UN Alliance of Civilizations: Statement by Ambassador Hans-Joachim Daerr, Senior Advisor on Sustainable Development, on “Peace as a Path to Sustainable Development”

Apr 2, 2014

(as delivered:)

"Your Excellency, High Representative Al-Nasser,

I thank you for organizing this important Group of Friends meeting and the informative briefings of the panelists.

Germany attaches great value to the work of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations and supports the Alliance actively. We are grateful for this opportunity to discuss the Post-2015 Agenda in this esteemed forum. 

Ms. Mohammed has given us an overview of the ongoing preparations of the Post-2015 Development Agenda and the challenges ahead. Great success has been achieved in reaching the Millenium Development Goals. The proportion of people living in extreme poverty was cut in half even before 2015. But we also see that these heartening results are not true for countries that are ravaged by war or other armed conflicts. It is self-evident that peace is THE prerequisite for sustainable development. Countries that are affected by armed conflicts do not prosper. In addition to the high toll of human suffering, wars and armed conflicts bind resources that could otherwise be used for development. Children, as the most vulnerable group in each society, bear the brunt of any armed conflict. And only a stable environment can give them the education they need to bring their country forward.

The great impact of the Millenium Development Goals clearly shows that we were right to set ourselves ambitious objectives. We should do the same when defining the Post-2015 Agenda. Germany believes that stable and peaceful societies should be a focus area of the new Agenda. Against this background Germany has launched, during the 9th session of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals, a proposal for a stand-alone goal on peaceful and non-violent societies.

Let me highlight just three areas under such a goal in which we would like to see progress:

First: Reducing the proliferation of small arms and light weapons is paramount for enhancing peace and stability worldwide. Several hundred thousand people – among them many children - are killed by small arms each year, not to mention the many more that are injured or remain disabled for the rest of their lives. But children are not only victims of small arms but are also often forced to use them, as they are abused as child soldiers.

Second: We have to fight organized crime as it is undermining the stability and peace in many countries. We must also address its root causes. This means, among other things to fight trafficking in human beings. Each and every year, thousands of men, women and children become victims of this fundamental violation of human rights – either within their own country or abroad. Be it as country of origin, transit or destination of victims – trafficking concerns almost every country all over the world. It is a shameful disgrace for the international community that this modern form of slavery, this horrible crime, is still common in the 21st century.

Fighting organized crime also means fighting drug trafficking and the illicit trade of goods. Narcotics, poaching and the illegal trade of wildlife products undermine the rule of law and good governance, encourage corruption and have devastating social, economic and environmental effects. The proceeds from these crimes fuel conflicts and destabilize entire countries.

Third: We have to strengthen effective formal and informal mechanisms to manage disputes peacefully. Strong and independent institutions, that people trust, are an important precondition for stability. Therefore, ensuring the rule of law seems absolutely necessary. Fundamental rights and liberties, universal access to fair, efficient, accountable and independent justice, security and police systems, independent media and information and freedom of expression should be guaranteed. Furthermore, it is crucial to encompass due process and access to human rights defense institutions. And last but not least, fighting impunity is also part and parcel of a rule of law environment. 

Before I close let me inform you that Germany also aligns herself with the views and remarks expressed here by the EU representative.

I thank you."

© GermanyUN