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by Diana Quick
A shared statement by peacebuilding organizations
International Day of Peace, 21 September 2018
Elections are an important mechanism in democratic and peace processes. Their purpose is to provide citizens with an opportunity to choose freely their political leaders and allocate power peacefully. However, underlying tensions in a society and high-stake competition can also result in violent and fraudulous elections. Based on its mandate in peace, development and democracy promotion, FDFA is supporting countries in a democratic transition as they address the challenge of holding elections.
A challenge for Human Security
“(J)ustice is an important part of building and sustaining peace. A culture of impunity and a legacy of past crimes that go unaddressed can only erode the peace.”
Secretary General Ban Ki Moon during his visit to Sudan in September 2007
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.
swisspeace Working Paper 2 | 2017
In the last few years, the concept of preventing violent extremism has been at the heart of discourses of governments, international organizations and non-state actors. The brutal attacks perpetrated throughout the world in recent years underline more than ever the need for a more convincing response to this phenomenon than the primarily repressive and military measures implemented as part of the ‘Global War on Terror’.
En 2015, les Nations Unies ont procédé à l’examen des résultats obtenus en termes de la prévention des conflits. Au vu des engagements pris, il y a une décennie, le bilan est modeste. Il s’avère d’autant plus crucial de poursuivre la promotion d’une culture de prévention. L’espoir que l’ONU redoublera ses efforts est permis, selon les dires du Directeur général de l’Office des Nations Unies à Genève dans son allocution lors de la conférence annuelle de la Fondation suisse pour la paix. À cette occasion, il a aussi exprimé sa gratitude envers le travail accompli par swisspeace.
In 2015, the United Nations reviewed the state of progress towards achieving a culture of conflict prevention, a goal it had set itself ten years before. The outcome was modest, which makes it all the more important to continue fostering this culture. There is reason to hope that efforts are being stepped up in this respect. That was the impression given by the Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva in his speech at the Annual Conference of the Swiss Peace Foundation. He also took this opportunity to express his appreciation for all the work done by swisspeace.
Support greater participation of women in peacebuilding, protect the rights of women and girls during and after armed conflicts, prevent gender-based violence, promote the integration of a gender-sensitive perspective before, during and after violent conflicts: By adopting resolution 1325 on women, peace and security in 2000, the UN Security Council sent a strong message to the international community in support of the crucial role of women in peacebuilding. Fifteen years later, the time has come to take stock of the situation.
The review of the New Deal for Engagement in Fragile States, the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals, the 15th anniversary of resolution 1325, the review of the UN Peacebuilding Architecture and the establishment of a High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations – in 2015, the areas of peace, development and security will be characterised by a host of political processes taking place at the international level. This is both an excellent opportunity and a great challenge for international cooperation.
Les victimes de confliits armés en 2014 nous rappellent, une fois de plus, toute la souffrance que des approches plus efficaces de prévention et de gestion des con"its permettraient d’éviter.
Nous pensons à la Syrie, à l’Irak, au Soudan du Sud, à l’Ukraine et à bien d’autres endroits de la planète. La persistance de nombreuses confrontations belliqueuses, une caractéristique des dernières décennies, souligne toute la dif!culté de résoudre les con"its une fois qu’ils ont éclaté.
The victims of armed conflicts over the past year – in places like Syria, Iraq, South Sudan, Ukraine and various other theaters of war – remind us once again just how much suffering could be avoided through more effective conflict prevention and transformation. Recent decades have been marked by wars which seem to linger on interminably, indicating how challenging it is to resolve con!icts once they have broken out. This underlines the urgent need to develop measures to prevent and transform con!icts, in spite of all the difficulties involved.
Advocating peacebuilding is an issue which receives majority cross-party support in Switzerland. All the same, the means available for safeguarding a coherent peacebuilding policy and appropriate implementation of peacebuilding remain relatively limited. Nowadays, the rapidly changing nature of international conflict contexts poses new challenges and has raised the question of whether the Swiss peacebuilding architecture is capable of responding to them.
By Sara Hellmüller, Julia Palmiano Federer and Mathias Zeller