In a post-conflict context, countries rich in commodities primarily differ from those poor in commodities in the fact that they have huge internal funding potential for reconstruction and therefore have better framework conditions for economic growth. However, this great potential is also associated with risks. So rather than bringing about the desired stability, raw material deposits can actually jeopardize sustainable peacebuilding.
Peace is accompanied by expectations for development and greater prosperity. In ideal circumstances, a government would use the income from the raw material trade in the best possible way for the good of the whole population, reducing the risk of future conflicts. However, the view conveyed by the authors of this article points in the other direction. The interests of countries and raw material companies with regard to handling the resources can differ profoundly. The international community plays an influential role in consolidating the various interests. It is to provide suggestions and expertise, and, in particular, support governments and companies that have little political desire to use the country’s resources as a basis for the welfare of the whole population.
There is no straightforward solution for handling the resources. The worst that can happen would be new conflicts developing over the distribution of the income. The authors see transparent communication between the various interest groups as the best hope of avoiding this scenario.