What’s Peace Got To Do With It? Advocating Peace in the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda

Laura Ribeiro Rodrigues Pereira | Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung | 2014 | 2015

Formulating an agenda for the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals after 2015 has been complicated by the politics surrounding the inclusion of a goal for peace and security. The goal was mainly championed by Northern Member States and a voluntary association of 20 conflict-affected countries (the ›G7+‹), and greeted with strong scepticism by Brazil and its BRICS and G77 allies. The inclusion of a Peace Goal in the document to be submitted to the General Assembly in September 2014 represents a compromise. While the content of the Peace Goal covers key issues related to conflict prevention and peacebuilding, its language and targets need to be sharpened in order to make the Post-2015 Agenda effective in promoting peaceful societies. This is as much a technical as it is a political process. Looking forward to the final UN resolution in 2015, peace advocates need to develop strategies that go beyond retaining the Peace Goal as it stands, for instance, by advocating for greater transparency and accountability in the arms industrial complex. However, this would require a change in engagement with current allies. Especially northern states are most likely to block these endeavours. Beyond the Peace Goal in the Post-2015 Agenda, the peacebuilding community will have to refine and consolidate its parameters of ›building peace‹. Reactions to protests around the world illustrated the fine line between ensuring public safety and the deterioration of fundamental freedoms.

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