The changing nature of conflict and the rapid globalisation of the world's economy over the last decade have combined to make the private sector an important actor in many conflict threatened or afflicted societies. As the perceived power and influence of the private sector has grown, so has its potential to contribute to sustainable development and the prevention and resolution of violent conflict. There has always been a strong moral argument for appropriate action, particularly where company operations have created or exacerbated conflict. Now there is a compelling argument that contributing to conflict prevention is a business interest which goes beyond presentational concerns to acknowledging the impact of conflict on the core operations and financial considerations of the private sector. From Azerbaijan to Zimbabwe, the potential and reality of violent conflict is becoming an unavoidable business issue.