Armed Violence – Intrastate

Preventive Diplomacy Report: Q&A

The Department of Political Affairs at the United Nations (UN) provides information about preventive diplomacy, which is defined as “diplomatic action taken to prevent disputes from escalating into conflicts and to limit the spread of conflicts when they occur.” For example, in Iraq, the UN political mission (UNAMI) facilitated peaceful dialogue over disputed territories, which provided support for the 2009 and 2010 elections. The UN rebuilds war-torn societies and works to prevent further conflict. As explained in this source, however, this strategy is not perfect. In order to strengthen preventive diplomacy, the UN must implement better early warning systems, have greater coordination with local organizations, create sustainable relationships between leaders, and design better training for UN staff.

United Nations Department of Political Affairs. “Preventive Diplomacy Report: Q&A.” United Nations. Web. 3 July 2014. <>.


The Instrument Matters: Assessing the Costs of Small Arms Violence

Nicolas Florquin analyzes the impact of small-armed violence from an economic standpoint. He sheds a light on the long-term implications that can affect an individual directly or indirectly, such as high medical costs of injuries, productivity losses due to death, inactivity, and disability, and reductions in quality of life. Thus, in addition to physical and psychological trauma, armed violence has negative financial repercussions. One example the author gives is that if the main provider of a family becomes incapacitated, the entire family struggles as a result. Furthermore, Florquin compares medical care costs between the many types of armed violence in different regions around the world. For instance, in Brazil and Colombia, medical treatment for a firearm injury costs about two-and-a-half times more than that of a stabbing. That means that those harmed by firearms are less likely to receive proper aid, if any at all. This source demonstrates the significance of research projects to serve as starting points to violence prevention programs.

Florquin, Nicolas. “The Instrument Matters: Assessing the Costs of Small Arms Violence.” Small Arms Survey. 2006. Web. 16 July 2014. <>.


Promising Strategies to Reduce Gun Violence (p. 41-44)

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention published this report in February 1999, which contains several relevant case examples of cities that have used violence prevention programs specifically targeted to gun violence. The selected pages focus on Richmond, California, where drug and gang related violence increased throughout the 1980s. There are some startling facts about how violence increased within a short period of time. For example, “The portion of these homicides that were drug- or gang-related increased from 5 percent to 55 percent between 1989 and 1991.” In 1992, Richmond Police responded to a 911 emergency call every seven minutes. “To combat the problem, Richmond implemented a community-wide murder reduction strategy, based on the recommendations of the 1992 International Association of Chiefs of Police Murder in America Summit Study.” Broad strategies included community cooperation, public housing laws, and high-risk youth prevention programs. As a result, aggravated assaults dropped from 1,763 to 1,056 incidences within five years. The dramatic decrease in violent crime is due to Richmond’s comprehensive approach to crime. One strategy is not enough, but rather several coming from multiple angles.

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. “Promising Strategies to Reduce Gun Violence.” U.S. Department of Justice. February 1999. p. 41-44. Web. 31 July 2014. <>.


Views of the UK Government on: Promoting development through reducing and preventing armed violence

The government of the United Kingdom explains that armed violence not only takes lives, but impedes progress in society, since armed violence and development are intertwined. Globally, 740,000 people die each year from armed violence, making it a major public health issue with men being the most common direct victims. This source distinguishes the costs of violence between developed and developing countries. It states that developing countries may spend between 10 and 15% of their Gross Domestic Product on law enforcement, as compared to 5% in developed states. Like many of the other sources in this chapter, this piece recommends a multi-sectoral approach because experiences have shown that this strategy has a greater impact than solely trying to remove weapons from society.

“Views of the UK Government on: Promoting development through reducing and preventing armed violence.” United Nations. Web. 26 July 2014. <>.


The Crisis in Kenya (Sections IV-VI)

Sections IV, V, and VI of this source focuses on the presidential election crisis in Kenya. Following the 2007 election, Mwai Kibaki was declared president but the opposing Orange Democratic Movement suspected manipulation, which created a divide between the people. Section IV explains the underlying causes of the violence that ensued, statistics of injuries and deaths, and the reforms that were initiated, such as creating a new constitution. Section V describes how the International Criminal Court (ICC) responded, by investigating and charging perpetrators. Section VI states that the most recent elections in 2013 were handled with much more transparency due to the national reforms and support from international entities, including the United Nations and the ICC. In some situations, involving an outside party can provide guidance and neutrality. Overall, these three sections do a fantastic job at providing an overview of the crisis and explaining how violence prevention can work after a crisis.

“The Crisis in Kenya.” International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect. Sections IV-VI. Web. 10 August 2014. <>.

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