Statement: Implementing the new commitments to peace

Deputy Secretary General Amina Mohammed (right), speaks with Astrid Schomaker, European Union Adviser, before an event on 'Financing the 2030 Agenda: The Role of the United Nations', 2017. © UN Photo/Ariana Lindquist

 

The last year has seen significant global challenges, including an unprecedented level of humanitarian need, rising inequality and exclusion, growing climate change impacts, and increasing threats to our shared security. Nevertheless, the international community has taken important steps in addressing these challenges by implementing the recent bold commitments to foster sustainable peace.

United Nations member states have affirmed the centrality of peace and prevention, first through their commitment to “foster peaceful, just and inclusive societies which are free from fear and violence” with the adoption of the 2030 Agenda in 2015, and then with the dual resolutions on Sustaining Peace in 2016.

While these efforts should be applauded, urgent action must be taken to ensure that the opportunities for more effective development, peace and security, and humanitarian action presented by these new approaches, are realised. Most critically, these commitments to address root causes are at the heart of the changes required for the international community to genuinely shift towards preventing, rather than responding to, crisis.

At this year’s High Level Political Forum (HLPF), member states, through their voluntary national reviews, illustrated the centrality of peace, justice and inclusion through their efforts to implement the sustainable development goals (SDGs), both at home and globally. These reviews underlined the indispensable contribution of these approaches (often now referred to as 'SDG16+') to achieving the goal of eliminating extreme poverty – this year’s HLPF theme.

In a series of parallel developments, we have seen important initiatives in the UN's Economic and Social Council, the Peacebuilding Commission and the Security Council to ensure that UN action to assist countries in transition is based on the longer-term needs and aspirations of the communities most affected by instability and violence. This has included initiatives to address the fragmentation of UN efforts, and we welcome the leadership of the Secretary General and his reform proposals that are intended to make the UN more fit for purpose for ensuring sustainable peace.

There is an important opportunity during the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly to consolidate and broaden these gains. As organisations devoted to the building of peace around the world, we call on the international community to take these next steps:

  • Fully embrace the commitments to peace in the 2030 Agenda: Member states have committed to the principle that there is no peace without development and no development without peace. If we are truly to reflect this interdependence, then progress against the 36 targets across the 2030 Agenda that are necessary to achieve peace, justice and inclusion needs to be highlighted in all SDG reporting at all levels, reflecting the role of peace as an indispensable condition of development. Social, economic and political inclusion across all segments of society is critical for peacebuilding and sustaining peace – a central issue for the UN with the upcoming Secretary General's report and High Level Event on this subject – and to transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies – which is the theme of the 2018 HLPF.
  • Balance national efforts with a focus on regional and international drivers of peace, justice and inclusion: National implementation alone will not suffice to achieve the SDGs. 40% of the SDG16+ targets require implementation at regional and international levels. This is particularly the case with issues of peace, where addressing the external drivers of peace, justice and inclusion requires concerted action by states, as duty holders, to support responsible trade, reduce arms flows, promote constructive financial, tax and investment practices, and to strengthen a rules-based system that creates a more effective enabling environment that privileges the long-term peace, development and human rights needs of all people and communities.
  • Mainstream prevention: The Sustaining Peace resolutions articulated the need for a new, preventive lens to be applied to all development and humanitarian action, and for inclusive peacebuilding approaches to be used before, during and after conflict. Member states need to affirm their primary role in prevention, as national governments, members of regional and international organisations, and as peers and donors. Prevention needs to be mainstreamed, with conflict-sensitive approaches applied to all development and humanitarian action in transitional environments. For prevention to be realised, it will be essential that peacebuilding and preventive priorities at all levels receive adequate funding. Additionally, crisis response needs to be forward looking, with a preventive lens that aligns with and contributes to longer-term strategies for building peace.
  • Protect and support civil society in fostering sustainable peace: Civil society, including youth and women’s groups, are at the forefront of building peace at all levels and in all places, and civil society participation is at the heart of effective peace processes and national implementation of SDG16+ targets. Nevertheless, civil society inclusion continues to be under threat around the world, with onerous restrictions imposed on the ability of civil society groups to be effective, speak out and access funding. We call on member states to reverse this course, and for the UN system to model inclusion in all its local and global processes.

