Tracking support to Sustainable Development Goals – the case of peace and security

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A submission from civil society organisations working on peace and sustainable development


Overview This submission provides a perspective from organisations with expert knowledge on peace and sustainable development in support of the process for defining the boundaries of the new statistical measure ‘Total Official Support for Sustainable Development’ (TOSSD). Following an expert meeting on this topic (OECD, Paris, 5 February 2019), it explores the question of whether – and under what circumstances – peacekeeping, disarmament, criminal justice and other military-security assistance should be considered as part of financing for sustainable development. It provides a number of discussion points, together with supporting evidence and recommendations (in bold and numbered). This submission builds on recommendations by the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) civil society organisation (CSO) reference group and other CSOs to: encourage the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and its members to reinforce the coherence and conflict sensitivity of development assistance for sustainable development; support the empowerment of local civil society and the impartiality of humanitarian action; and ensure that all resources included in TOSSD have a demonstrably positive sustainable development impact. 1 We urge the OECD and participating governments and agencies to take it fully into account when defining and participating in TOSSD.

Key Points

· At the 2019 High-Level Political Forum this coming July, governments will come together at the United Nations headquarters in New York to review their progress implementing commitments under Sustainable Development Goal 16 (SDG16) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. To help them measure progress, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and participating governments are defining a new statistical measure called ‘Total Official Support for Sustainable Development’ (TOSSD).

· We are deeply concerned that some aid donor governments are attempting to classify military-security assistance as part of their TOSSD contribution and thus their annual development assistance, a move that would fulfil the worst fears of those who cautioned against integrating peace, justice and inclusion into the framework.

· We are urging the OECD and participating governments to rule out the inclusion of such assistance where there is a credible risk of negative impacts, taking account of the examples and recommendations provided in this document.

· At a time of rising levels of military and internal security spending worldwide, the integrity of development work and credibility of development assistance accounting must be dually safeguarded.