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Complex Challenges Need ‘Connected’ Solutions, Deputy Secretary-General Says, Stressing They Cannot Be Dealt With in ‘Silos’

Following are UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson’s remarks on “Reducing Humanitarian Needs:  Peacebuilding and the Prevention of Violent Conflicts”, as prepared for delivery in Istanbul today:

Thank you for coming together to discuss how we can reduce humanitarian needs through peacebuilding and the prevention of conflicts.  This discussion is particularly timely coming on the heels last month of the most comprehensive resolution on the topic of peacebuilding in the history of the United Nations, adopted simultaneously in both the General Assembly and the Security Council.

Let me begin with three brief overarching messages.

First, there can be no sustainable development without peace, no peace without sustainable development, and no development or peace without human rights.

Complex challenges cannot be dealt with in silos.  The problems of today are connected — the solutions must be, too.

Second, we need to place people at the centre.  The first three words of the United Nations Charter are “We the peoples”.  The 2030 Agenda promises to leave no one behind, a call which is reinforced in the “Agenda for Humanity” for this Summit.

Third, we must prioritize prevention — prevention of violent conflict and natural disasters.  We must address the root causes of human suffering.  Too often, prevention and peacebuilding are neglected, underfunded, or not sufficiently sustained.

We are reacting to events, rather than proactively creating the conditions for sustainable peace and development.  We need to work in conflicts and on conflicts at the same time.  We must address immediate humanitarian needs and, at the same time, build sustainable peace over the longer term.

This is the pledge of the Peace Promise, which is fully in line with the Agenda for Humanity.  The Peace Promise is a set of common commitments endorsed by over 20 United Nations entities and humanitarian actors, and coordinated by the United Nations Peacebuilding Support Office.

The ultimate collective outcome is drastically to reduce human suffering by addressing the drivers of humanitarian needs and by reducing vulnerabilities.  We will hear many examples of how all of these issues are addressed.  I look forward to the discussion.

Now let me turn it over to our distinguished moderator, Femi Oke of Al Jazeera.

Thank you very much.

For information media. Not an official record.