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Let us see what Peace can do

21 September 2021

A shared statement by peacebuilding organizations on International Day of Peace, 21 September 2021.

Without peace, development will falter. Without justice, hope will wither. Without inclusion, we will all be left behind.

Can we find our way back? 18 months into a global pandemic, our hearts go out to those who are suffering. We are in awe of the extraordinary efforts by so many to save lives and offer comfort. Yet, in too many ways, humanity has fallen short. COVID-19 has shown us the fragility of our institutions and the fault lines in international cooperation, just as the need for unified action is more urgent than ever in the face of the expanding climate emergency.

In 1945, the United Nations was founded to ‘promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom’. But the steady progress that has been made is now at risk, not only from the challenges we face, but also from the way we respond to them. Responses to crisis that increase violence, injustice and exclusion will exacerbate development losses and human suffering, leaving many behind.

As we face the stark human-made realities of a warming planet, we must redouble our peace efforts, to help mediate and navigate the immense shifts in power and resources that will be needed to forestall further avoidable temperature rise, to prevent and resolve the conflicts that may be exacerbated or precipitated by environmental destruction; and to prepare the path to a more sustainable, peaceful, and equitable future. We must re-dedicate ourselves to the 2030 Agenda vision of a global partnership of all stakeholders to foster peace, justice, and inclusion, not just in development, but as a goal to unite all efforts to transform our world and respond to the challenges we face. Peace is not an add-on: peace is the way.

As organizations devoted to building peace and justice around the world, we call on the international community to:

  • Refocus on peace, justice and inclusion, in development, in crisis response and in addressing the climate emergency. 

  • Mainstream and step up investment in peace. 

  • Prioritize inclusion and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms.

  • Step away from securitized responses.

This statement was signed by over 200 organizations, including Saferworld.

Read the full statement and find the full list of signatories here.