Press Release of 11 August 2009
In 2005, the grand coalition declared its support of the Action Plan “Civilian Crisis Prevention, Conflict Resolution and Post-Conflict Peace building”. Prominent representatives of the German peace and conflict research community, members of the action plan’s Advisory Board, are now criticizing shortcomings in its implementation. In a Memorandum on the occasion of the German federal elections 2009, they draw up recommendations – to improve preventive policy.
The Action Plan sees prevention as an integral part and inter-ministerial task of German peace policy. It foresees the cooperation of the government and civil society. In the past years, funds for this have markedly been increased, and a professional as well as personal infrastructure has been established. Every two years, the federal government reports to the Bundestag of its activities.
Still, renowned peace and conflict researchers, members of the action plan’s Advisory Board, point to deficits in implementation. “The dispute about sense, costs and consequences of the deployment of the German armed forces to serve peace and security crowds out the necessary debate about how to improve the prevention of violent conflicts,” Peter J. Croll, Director of BICC (Bonn International Center for Conversion), Tobias Debiel, Director of INEF (Institute for Development and Peace, University of Duisburg-Essen), Hans-Joachim Giessmann, Director of the Berghof Research Center for Constructive Conflict Management, Jörn Graevingholt, Senior Researcher at the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE), Bernhard Moltmann, Chair of the Study Group on German Arms Exports of the Joint Conference Church and Development (GKKE), and Hans-Joachim Spanger, Head of Research Department and member of the Executive Board of HSFK (Peace Research Institute Frankfurt) state in their Memorandum on the occasion of the German federal elections 2009 “Prevention of violent conflicts: more visible – more effective – more efficient".
Sobering experiences of multinational peacekeeping missions in Afghanistan, the Sudan, the DR Congo, but also in the Caucasus, show that civilian crisis prevention is more necessary than ever. This is why on the occasion of the German federal elections, the signatories, who are highly experienced experts in the field of conflict prevention policy, both in research and in implementation, intend to give a new impetus in terms of content and organization.
“Germany needs a strategy discussion on content and format of the German peace and security policy in which the notion of prevention must be given a central place,” the signatories of the memorandum postulate. “Otherwise poor marks have to be given to German politicians as concerns their learning capacity, and they would loose touch with international developments,” they fear.
Making German peace policy more distinctive and more operational
The signatories suggest the following to make prevention politics more effective, that is, more operational:
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German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE)
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