STATEMENT: Implementing the New Commitments to Peace, a shared statement for the International Day of Peace
The following statement, "Implementing the New Commitments to Peace", is a shared statement by peacebuilding organisations released for the International Day of Peace, 21 September 2017. Pax Christi International is a signatory to the statement.
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.
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 realized. 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 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 ECOSOC, 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...