Position Paper on the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals

Thursday, September 11, 2014
Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC)

As a network of peacebuilding organizations, constituted regionally and with a global reach, GPPAC's position on the post-2015 process is based on a shared concern over the unfinished aspects of the MDGs and the economic policies that have caused or exacerbated human displacement, human insecurity and conflict. Through their practice, GPPAC member organizations have actively engaged in building locallybased mechanisms for mediating social tensions, generating early warning and supporting early action, and empowering socially excluded groups such as women, youth, minorities, displaced persons and the poor.

GPPAC's network is committed to the pursuit of equality and dignity for all, and firmly believes that the realization of peaceful and stable societies goes hand-in-hand with the establishment of a more just international economic system. The mutual dependency between sustainable economic growth and peace is well established,i and for progress to be made in either issue, it is vital that the post-2015 agenda reflects the values of both. Countries with higher levels of peace tend to experience faster economic growth with higher levels of social harmony and be more resilient to external shocks, whether they are economic, geopolitical or natural disasters.ii

As peacebuilding organizations, we are pleased to see that efforts have been made to put people at the centre of sustainable development and to strive for a more just, equitable and inclusive world, including for those living under foreign occupation. We particularly welcome the inclusion of a Peace Goal and gender justice in the Outcome Document of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals, and the tackling of several driving factors of conflict throughout the document, as highlighted below. However, the document as it is now, does not go far enough.

  • The Goal's language needs to be strengthened, it is not enough to promote peaceful societies, states must commit to making concrete and measurable steps towards this end. This is not just an issue for poorer countries; uneven development has also resulted in social marginalization and the perpetuation of violence in and against poor communities in developed countries.
  • There needs to be commitment to including women in peace processes and to the protection of human rights defenders.
  • Targets must also include long-term measures for sustainable peace infrastructure such as dispute resolution mechanisms and education on non-violence. Education on non-violence should be a target under the Peace Goal so as not to be forgotten amongst other education targets.
  • There is also grave cause for concern over opening Overseas Development Assistance for financing counter-terrorism measures. Although this is an important issue, a people-centered approach to development is a vital part of achieving the same ends, that of countering violent extremism through tackling the root-causes of violence. We need guarantees in the document that the building of capacities in this area will not divert urgently needed funds for a people-centered, ‘human security' approach to development, to fund the heavy militarization of developing countries instead.
  • We also need guarantees that there will be transparency in the military and private security sectors so that they may be held accountable to the communities they intend to serve.
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