Speakers Urge Focus on Root Causes of Conflict as General Assembly Debates Strategies for Linking Sustainable Development, Lasting Peace
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the concept of Sustaining Peace, as outlined in Security Council resolution 2282 (2016) and General Assembly resolution 701262, are complementary and mutually reinforcing. Sustainable development underpins sustainable peace and more peaceful and inclusive societies create an environment conducive to sustainable development. Sustainable peace is both an enabler and an outcome of sustainable development.
Both the 2030 Agenda and Sustaining Peace seek to advance core principles of the UN Charter and have wide-ranging implications for how Member States, the UN system and other actors advance sustainable development, human rights and collective peace and security in today’s complex and interconnected world. Moreover, by recognizing that sustainable peace could only be achieved when all segments of society are empowered and included, Member States have ensured that Sustaining Peace is in line with the people-centered foundation of the 2030 Agenda.
In recognition of the fundamental interlinkages between the 2030 Agenda and Sustaining Peace, the President of the General Assembly convened a high-level dialogue entitled “Building Sustainable Peace for All: Synergies between the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustaining Peace Agenda” on 24 January 2017 at UN Headquarters in New York.
Emphasizing the inextricable link between sustainable development and sustaining peace — “two agendas that stand or fall together” — speakers at a high-level General Assembly dialogue urged a holistic response to the world’s many intertwined challenges, from economic inequality to violent extremism and beyond.
Many Government officials and civil society representatives welcomed the United Nations recent shift towards conflict prevention, embodied in the 2016 adoption of parallel “sustaining peace” resolutions in the Assembly and the Security Council. Some stressed that those efforts would require a focus on the underlying drivers of conflict, such as climate change and the illicit trade in natural resources, while others underscored the need to keep development financing flowing.
Many speakers — including representatives from a number of conflict-affected and post-conflict nations — expressed support for the United Nations expanded focus on the peace-development nexus.
Several delegates, agreeing that successful development outcomes could spark more peaceful relations between peoples, made concrete proposals to boost development financing and make it more predictable.
Throughout the day-long meeting, the Assembly also held an interactive panel discussion on the theme “taking a comprehensive approach to sustainable development and sustaining peace”, as well as a three break-out workshops on the topic, including on empowering women and youth, managing natural resources, and strengthening transparent, inclusive and accountable institutions.
UN/24 January 2017