The United Nations was founded on the belief that peace and security for all peoples would only be possible through disarmament. Long-term development and security, ensuring food, education, housing and economic infrastructure, is all but impossible in regions torn apart by conflict. The global community often invests again and again in the same conflict area, only to have hard-won progress destroyed by the next conflict. Development efforts are wasted unless these conflicts can be tamed and new ones prevented. Additionally, in unstable regions, arms build-ups increase the likelihood of violence and at the same time drain valuable resources away from desperately needed human development. UNIDIR's research programme attempts to address such problems.