Billions can be saved by preventing violent conflicts, says Swedish-financed study by the UN and the World Bank

Violent conflicts throughout the world cause enormous human suffering, and they also have a major economic impact. A new study by the UN and the World Bank – Pathways for Peace – shows that violent conflicts cause a drop in global GDP of 13.3 per cent per year. According to the study, investments in conflict prevention measures can mean savings of between USD 5 billion and 70 billion per year.

"The study clearly shows the importance of conflict prevention measures. At the same time, it highlights the need for a combination of diplomacy, mediation, development cooperation and security-building measures to prevent violent conflicts from breaking out. These are also the conclusions we can draw from our work as a member of the UN Security Council," says Minister for Foreign Affairs Margot Wallström.

Pathways for Peace, which will be launched in Stockholm on Wednesday, is the first joint study the UN and the World Bank have conducted on conflict prevention. The two authors – Alexandre Marc from the World Bank and Jago Salmon from the UN – identify several causes of the large number of violent conflicts throughout the world. The main causes mentioned include denying people the opportunity to influence developments in their community, and people's right to natural resources, security and justice.

"The UN's and the World Bank's conclusions are consistent with the strategy for sustainable peace that the Swedish Government adopted last year. Successful conflict prevention work can free up resources for poverty reduction and improved welfare in vulnerable parts of the world. Multilateral bodies such as the UN and the World Bank play a key role in this work," says Minister for International Development Cooperation and Climate Isabella Lövin.

The launch of Pathways for Peace will take place on Wednesday 14 March at 15.30–17.00 at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs International Press Centre. The authors Alexandre Marc and Jago Salmon will attend the launch, along with State Secretary for Foreign Affairs Annika Söder and State Secretary Ulrika Modéer.

Journalists interested in attending the launch should register by emailing by 12.00 on Wednesday 14 March.

The Pathways for Peace study can be downloaded at


Erik Wirkensjö
Press Secretary to Minister for Foreign Affairs Margot Wallström
Phone +46 (0) 8 405 54 73
Mobile +46 (0) 7031 76 471
email to Erik Wirkensjö
Anders Maxson
Press Secretary to Minister for International Development Cooperation and Climate and Deputy Prime Minister Isabella Lövin
Phone (switchboard) +46 8 405 10 00
Mobile +46 (0) 72 453 20 54
email to Anders Maxson