London Information Network on Conflicts and State Building

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The London Information Network on Conflicts and State Building or LINKS, describe themselves thus:

“LINKS is a British non governmental organisation working for the peaceful resolution of conflicts and in support of democracy and sustainable development in societies in transition, through dialogue and innovative initiatives. LINKS supports the idea of an expanded and inclusive European Union, and engages with countries with aspiration for membership. LINKS promotes dialogue between Europe and the Islamic world based on mutual respect.
“Since its establishment in 1997 LINKS has worked in partnership with a wide range of partners including governments, parliaments, civil society organisations, the business community and the media through projects funded by the UK Government Global Conflict Prevention Pool, the UK Government Global Opportunities Fund, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the UK Department for International Development, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ireland, the European Commission, the UK Community Fund, the Governments of Sweden and The Netherlands.”[1]

The Global Conflict Prevention Pool, established in 2001, combines the knowledge and resources of the Ministry of Defence (MOD), the Department for International Development (DFID) and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). It has a unique funding arrangement specifically voted by parliament for conflict prevention and reduction.[2] It supports organisations like Saferworld, International Alert, BBC World Service Trust, Crisis Management Initiative, Institute for War and Peace Reporting[3]. The Global Conflict Prevention Pool has earned the praise of the Oxford Research Group and Peace Direct.[4] Other projects funded by the Global Conflict Prevention Pool include Global Facilitation Network for Security Sector Reform (GFN-SSR).Cite error: Closing </ref> missing for <ref> tag

LINKS is part of a consortium of other small groups called the Consortium Initiative [5] that includes International Alert and (formerly) the Catholic Relief Services which is run out of LINKS address. Agora Projects Ltd, who publish the brochures for the G8 summit also share the same address: Adam House, 7-10 Adam Street, London WC2N 6AA.[6] Agora is run by Maurice Fraser (senior counsellor to APCO Worldwide and advises APCO clients on European and international public policy issues) says he's a member of the advisory committee of the Centre for European Reform. But he isn't credited as such on the CER's site.

  • From August 2003 to August 2007 LINKS worked with the British NGOs International Alert and Conciliation Resources to implement a project in short entitled the Consortium Initiative (
  • LINKS annual report described: "One of the founders of LINKS, Paul Bergne [as] a Council Member and later Director of LINKS from 1997-2003. Paul was an extraordinary person, a diplomat of the old school, as a national newspaper once described him, but in many ways also an incredibly modern person even in old age. He was one of Britain’s leading authorities on Central Asia. A linguist who could switch from Farsi to Arabic and then to Russian with incredible ease, he also had a distinguished career in the Foreign Service and served as the UK first Ambassador to Uzbekistan. He was called out of retirement to serve as the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy on Afghanistan as the campaign against the Taliban unfolded in 2001/2."

For 2004/07 LINKS identified the following as their areas of main interest and work in their 2004/5 Annual Report:

  • 1st Priority: Countries of main interest and work: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine.
  • 2nd Priority: LINKS will maintain an interest in, and where possible engage with, a number of other countries and regions: Turkey and the Black Sea Region, Belarus, Russia, particularly the North Caucasus Region, Central Asia and the Balkans.
LINKS will also consider working in Afghanistan and Colombia, if and when the right conditions exist and it is able to achieve sufficient expertise to make a useful contribution.



