John Mann – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Department for International Development

The below Parliamentary question was asked by John Mann on 2016-03-03.

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, if her Department will consider developing an atrocity prevention lens similar to the framework used by the UN Office for the Prevention of Genocide to assist in decision-making on bilateral aid and other aid assistance programmes.

Mr Nick Hurd

The UK continues to be strongly committed to early and effective international action to prevent mass atrocities, which are of grave concern to the Government. The National Security Strategy and Strategic Defence and Security Review 2015 (SDSR) underlined the importance the Government attaches to upholding international humanitarian law and to the prevention of mass atrocities through effective implementation of the UN agreed principle of the Responsibility to Protect.

The Government’s overseas network, strong international partnerships, and early warning mechanisms give the UK significant insight into emerging risks. HMG also produces an internal risk report on countries at risk of instability, which highlights regions in which there are increasing risks of instability, conflict and mass atrocities. The report draws on a wide range of sources and includes indicators that highlight the risk of mass atrocities occurring. The data assessment reflects best practice from NGOs and partner governments’ and is kept under regular review. Policy-makers also take into account atrocity risk analysis from partner governments, the UN and NGOs.

As set out in the SDSR and the UK Aid Strategy, the response to conflict, atrocity and other risks uses diplomatic, development, defence and law enforcement capabilities in an integrated manner. As such, addressing and preventing conflict, instability and state failure is a key priority running through UK aid policies and programmes. This includes the prevention of identity-based mass violence, alongside other forms of violence and instability.