategy (BSOS), published on 19 July 2011 outlines how the UK will promote stability and prosperity in countries and regions where its interests are at stake. The Strategy has been developed jointly by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), Department for International Development (DFID) and Ministry of Defence (MOD).
The strategy is founded on three mutually supporting pillars:
Early warning: improving our ability to anticipate instability and potential triggers for conflict
Rapid crisis prevention and response: improving our ability to take fast, appropriate and effective action to prevent a crisis or stop it spreading or escalating
Investing in upstream prevention: helping to build strong, legitimate institutions and robust societies in fragile countries that are capable of managing tensions and shocks so there is a lower likelihood of instability and conflict.
The strategy is clear that investments must deliver results whilst providing value for the UK taxpayer. To ensure this, a new transparent, cross-Government reporting framework will be implemented to measure the UK’s impact.