  • Craig Allardice
  • Marie Bennigsen: a human rights commentator, also known as Marie Bennigsen Broxup. Joined the Society for Central Asian Studies in Oxford in 1981. Editor of the journal Central Asian Survey for the last 25 years. Editor of Central Asia and Caucasus Chronicle, 1981-1990. Formerly consultant on Caucasian affairs to the the French Ministry of Defence (Délégation aux affaires stratégiques) and the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Author of two books, The Islamic Threat to the Soviet State (Croom Helm, London, 1983 co-authored with Alexandre Bennigsen) and The North Caucasus Barrier. The Russian Advance towards the Muslim World (Hurst & Co, London, 1992). Made numerous trips to Chechnya since 1993 and member of the Children of Chechnya Action Relief Mission. Alexandre Bennigsen and Marie Broxup (Bennigsen) wrote 'The Islamic Threat to the Soviet State' (London: Croom Helm, 1983), which detailed a 1000 year-old Russian policy of trying to protect its southern border by containing the northern expansion of Islam, the broad thesis of which see outlined at a 2006 conference.
  • Dr Laurence Broers: Amnesty International's Armenia Researcher. Broers has broadcast on Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty [7]and according to this runs Conciliation Resources (CR) and has written with Sabine Freizer, Caucasus Project Director for the International Crisis Group. CR, International Alert, LINKS and Catholic Relief Serviceshave been working on the Nagorny Karabakh conflict since 2003, funders again include UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Ford Foundation, Charity Aid Foundation and many others.[8]
  • Julian Broxup: The author (with Laurence Broers) of 'Crisis and Renewal in Georgian Politics: The 2003 Parliamentary Elections and 2004 Presidential Elections' (a report written for the London Information Network on Conflicts and State Building, 2004) and works with The Law Society International Division.
  • Bruce Clark: joined The Economist in 1990. He writes for the Foreign Department covering religion and politics, prior to that he was International Security Editor. Previously he has written for the Financial Times as Washington Correspondent, Diplomatic Correspondent and European News Editor and he has also been the Moscow Correspondent for The Times. Bruce now edits The Economist's International section, in addition to his Foreign Department role.
  • Professor John Darby Professor of Ethnic Studies at the University of Ulster. He was one of the founders of the Centre for the Study of Conflict, and was its first Director, a post he held for six years. He resigned in 1991 in order to devote himself to the establishment of the Ethnic Studies Network, and subsequently became the first Director of INCORE, the International Programme on Conflict Resolution and Ethnicity, jointly sponsored by the United Nations University and the University of Ulster.[9]Now with the Research Initiative for the Resolution of Ethnic Conflict, Kroc Institute. For a full CV see here.
  • Dame Audrey Glover DBE CMG (Chairperson) Her main career was as a legal adviser to the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, she served as Director of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) from 1993-97. She then led the UK Delegation to the UN Human Rights Commission from 1998-2003. At present Dame Audrey is Senior Adviser to the Iraqi Minister of Human Rights. Glover's role as an international lawyer includes extensive experience in human rights, democracy building and governance. Until 2003 she was leader of the UK delegation to the UN Commission on Human Rights. Since February 2004 the FCO has funded her as an adviser to the Iraqi minister for human rights. She is helping to establish the ministry and providing specialist advice in development of human rights.
  • Duncan Hamilton: part of the "Charter of the Caucasus-Caspian Commission of Eminent Persons to outline a future vision for the region and its European dimension" involving Madeleine Albright and Paddy Ashdown[10]that was not entirely unconcerned about the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline. Hamilton is a former Member of the Scottish Parliament and was a Political Adviser to the First Minister of Scotland.
  • Zviad Mukbaniani
  • Angus Robertson MP
  • Dennis Sammut (Executive Director),
  • John Shields,
  • George Simonishvili,
  • Baroness Elizabeth Smith of Gilmorehill
  • Catherine Smith (Programmes Coordinator), LINKS crosses over into the terrotory of the John Smith Memorial Trust which has the motto of "Promoting Democracy and Good Governance'. [11]
  • Andrew Wilson

Board of LINKS

  • Laurence Broers
  • Dennis Sammut (Executive Director),
  • George Simonishvili


  • Stephen Nash CMG
  • Dennis Sammut (Executive Director)
  • George Simonishvili

International Advisory Council

  • Audrey Glover CMG (Chair)
  • Bruce Clark
  • Professor John Darby
  • Laura Le Cornu
  • Professor Christopher Mitchell: Professor of Conflict Analysis ICAR, George Mason University, Member, Centre for Conflict Analysis, Senior Vice President, Center for Conflict Prevention & Resolution in Africa, Member of the editorial board of Global Society[12]
  • Professor Kazbeg Sultanov
  • Andrew Wilson