Conflict Resolution and Prevention - Simon Hughes

Conflict Resolution and Prevention

I have worked in conflict prevention and resolution ever since I was a school prefect!  And a student union president!  It's what I tried to do often as a lawyer in practice - stop people going to court, rather than encourage them, or settle cases rather than fight them.  But it's also what I have done internationally all of my adult life.  From my teens I campaigned against apartheid and for recognition for Palestine.  In my twenties, I smuggled books into Poland for Solidarity.  And in my time in parliament, I have worked for peace and justice in South Africa and Zimbabwe, in Israel and Palestine, in Sri Lanka, in Cyprus and for Gibraltar.  I am proud to have been one of the co-founders of the All Party Group for Conflict Issues which has gone from strength to strength, and proud that we persuaded all political parties in this country to make conflict resolution and prevention a higher priority in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Ministry of Defence, and the Department for International Development.  The saving in government spending around the world when people jaw-jaw rather than war-war is beyond calculation.  My commitment to this cause will never reduce.