Disarmament and International Security Committee


Cite as

Topic #1 Armed Non-State Actors

The hybrid character of both armed violence and conflict stands at the heart of current global security concerns. However, the specific challenges posed by armed violence in non-conflict settings have yet to receive a coherent response from peace and development professionals. The coercive power exerted by non-state armed groups over communities and territories, and their connection with transnational networks make it hard to negotiate anything more than short-term deals aimed at reducing violence or providing humanitarian relief. Legal provisions to protect civilian lives are particularly difficult to enforce.

The Brazilian state internally faces such problems deriving from armed non-state actors. The challenge of fragmentation of state power by trafficking and paramilitary organizations in the favelas is one of Brazil’s biggest political concerns. These less developed areas of Rio de Janeiro specifically have constituted the new frontier of armed violence and sources of insecurity. The Brazilian government has recognized combating these violent armed groups as a priority. The “Unidade de Polícia Pacificadora”, also translated as Police Pacification Unit, abbreviated UPP, is the law enforcement and social services program established in 2008 in Dona Marta and in 2013 in Rio de Janeiro which aims at reclaiming territories, more commonly favelas, controlled by such violent non-st...