Signatories:

21st Century Community Empowerment for Youth and Women Initiative Nigeria
Advocacy, Research, Training and Services (ARTS) Foundation, Pakistan
African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
AfroLeadership
Aid Organization (AO), Bangladesh
Alliance for Peacebuilding
American Friends Service Committee
ANBTI Yogyakarta: National Unity in Diversity Alliance
Association for promotion sustainable development. Hisar. India
AWAZ Foundation Pakistan: Centre for Development Services or (AWAZCDS-Pakistan)
Badhon Manob Unnayan Sangstha
Bangladesh Model Youth Parliament
Brain Builders International
Bridging for Sustainable Development (BSD)
CAFSO-WRAG for Development
Canadian Friends Service Committee
Care and Development Centre
CDA Collaborative Learning Projects
Center for Law and Development Policy
Centre for Human Rights and Climate Change Research, Nigeria
Centre for Peace & Conflict Studies
Centre for Peace, Development and Reforms (CPDR)
Centre for the Defence of Human rights and Democracy (CDHD)
Centre for Youth and Development
CHALLENGES International: Action for Sustainable Development
ChildFund Alliance
CIS Timor (Kupang)
CIS Timor Volunteers Association
Civil Society Coalition on Sustainable Development
Civil Society Platform for Peacebuilding and Statebuilding
CNOSC/New Deal (Coalition Nationale des Organisations de la Société Civile pour le New Deal en République Centrafricaine (RCA)
Coalition for the International Criminal Court
Coalition Ivoirienne pour la Cour Pénale Internationale (CI CPI)
Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI)
Community Resource Development Foundation (CREDEF)
Conciliation Resources
Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd
Cordaid
Crisis Management Initiative
CSYM HUDUMA-Christian Spiritual Youth Ministry
Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation
Development & Integrity Intervention Goal Foundation
Dria Manunggal (Yogyakarta)
ENDA Tiers Monde
European Peacebuilding Liaison Office (EPLO)
Faith & Justice Network of the Mano River Basin Countries
Female Prisoners Support Trust (FEMPRIST)
Friends Committee on National Legislation
Friends World Committee for Consultation (Quakers)
Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD)
Global Center on Cooperative Security
Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC)
Global Peace and Development Organization
Greenspring Development Initiative
GusDurian (Yogyakarta)
Igarapé Institute
Institute for Economics & Peace
International Alert
International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect (ICRtoP)
International Federation of Women in Legal Careers (FIFCJ)
International Justice Project
Interpeace
Inwelle Study and Resource Centre, Enugu, Nigeria
JMSPS: Jaringan Masyarakat Sipil Peduli Syariah / Civil Society Network That Cares About Sharia (Aceh)
KOMPAK NTT - Indonesia
KOMPAK: Kupang Peacemakers (Kupang)
KOMPAS
KOMPAS: Border Peacemakers (Atambua)
Kontras Aceh: Commission on the Missing and Victims of Violence Aceh
l’Organisation pour le développement Durable Intégré de la Guinée (ODDI-GUINEE)
Legal Aid Institute Yogyakarta
LKIS; Lembaga Kajian Isam Sosial / Institute for Islamic and Social Studies (Yogyakarta)
Loretto Community
Maria Ebun Foundation
Mbulu Education Network-Mbulu Rural Initiatives
Mediators Beyond Borders International
Mennonite Central Committee
Mercy International Association at the UN, Global Action
Metta Center for Nonviolence
Namati
New African Research and Development Agency (NARDA) of Liberia, West Africa
Nigerian Coalition for the International Criminal Court (NCICC)
Nonviolent Peaceforce
Okogun Odigie Safewomb International Foundation
Our Lady of Perpetual Help Initiative, Port Harcourt, Nigeria
Oxford Research Group
PartnersGlobal
Pax Christi International
Peace Direct
Peacemaker 360
PeaceNexus Foundation
Peacifica
Platform for Social Justice
Quaker Council for European Affairs
Quaker Peace & Social Witness
Quaker Service Norway
Quaker United Nations Office
Quäker-Hilfe Stiftung
Regional Center for International Development Corporation (RCIDC)
Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary
REPAOC
Réseau Equitas Côte d'Ivoire (REQCI)
Rumah Perempuan Kupang: Women's House Kupang
Saferworld
Search for Common Ground
Sisters of Charity Federation
Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace
Social Economic and Governance Promotion Centre(SEGP) of Tanzania
Society of Catholic Medical Missionaries
Society of the Sacred Heart
Swisspeace
The Council for International Conflict Resolution (RIKO)
The International Criminal Court Student Network
Trippinz Care Inc
Tritura Foundation (Yogyakarta)
UN Association of South Sudan
Union des Amis Socio Culturels d'Action en Developpement (UNASCAD)
United Youth for Growth and Development (Advocacy Centre), Osun State, Nigeria
Universal Rights Network
UWEMA
VIVAT International
Women Educators Association of Nigeria
Women for Peace and Gender Equality Initiative (WOPEGEE)
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom
Working Group on Peace and Development (FriEnt)
World Federalist Movement-Institute for Global Policy
World Federation of United Nations Associations
World Vision International
Youth Advocacy Health Foundation Nigeria
Youth Association for Development (YAD) Pakistan
Zo Indigenous Forum (ZIF), India