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Dr Idler discusses illicit trade and conflict at the Global Illicit Trade Summit

Dr Annette Idler, Senior Research Fellow at DPIR and Pembroke College, and Director of Studies at the Changing Character of War Centre (CCW), participated in The Economist’s Global Illicit Trade Summit in Abu Dhabi, where she discussed “the changing dynamic of modern warfare and its connection with the booming trade in bootleg markets,” as reported by The National.

The Summit brought together stakeholders from governments, the private sector, international organisations, law enforcement agencies and civil society for a series of action-driven dialogues about combating illicit trade.

“Terrorist groups funding their actions through illicit trade is only one part of the bigger picture,” Dr Idler said. “There is a huge profit behind organised crime but it is more nuanced than that. Groups need to pay their soldiers and to buy their weapons. They are thriving in a war economy. In Colombia, the cocaine trade has helped fuel conflict, as has opium in Myanmar. Sierra Leone has endured years of conflict funded by the diamond trade.”

Dr Idler’s research focuses on the interface of conflict, security, transnational organized crime and peacebuilding. Specifically, she explores the role of violent non-state groups in changing security landscapes and their impact on people-centred security. At CCW, she currently directs the “Changing Character of Conflict Platform” project and the “From Conflict Actors to Architects of Peace” programme that focus on these matters.

Dr Annette Idler is Senior Research Fellow at the Department of Politics and International Relations and at Pembroke College; Director of Studies, Changing Character of War Centre