Getting Peace on the UN’s Post 2015 Global Development Agenda
November 10, 2012
November 10, 2012
Can the peace, development and environment sectors work together to ensure a comprehensive and holistic post-2015 global development agenda?
As we approach 2015, the world is slowly realizing the importance of the next global development agenda. Three important deadlines are scheduled for 2015. They are:
- The deadline for the achievement of the UN Millennium Development Goals
- The deadline by which countries at the 2011 Durban Climate Change Conference plan to adopt a Universal Legal Agreement on Climate Change
- The deadline by which governments at the recent Rio+20 Conference in June 2012 agreed to establish Sustainable Development Goals
The development and environment sectors are working together to ensure that the framework has both a poverty eradication and an environmental sustainability focus. A key challenge for the peace sector is to work collaboratively with others to ensure that peace is included in this agenda. Peace was a part of the UN Millennium Declaration but was left out of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which focused on poverty, hunger, education, health, gender equality and, to a lesser extent, the environment and the Global Partnership for Development. Because of this omission, peace is too often left out of the development discourse and practice, and those most affected by conflict are left behind.
Millennium Development Goals
UN Task Team
There is a high level recognition of the need to include peace in this agenda. The UN System Task Team on the Post-2015 UN Development Agenda suggests that violence and conflict have become the largest obstacles to the MDGs and that the new framework should be based on four dimensions: 1) inclusive social development; (2) inclusive economic development; (3) environmental sustainability; and (4) peace and security.
Organizations like Saferworld, International Alert and others have started engaging with the process relatively early, to good effect. Saferworld recently produced an excellent article suggesting that “The post-2015 framework should be one around which those promoting the aims of peace, human rights, gender equality, environmental sustainability and equitable poverty reduction can all agree.”
Recently, some 50 organizations issued a joint statement supporting the suggestions of the UN Task Team, calling for “A post-2015 framework that builds on the vision of the Millennium Declaration and upholds the right of all people to enjoy peace, security and human rights as essential elements of sustainable development.”
Such organizations are also engaging in discussions about peace and security goals following the New Deal agreed to at Busan in 2011.
The five goals below are now being piloted in seven states (governments), and are being further developed via the International Dialogue on Peacebuilding and Statebuilding.
a) Legitimate Politics – Foster inclusive political settlements and conflict resolution
b) Security – Establish and strengthen people’s security
c) Justice – Address injustices and increase people’s access to justice
d) Economic Foundations – Generate employment and improve livelihoods
e) Revenues & Services – Manage revenue and build capacity for accountable and fair service delivery
This is a welcome development, but more needs to be done to ensure that this work is taken forward in the post-2015 global framework.
Those passionate about peace and conflict resolution need to grasp the real danger that peace will be left out of a global development framework, sidelining once again those most affected by conflict.
We must take action to highlight the inherent links between peace and social, economic and environmental development certainly to governments and to the UN, but also to colleagues in the social, economic and environmental development sectors. In this way, we can help build a more collaborative global movement to create a more comprehensive and holistic post-2015 global development framework.
So, how to do this? Two suggestions:
- Ensure a coherent discourse around positive peace (removal of underlying causes of violence) rather than just negative peace (absence of violence or fear of violence). This will strike a chord with the development sector, which talks about removing the underlying causes of poverty and injustice, many of which are the same causes identified by the peace sector as underlying violence, inequality, lack of political rights and more.
- Engage more fully in the discussions which are happening about this NOW. It will be too late to do this in a year’s time, as too much of the early running will have been done. Organizations focusing on peace need to take high level, strategic decisions as soon as possible to link with the development and environment sector on this agenda to ensure that a post 2015 agenda is as holistic and as comprehensive as possible.
A good way to do this would be through the Beyond 2015 campaign.
International Alert is already coordinating input into the UN consultation on peace, security and fragility, but more peace organizations need to come on board to make their voices heard and ensure that peace is fully included in the post 2015 development agenda.
Note: Leo Williams wishes to thank Chris Underwood of International Alert for his comments and assistance in gathering information for this post.