The Netherlands’ Foreign Trade and Development Co-operation (BHOS) policy document, entitled ‘Investing in Perspective’ and published in May 2018, focusses on how Security and Rule of Law contributes to conflict prevention. The Sustainable Development Agenda for 2030 is the ultimate conflict-prevention agenda, in particular the guideline for Dutch development efforts and Sustainable Development Goal 16 ( promotion of peaceful and inclusive societies).
Security and rule of law are preconditions for sustainable peace and development. Instability and (the risk of) armed conflict make realising the Sustainable Development Goals more difficult. The Netherlands contributes to achieving SDG 16 by focusing on on human security, access to, and the establishment of, judicial and democratic institutions and inclusive peace processes .
In 2017-2018, the Netherlands increased its focus on Security and Rule of Law and updated its Theory of Change and results framework. The overarching goal is to achieve ‘legitimate stability’, making citizens feel represented and safe. Citizens are at the heart of this approach. By promoting the security for people, rule of law, peace processes and political governance, the Netherlands contributes to peaceful, lawful and inclusive societies. Focus is mainly on the following regions: the Sahel, Horn of Africa, North Africa, the Middle East and Great Lakes and Afghanistan.
Security for people
In 2017-2018, the Netherlands demined 15.2 million m2 of land to enable people to live in safety. In addition, we supported the training of 6,644 professionals (including female UN peacekeepers, police officers and deminers) to improve the quality of their work. Evaluations show that local communities felt safer during the reporting period. We supported this work through our partners in countries such as Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Libya and South Sudan.
Rule of Law
The Netherlands increased access to justice for more than 136,000 people, of which 32% women. In addition, more than 20,000 people gained access to transitional justice mechanisms. Our support resulted in strengthened capacity of 53 judicial institutions. Lastly, we supported 118 legal reform processes that included civil society organisations.
Peace processes and political governance
The Netherlands worked with specialized organisations to support peace processes, through specific mediation efforts and the training of 3,300 trained peace mediators and negotiators. Furthermore, we contributed to longer-term efforts to build peace after conflict. In for example, Mali, Uganda and Kenya, our support resulted in strengthened capacities of local authorities and communities to preventand resolve conflicts. In South Sudan, Somalia and Mali, our support promoted governments’ and politicians’ engagement and cooperation with citizens.