A shared statement by peacebuilding organizations
International Day of Peace, 21 September 2016
The 70th anniversary year of the United Nations saw bold new agreements from member states to “foster peaceful, just and inclusive societies which are free from fear and violence” and to “bring sustained international attention to sustaining peace”, in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustaining Peace resolutions A/RES/70/262 and S/RES/2282 respectively. Spurred by multiple global challenges, a new emphasis on peacebuilding and the prevention of violent conflict has also been evident in UN deliberations in a wide variety of other contexts, including humanitarian action, disaster relief, displacement, climate change action, preventing violent extremism, peacekeeping, and support for human rights, including social and economic rights.
While calls for greater attention to peacebuilding and prevention are not new, together, these actions comprise a fresh and universal normative framework, one that seeks peace, justice and inclusion in all countries and at all levels, and a reinvigorated UN mandate for peace as a core principle across the UN system.
As we move into the 71st session of the UN General Assembly, and look to the appointment of a new Secretary General, the challenge is now to take this new high level commitment and make it real, to affirm and mainstream its principles, implement its ideas in our own countries and around the world, and fully fund the actions it requires.
As organizations devoted to the building of peace around the world, we applaud this new commitment by member states. We call on the international community to take these next steps over the coming weeks and beyond:
- Mainstream peace policy: the 2030 Agenda has affirmed that peace and development are mutually dependent. This core concept now needs to be more broadly embedded in UN policy processes, including those focused on development (such as the upcoming QCPR negotiations), humanitarian action (including the summit on Refugees and Migrants as well as follow-up to the WHS and the Agenda for Humanity) and peacekeeping. The UN will only be able to deliver on sustaining peace when its security, human rights and development pillars come together.
- Implement peace at home: all countries have now committed to becoming more peaceful, just and inclusive as part of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. We encourage Heads of State and Government to highlight their efforts in this regard during the upcoming General Debate, and for national plans and reporting for the SDGs to give appropriate weight to the issues of peace as one of the five ‘areas of critical importance’ identified by member states last September.
- Foster peace around the world: the 2030 Agenda calls for more supportive, protective and equitable global governance. Accordingly, we call for decisions at a global level, whether in relation to trade, transnational crime, irresponsible arms flows, tax policy, or peace and security (including terrorism), to be taken in a way that prioritizes local long term needs and perspectives, uses ‘do no harm’ principles, and supports the long term peace, justice and inclusion of the many, rather than the short term priorities of the few.
- Support funding for peace: the new commitment of member states to peacebuilding and prevention now needs to be evidenced in a significant increase in strategic, long-term, local, bi-lateral and multilateral funding. We call on member states to support the PBF Pledging Conference, and to ensure that the follow-up to the Addis Ababa conference gives due weight to financing for initiatives that foster peaceful, just and inclusive societies.
- Protect and support civil society inclusion: the inclusion of civil society, including youth and women’s groups, is critical to promoting peace everywhere, at all levels. Yet around the world, governments are moving in the opposite direction, imposing onerous restrictions 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.
Alliance for Peacebuilding
American Friends Service Committee (AFSC)
Canadian Friends Service Committee (Quakers)
CDA Collaborative Learning Projects
Center for Development of International Law
Centre for Peace & Conflict Studies
Centre for Sustainable Development and Education in Africa (CSDEA)
Civil Society Platform for Peacebuilding and Statebuilding (CSPPS)
Friends Committee on National Legislation
Friends World Committee for Consultation-World Office (Quakers)
Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict, GPPAC
Global Peace and Development Organization
Institute for Economics and Peace
Presbyterian Church (USA)
Quaker Council for European Affairs
Quaker United Nations Office
Search for Common Ground
The Global Center on Cooperative Security
United Religions Initiative-Africa
Working Group on Peace and Development (FriEnt)
World Federalist Movement-Institute for Global Policy
World Federation of United Nations Associations (WFUNA)
Download this statement in PDF.
Learn about what CFSC means by a culture of peacebuilding.