Coalition Says Include Peacebuilding in the Development Discussion

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October 17, 2012

Over fifty peacebuilding and development organizations released a statement Sept. 24, 2012 identifying nine ways for integrating peacebuilding and violence prevention into the United Nations development framework.   Offering snapshots from Burundi, South Sudan, West Africa, the statement calls for expanding the role of civil society in all phases of development and peace negotiations, and for rejecting  “conventional thinking and approaches” in resolving violence, including talking with all parties to a conflict.

“The process for negotiating consensus on a new framework needs to include civil society representatives, who should have status in the negotiations concordant with the commitment to ‘implement fully our respective commitments to enable CSOs to exercise their roles as independent development actors’ – as agreed by 158 countries in Busan,” the statement says.  Busan refers to The 4th High Level Conference on Aid Effectiveness that was held in Busan, Korea, and brought together governments, civil society groups and private interests from around the world to discuss development and aid strategy.

The statement also acknowledges that “all actors in conflict-affected contexts have vested interests and specific perspectives,” and that “an open dialogue bringing in fresh ideas, generating new evidence, and listening to people’s perspectives, can help us all to see beyond our particular interests.”

Recommendations for the UN outlined in the statement include:

  • “Include commitments to address key drivers of conflict – not only its symptoms”
  • “Build on the framework for addressing drivers of conflict articulated in the Peacebuilding and Statebuilding Goals (PSGs) and other credible peacebuilding frameworks”
  • “Be based on a consultation process that actively includes people and civil society from conflict-affected states and seeks out robust evidence of how to address drivers of conflict”
  • “Define peace and development as best upheld by states that are inclusive, responsive, fair and accountable to all their people”
  • “Include commitments to address regional and global factors that fuel conflict”

The Alliance for Peacebuilding, Cordaid, World Vision and Nonviolent Peaceforce were among the statement’s signatories calling for developing “a holistic post-2015 framework” that will help “billions of people around the world to enjoy peace, security and human rights” as part of any meaningful  development strategy.