PR's Intervention at UNAOC Group of Friends Meeting on "Peaceful coexistence as a path to sustainable development" (April 02 2014)

Mr. High Representative,

We thank you for organizing this meeting. We admire your leadership of the Alliance and your close attention to sustainable development. Ms Amina Mohammad's briefing today contextualizes our discussion.

We deeply appreciated the presence of Honourable Ahmet Davutoglu in our midst; and thank him and the Ambassador of Spain for their countries' staunch support to the Alliance. We are also grateful to the useful briefings given by the distinguished Ambassadors of Qatar and Indonesia.

Mr High Representative,

There is a firm linkage between peace and sustainable development. Where there is no peace, no significant economic development takes place. Sustainable development itself contributes to conditions of peace and stability. This linkage can either create a vicious cycle of conflict, strife and underdevelopment or lead to a virtuous cycle of peace, harmony and inclusive economic growth.

We know that the nexus between peace and development cannot be confined to national boundaries. What happens within nations, good or bad, has international repercussions. Wars and violent conflicts lead to regional and international humanitarian crises spawning waves of refugees and migrants. Even in peaceful countries and regions of the world, constant vigilance is required to ensure that conditions of stability and development are not undermined by transnational crime, illicit trafficking of human beings, narcotics, arms and natural resources.

It is our collective responsibility at the United Nations to prevent conflicts and relapse to conflicts, and make, keep and build peace.

Attaining prosperity does not automatically guarantee peaceful co-existence. Rich nations may remain as prone to conflict as poor nations. Peaceful coexistence therefore is a conscious choice that individuals and nations have to make. And it is in this realm that the Alliance is so relevant for building trust among nations and civilizations.

Empirical evidence suggests that MDGs' performance has been decelerated in the countries riven by conflict. It is therefore very important to have focus on peace, stability and development as a nexus as we craft the sustainable development goals and develop the post-2015 Development Agenda.

In the discussions held so far peace and security are seen as a critical enabler for sustainable development; and a general backdrop for the documents that we are developing. But we do not foresee a specific goal, supported by targets and indicators. Should this be seen as a weakness? Not necessarily because the bulk of the UN effort is devoted to peace and security under the leadership of the Security Council and the Secretary General, with the support of the elaborate Secretariat and regional organizations.

The Alliance’s role is of a catalyst to promote dialogue to end cycles of violence, reduce incitement to hatred, redress deprivations and grievances related to development, and address the root causes of armed conflict. The Alliance’s due diligence is these areas will help create conditions for lasting peace and sustainable development. It can also play a crucial role in building capacities and competencies for early warning and conflict analysis; as well as in promoting dialogue and mediation through the use of the effective tools of education and media.

The Alliance’s credible advocacy can be one powerful instrument for neutralizing drivers of conflict and crime and for fostering inclusive development.

Thank You