For peace to reign, all people must share equally in the benefits of development. Indeed, building sustainable peace requires the harmonization of numerous issues including economic development, quality of life, human rights and dignity, trust in government, and the rejection of violence as a means to an end.
“When all people in a country are not able to enjoy the benefits of development equally, or when they cannot exercise their fundamental human rights, the risk of violent conflict increases,” said United States Representative to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield. “Proactivity is necessary, because we have seen how difficult it is to take action after conflict has already broken out. Take, for instance, global food insecurity. We know that conflict is the number one cause of hunger. But we also know that hunger is a driving force of conflict. It is our job to disrupt that cycle.”
“In 2022, the United States was proud to provide over half of the World Food Program’s budget,” she said. “But more than just responding to current famines, we need to work collaboratively to prevent future ones, whether it’s helping develop climate-smart crops and agricultural practices or helping family farmers secure equal access to land, knowledge, and financial support.”
According to UN Secretary-General António Guterres, developing countries are up against a “perfect storm of crises”, including enormous debts, constraints on government finances and ability to choose where to allocate funds, and soaring inflation.
“As the world’s major economies mobilize financing for development, it is imperative that we … prevent, rather than contribute to unsustainable debt, and even debt distress,” said Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield.
“The United States has been working with a broad coalition to evolve the multilateral development banks, and to expand by hundreds of billions of dollars the availability of safe, sustainable financing, especially for the poorest countries,” she said.
“We need to identify instability, places where a lack of development, and a lack of fundamental freedoms, heightens the risk of conflict,” said Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield.
“As we mark the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we must make sure that sustainable development is grounded in the principles of this foundational document. One we all are party to and that we must work to make reality for every single person, so that we can finally realize the vision of a world without conflict. Our children and our grandchildren’s future depend on this.”