Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding

Conflict endures around the world, with severe immediate and long-term impacts for those in its path.

One quarter of humanity lives in places affected by conflict. Over 100 armed conflicts worldwide bring a significant toll of death, destruction and psychological harm. Nearly 110 million people were forced to flee their homes in 2022.

At the same time, terrorism, violent crime and civil strife blur the lines between conflict and non-conflict. Worldwide, more than half a million people die violently every year, but the vast majority of these deaths occur in non-conflict settings, a status that often leaves international attention focused elsewhere.

Even after armed conflicts cease, only a minority of countries avoid relapsing into armed violence and manage to build durable peace. Cycles of violence often endure.

The changing nature of conflicts, the increased involvement of non-state armed actors and the deployment of new technologies in cyberspace all affect the use and escalation of violence, with wide-ranging implications for conflict prevention and peacebuilding.

UNIDIR’s research helps to minimize risks, prevent escalatory dynamics and curb armed group recruitment. It also integrates arms control and gender perspectives into approaches to preventing armed conflict and violence. As well as favouring peacebuilding in this way, UNIDIR research also supports the sustainable reintegration of individuals after involvement in conflict.