Inter-Agency Working Group on Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR)
High levels of armed violence and insecurity have a destructive impact on a country’s development, affecting economic growth and often resulting in long standing grievances among communities. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and in particular Goal 16, calls for a significant reduction to all forms of violence, and for active work by governments and communities to find lasting solutions to conflict and insecurity.
Although many of the current efforts to support the transition of ex-combatants and associated groups into civilian life are still founded in comprehensive peace negotiations and agreements, the United Nations has been increasingly called upon to address the security challenge that arises from situations where political settlements are lacking and stabilization operations are ongoing.
In addition to that, in some countries, there is a noticeable increase and confusion between armed groups and organized crime networks. The changing nature of armed groups associated with violence – especially those qualified as violent extremist – challenges reintegration efforts and requires a critical review to ensure that the United Nations can respond appropriately and effectively.
The Inter-Agency Working Group (IAWG) on Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR), comprised of 22 UN entities, was established in 2005 to improve the UN’s performance in the area of DDR. UNDP chairs the IAWG together with the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO).
The IAWG aims to optimize DDR contributions to peace-building and recovery as the foremost global networking source for the development of DDR policy and practice. It serves as a dynamic force offering adaptable and innovative options to the DDR community in current and future peace-building efforts.
More specifically, the IAWG is mandated to:
- Develop and maintain cutting-edge policies and resources;
- Provide timely advice and support to programmes in the field at strategic and technical levels;
- Monitor developments and evaluate results in the strategic environment of DDR so as to adapt its structures and procedures.
The IAWG launched the Integrated DDR Standards (IDDRS) in 2006 and since then they have been updated with the addition of modules on SSR, Transitional Justice and Natural Resources as well as a revised module on Reintegration. The IDDRS provide the UN system with a set of policies, guidelines and procedures for the planning, implementation and monitoring of DDR programmes in peacekeeping and special political mission contexts where comprehensive peace agreements have been reached. The IDDRS and related documents can be downloaded from the UN DDR Resource Center.
In 2016, the IAWG decided to jointly analyze new forms of violence and the changed nature of armed groups with a view to develop United Nations guidance on the reintegration of ex-combatants outside the framework of comprehensive peace agreements, including situations of high-levels of armed violence and violent extremism that will complement the IDDRS.
As co-chair of the IAWG and an international specialist in early recovery and reintegration, UNDP provides supports the transition of ex-combatants and associated groups into civilian life, in mission and non-mission contexts, including through community-based stabilization and reintegration approaches.