Some 1.5 billion people in an estimated 40 countries live in an environment marked by persistent conflict and fragility. Often referred to as “fragile and conflict-affected countries”, they are confronted by a myriad of simultaneous and often overwhelming challenges, including armed conflict or political violence, serious and persistent human rights violations, and threats from organized crime and terrorist networks. Viewed through a different lens, however, today’s fragile states are potentially tomorrow’s emerging markets. More than three-quarters of states classified as “fragile” possess extensive mineral and energy resources and post impressive growth rates. The riches and promise of conflict-affected states must be properly managed if they are to significantly contribute to peace and development. Likewise, lasting peace requires stakeholders to see themselves as partners and to collaborate – especially the private sector, which can contribute enormously towards peace. The links between fragility and violence, and the immense potential buried in conflict-affected states, must be reflected in new approaches and collaboration.