Transformative actions, adequate financing and cooperative work across the entire peace, security and development nexus are urgently required for much-needed progress on sustainable development, speakers reported today during at a joint meeting of the Economic and Social Council and Peacebuilding Commission.
In opening remarks, Lachezara Stoeva (Bulgaria), Council President, said that today’s joint meeting focuses on the importance of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in linking peace and development action on the ground — an opportune moment as the upcoming 2023 high-level political forum starts in 10 days and the SDG Summit in September. “We need transformative actions to accelerate progress on the SDGs to achieve inclusive, peaceful and prosperous societies,” she said, addressing the root causes of conflict and crises and responding to development and humanitarian needs.
She therefore called for comprehensive, integrated solutions and actions across the peace, security, humanitarian and development pillars — through closer relationships among the various intergovernmental bodies, harnessing mandates and platforms for more integrated and coordinated United Nations response. Themes and approaches to explore include convening regular meetings among the heads of the Principal Organs and the Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission and sharing work programmes to identify opportunities for collaboration.
A number of expert panelists and programme heads then addressed the meeting, with Achim Steiner, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), stating that the absence of peace is an inevitable consequence of development failures, rooted in economic setbacks and weak governance institutions. The Global Goals are often the best “vaccine” to prevent such failures. Noting that last year UNDP reported the highest number of victims of conflicts and combat since 1945, he said the Programme is focused on recognizing the drivers of conflict early on — and in Iraq, has created conditions to facilitate the return of 4.5 million internally displaced people in less than six months.
In the ensuing dialogue and questions, most delegations stressed that there can be no peace without development or development without peace — and that the peace-development-humanitarian nexus cannot be achieved without adequate financing. Denmark’s delegate, also speaking for Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, called for more systematic engagement by international financial institutions, suggesting mapping out the structural obstacles to the nexus — while the representative of the United States voiced support for “more adequate, predictable financing for peacebuilding through assessed contributions”.