By the early 1990s, the Troubles had blighted Northern Ireland for over thirty years. Communities were divided along sectarian lines. Cycles of violence and retribution had become entrenched over generations. A peaceful settlement seemed a distant prospect.
In 1994 the Northern Ireland CBI published a landmark report Peace: A Challenging New Era, detailing the economic benefits of peace. This gave rise to the idea of a ‘peace dividend’ and provided new momentum to the peace process. Two years later the CBI and other business and trade organisations joined forces to form the Group of Seven to work with political parties and lobby for peace. While the business sector was unable to build peace by itself, the pressure exerted “made it less easy for the parties to simply walk away,” according to the Group’s former chair Sir George Quigley.
The global economic impact of violence is estimated to be $15 trillion, or more than 10% of global GDP.
Source: The Institute for Economics and Peace
With the economic turmoil of war in Ukraine and countless other wars felt around the world, it is imperative that we insure as far as possible against all future conflict.
Preventing conflict has often been left to the UN, NGOs and local communities; these efforts are noble and demand great courage, but are grossly under-resourced. The expertise of business and the private sector has rarely been engaged – until now. Business Plan for Peace’s new paper, The Missing Peace: Business as the change for good, sets out how the private sector can immediately contribute to peacebuilding.
Laying the foundations for sustainable peace requires design, systemic planning, infrastructure development, and sustained investment. In short, it needs a business plan.
The benefits of private sector involvement in peacebuilding go both ways. Business can bring expertise in strategy, planning, adaptation, training and investment, areas often underappreciated in traditional peacebuilding. But businesses also stand to benefit themselves. They can gain improved community relations and engagement, increased security and reduced risk, better responsiveness to emerging threats, and a strong positive statement of brand values.
Drawing on extensive research from economists, think tanks and intergovernmental agencies, The Missing Peace lays out:
- the current costs of war to the global economy
- the current structure and administration of funding available for conflict prevention and peacebuilding
- how war and violent conflict can be prevented
- the benefits for businesses and private investors to invest in peace
- the practical and immediate steps that businesses can take to build a more peaceful world
Business Plan for Peace works with businesses and investors to realise this potential. Whether divesting from weapons production, supporting infrastructures for peace or financing local peacebuilders, we can help you influence global change for the better.
The corporate world has made great strides in recent years, embracing social responsibility, ESG investment and purpose-driven leadership. Yet destructive conflict can undermine and prevent this positive work in other areas. The successful businesses of tomorrow will be the early adopters of this developing landscape; sustained private sector investment in conflict prevention and transformation is now the Missing Peace.
We partner with multinational corporations, educational institutions and locally-led initiatives. We offer expertise, guidance and support to integrate conflict transformation into all that you offer, creating new possibilities for the future. If this applies to you, or you are curious to learn more, do contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org