THE NECESSITY OF COMMON EFFORT
Petra van Oijen
Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs
"Common Effort is a very important initiative because it allows various organizations to work together and to have a joint effort in striving for peace and stability"
Dr. Philipp Christan Wachs
"The mututal need of communication and exchanging views on current issues will rise, that's for sure"
“What I get from this kind of event as a small organization is the exchange and getting in touch with specialized expertise"
Conflicts and fragility generally result from a complicated interplay of diverse, but often interrelated factors, such as economic, political, social, cultural and religious aspects. Recent history shows that this interplay can easily lead to a lack of identity amongst youth, poor basic services, weak state structures, unable or unwilling governments, which eventually can generate fundamentalism and extremism.
Sustainable solutions to fragility and conflict can only be achieved by a comprehensive, whole-of-society approach. That means that a wide range of governmental and non-governmental actors are involved, internationally as well as in the country at stake, that work in the field of humanitarian aid, reconstruction, development and peace building.
Organizations like the UN, international military organisations and the international civil society should interact in an effective manner, while respecting each other's mandate, to address the multiple dimensions of fragility and conflict. This integrated or comprehensive approach requires increased communication and mutual understanding of respective roles, mandates and operational activities.
Common Effort Community members realize that such interaction and cooperation between diverse actors is complex and difficult and that it calls for effective preparation and joint action.
As an example, Common Effort Exercises have been initiated to develop and apply a structured civil-military collaborative process towards a comprehensive approach for realistic and topical crisis operations. In the near future additional activities can be envisaged as for instance informal meetings of interested stakeholders in a certain topic, country or region to brainstorm on trends and define what actions could or should be undertaken to reduce the negative effects or enhance the positive ones.