Comment & analysis

Peaceful approaches to global challenges

21 September 2016

It’s been a good week – so far - to highlight peace on the international stage.

The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) is in session, holding its first ever Summit on Refugees and Migrants. And today 21 September is International Day of Peace; a day devoted to ‘strengthening the ideals of peace.’

Peace and development are mutually dependent. So fittingly this year’s UNGA theme is the Sustainable Development Goals. Much of Saferworld’s recent international advocacy work has pivoted on the inclusion of peace throughout the goals. In particular Goal 16 recognises that peace, stability and effective governance are essential for sustainable development. Measuring progress toward the achievement of SDG 16 effectively will be a key challenge. That is why Saferworld, along with its coalition partners, has set up the SDG16 Data Initiative to showcase currently available data for SDG 16.

As migration and conflict dominate the news, Peace Day remains an important time to focus on the global response. In 2016 the total number of people forcibly displaced by violent conflict and other factors topped 65 million people. With The Civil Society Platform for Peacebuilding and Statebuilding (CSPPS) Saferworld calls for greater leadership to address the root drivers of forced displacement and resist approaches to migration management that risk worsening the situation.

We are also witnessing an intensification of terror-style violence and violent extremism. As problems dealt with ‘over there’ impact domestic politics ‘over here’ - short-term security-focused interventions are being prioritised over principled, long-term and people-centred approaches to global security. There are more effective and constructive strategies for responding to terror and instability that focus strategically on peace, rely less on the military, take a tougher line on bad governance and corruption, and work more closely with civil society.

On International Day of Peace, Saferworld considers the urgent need for peaceful efforts to address global challenges. Not least migration, violent conflict and terrorism.

Read our joint statement calling UN member states to embrace the new global framework for peace.

Join in the conversation on Twitter using #PeaceDay2016.

Photo: UN Photo/Albert Gonzalez Farran

“On International Day of Peace, Saferworld considers the urgent need for peaceful efforts to address global challenges. Not least migration, violent conflict and terrorism.”