What is Stabilisation
Stabilisation is the process of establishing peace and security in countries affected by conflict and instability. It is the promotion of peaceful political settlement to produce a legitimate indigenous government, which can better serve its people.
Stabilisation often requires external joint military and civilian support to perform some or all of the following tasks: prevent or reduce violence, protect people and key institutions, promote political processes and prepare for longer-term development.
Who we are
The Stabilisation Unit is the Government’s centre of expertise and best practice in stabilisation, and home of the Civilian Stabilisation Group (CSG). The Unit was set up to respond to the complex challenges of fragile and conflict-afflicted states, and works with countries to enhance their capacity for self-governance. The Unit reports to the Ministry of Defence, Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Department for International Development, and includes staff from each parent Department.
- To co-ordinate and support cross-government stabilisation planning and execution
- To ensure the rapid and integrated delivery of targeted expertise in a cross-government approach
- To lead on stabilisation lesson-learning and assist with implementation
How Stabilisation Relates to Humanitarian Aid
The distinction between humanitarian, development and stabilisation activities is sometimes not clear cut. Stabilisation can be seen as filling the gap between emergency humanitarian assistance and longer term development assistance, though, as the definition above shows, it is more than that.
The most fundamental distinctions are between the explicitly political aims of stabilisation (aiming to promote peaceful political processes); the strictly neutral role of humanitarian assistance; and the apolitical poverty-focussed rationale for development activity.
Sometimes these may be in tension, when, for example the UK is simultaneously aiming to deliver both humanitarian and stabilisation assistance; this needs active management. In other situations, such as where poverty is not a major issue, stabilisation may be needed when there would be little justification for development activity.
Acknowledgement of the Stabilisation Unit's work.
"I write to thank you for the unprecedented support and contribution by the Stabilisation Unit to my recent capstone exercise, ARRCADE FUSION 2009. The support of the Unit was quite simply magnificent. The result of the exercise has been a significant success".
Lieutenant General A.R.D Shirreff CBE
"The progress compared to two years ago is amazing. I know how safe the place is now"
A resident shop keeper in Nad Ali, Helmand, Jan 2010