I would like to begin by thanking PGA Peter Thompson for organizing this dialogue.
We believe discussions on peacekeeping and peacebuilding over the last couple of years, leading to the adoption of resolutions on review of the Peacebuilding architecture by the General Assembly and the Security Council, focused our attention on prevention as the essential factor in sustaining peace.
This is both urgent and critical given that new and complex conflicts are emerging even as older, longer standing and unresolved disputes continue to fester. We are, in fact, living in a world of turmoil, disruption and persisting instability.
We welcome the Secretary General’s emphasis on the centrality of prevention efforts to build a more secure and resilient world.
The UN's responsibility for sustaining peace flows from the Charter's promise of promoting economic and social development for all peoples "in larger freedoms". This responsibility is in addition to the obligation for the maintenance of international peace and security.
The UN's capacity for sustaining peace is relatively nascent. It has evolved in response to the growing number of conflicts across the world.
The UN's endeavors in nation-building have had mixed results. Yet, these have so far been more productive and cost effective than unilateral actions taken by some powers.
The UN's efforts for achieving and sustaining peace must respect the fundamental principles of the UN Charter, including respect for the sovereignty and sovereign equality of states. These efforts should be undertaken under a clear mandate from the Security Council and the General Assembly.
Sustainable peace is a daunting challenge that cannot be met unless the underlying causes of conflict are addressed: poverty, and increasingly, environmental degradation; political and economic injustice; ethnic, tribal and religious tensions; and external interference and intervention. It also means addressing longstanding political disputes.
This underscores the nexus between peace, development and justice.
Political, security and development actors need to support each other in striving for sustainable peace. It is a comprehensive activity requiring holistic, long-term thinking that connects development, peace and security and human rights.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is universal. Goal 16 calls for “Peaceful, Just and Inclusive societies” as necessary to achieve the sustainable development goals. Development and peace reinforce and strengthen these inter linked objectives. Indeed there can be no development without peace, and no peace without development.
Political conflict and war threaten development while conversely, efforts for sustainable development alone are unlikely to reinforce sustainable peace if they do not take into account the causes of conflict and seek to address them.
Absence of equitable social and economic development fosters anger, mistrust and a sense of alienation injustice, which lie at the root of many of the conflicts. These in turn, impede the state’s developmental efforts. Well-designed conflict sensitive development projects can lead to maximizing the chances of achieving the SDGs through equity and inclusion.
But we should be clear that only national actors can drive the process for implementing SDGs and achieving sustainable peace through inclusive, transparent, and participatory decision-making.
Availability of adequate and timely resources, we feel, remains the most critical challenge. This was one of the primary reasons for the sub-optimal performance of the MDGs. Raising trillions of dollars every year to realize the SDGs would be a real test.
Optimization of domestic resource mobilization and prioritization is critical as well. An enabling international environment that promotes and complements domestic policies and priorities, however, will remain essential.
The SDGs were the result of an extensive multilateral effort. The unprecedented scope of the 2030 Agenda is a testimony to our common vision and commitment to a peaceful and prosperous world. Adequate financial resources, political support and efficient management and coordination by the several concerned UN organs and entities remain pivotal to the fulfillment of this ambitious dream.
Pakistan recognizes the importance of building resilient societies to prevent conflicts and promote security. We fully subscribe to the need to improve governance, respect for human rights and promote sustainable development. We are investing significantly in measures that aim at empowering women and youth, as they play an important role in building progressive and resilient societies. We also remain committed to our international obligations in this regard.
I thank you.