Human Development ‘Lights the Way to Hope’, Secretary-General Tells Security Council in Day-Long Debate on Peace through Development
Noting that the Sustainable Development Goals are “off-track”, the Secretary-General told the Security Council today that no peace is secure without inclusive and sustainable development which leaves no one behind.
Speaking in the debate on the promotion of sustainable peace through common development, Secretary-General António Guterres said: “Human development lights the way to hope — promoting prevention, security, and peace”. He added that advancing peace and sustainable, inclusive development must go hand-in-hand.
Developing countries — particularly least developed countries — are being battered by a “perfect storm of crises”, including crushing debt burdens, evaporating fiscal space, and soaring prices, he said. With 85 per cent of the Goals missing their mark, he called on the international community to act with greater urgency and ambition.
He proposed a set of concrete actions that the international community can take now — including a Sustainable Development Goals Stimulus of $500 billion a year to reduce debt burdens and release resources for long-term, affordable financing from multilateral and private sources. “To secure peace and advance development, we must jettison the self-defeating logic of zero-sum competition, recommit to cooperation, and summon the courage to compromise,” with the Council at the heart of this vital effort.
President of the New Development Bank Dilma Rousseff, briefing the Council, said poverty alone does not explain violence. She emphasized the interconnectedness and mutual reinforcement of development, peace, security and human rights, and underscored the need for technologically inclusive development. The growing concentration of wealth in the hands of the few has increased inequalities in developing countries while also creating poverty and speculation, she said.
Jeffrey Sachs, President of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network and Director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University, said major wars can be addressed through diplomacy rather than violence. By addressing the underlying political and economic factors, the Security Council can establish conditions for peace and sustainable development. It is vested with considerable powers and able to enforce its resolutions if it chooses to do so.
In the ensuing debate, many speakers supported the promotion of development to prevent conflict, while also highlighting that novel and innovative development solutions are needed, as well as reforms to current mechanisms and frameworks and requisite finance.
China’s representative, whose delegation holds the Council’s rotating presidency for the month, said “development holds the master key” to solving all problems and is the basis for promoting peace and protecting human rights. He called for mutual respect and common development in support of peace, and on developed countries to fulfil their obligation to provide assistance to developing countries, allowing them to benefit from digital technology, clean energy and artificial intelligence.
The representative of Gabon called for massive investments in development, focusing in particular on education, poverty eradication and youth employment to protect them from networks of violence and exploitation. The international community also should move beyond the multilateral sphere to mobilize the public and private sectors, including civil society, to establish a genuine global pact for socioeconomic development.
Societies which fairly distribute the dividends of development are less likely to see social unrest and discontent, Chile’s delegate said. The Council must adopt a sequential approach when it comes to developing peace operation mandates, setting forth long- and medium-term goals involving verification on the ground and implementation strategies.
The representative of the United Arab Emirates pointed to the relationship between vulnerability, climate change and armed conflict, and called on the Council to embrace innovative approaches to see conflicts through a climate-sensitive lens. “We have a window of opportunity to integrate climate action and development. It is critical to seize this moment.” She urged a quantum leap in climate financing.
Leaving no one behind has become difficult to achieve, and virtually impossible after the pandemic and various conflicts, said Ecuador’s speaker. He urged more attention to the needs of countries in conflict or transition, as well as the complementary work of peacekeeping and special political missions to facilitate access to multilateral financing. Over-indebtedness, due to an unjust financial architecture and limited access to concessional financing, contributes to fragility, he said.
The representative of the Russian Federation said that development issues must first and foremost be dealt with by the Organization’s specialized platforms, including the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council and the Organization’s development system. Weighing in, however, he said developed countries are not honouring their official development assistance and climate finance obligations to the Global South yet are eagerly increasing weapons deliveries to conflict zones.
ANTÓNIO GUTERRES, Secretary-General of the United Nations, said the vital link between development and sustaining peace has defined the United Nations, which was built on three pillars — peace, development and human rights, from the very start. “Development by itself is not enough to secure peace. But development is essential,” he emphasized, adding that no peace is secure without inclusive and sustainable development that leaves no one behind, as recognized in the 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Development gains are often among the first casualties of war; the closer a country is to conflict, the farther it is from sustainable and inclusive development. Nine of the 10 countries with the lowest human development indicators have experienced conflicts or violence in the past 10 years. “Inequalities and lack of opportunities, decent jobs, and freedom can breed frustration and raise the spectre of violence and instability,” he said, noting weak institutions and corruption, environmental degradation, and violent extremist and terrorist groups, among factors that aggravate insecurities and corrode effective governance.
“Human development lights the way to hope — promoting prevention, security, and peace”, so advancing peace and advancing sustainable, inclusive development must go hand-in-hand, he said. Noting that 85 per cent of “SDG” targets are off- track, he called on the international community to act with far greater urgency and ambition. Developing countries — particularly least developed countries — are being battered by a perfect storm of crises, including crushing debt burdens, evaporating fiscal space, and soaring prices. Moreover, escalating climate catastrophe, widening inequalities, and worsening unemployment and poverty, and the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and unequal recovery, combined, is “a recipe for social strife, political instability, and, ultimately, open conflict,” he warned. “We must do more to support countries in dire straits,” he said, adding that he has been advocating for bold steps to make global institutions — including the international financial architecture — more representative of today’s realities, and more responsive to the needs of developing economies.
He proposed a set of concrete actions that the international community can take now – including an “SDG” Stimulus of $500 billion a year to reduce debt burdens and release resources for long-term, affordable financing from multilateral and private sources. “Each and every day, the women and men of the United Nations are bringing to life the link between peace, development and justice in our work around the world,” he said. UN country teams are spearheading efforts to support national priorities for sustainable and inclusive development, while UN peacekeeping operations are assisting Member States as they manage and resolve conflicts. His special envoys and the Organization’s special political missions are facilitating political processes and mediating and preventing the eruption of open conflict. He called on Member States to strengthen the Peacebuilding Commission and enhance its effectiveness. The Security Council, in particular, could more systematically seek the Commission’s advice on the peacebuilding dimensions of the mandates of peace operations, he emphasized.
“We are proud of our work. But we also know that more must be done to join up humanitarian, peace and development efforts,” he continued. Underlining the Organization’s commitment to more firmly link actions for peace with the “SDGs”, he urged more determined action to strengthen prevention, anchored in full respect for all human rights. He also called for “the transformation of gendered and intergenerational power dynamics across the board”, stressing: “It is past time for action to ensure women and young people’s meaningful participation and leadership in decision-making, eradicate all forms of violence against women and uphold women’s rights.” The New Agenda for Peace sets out a vision for preventing conflict, sustaining peace and advancing development that “applies to everyone, in all countries, at all times”. “To secure peace and advance development, we must jettison the self-defeating logic of zero-sum competition, recommit to cooperation, and summon the courage to compromise. The Security Council must be at the heart of this vital effort,” he said.
DILMA ROUSSEFF, President of the New Development Bank, said that cooperation among countries that are conducive to dialogue and consensus is a guiding principle for achieving peace and development. She recalled that, in 2011, when she was President of Brazil, she proposed a debate on the interdependence between security and development, emphasizing that reconstruction and revitalization of economy are crucial elements for long-term development. Noting that sustainable peace requires taking into account the causes of the social-economic situation, she said that poverty alone does not explain violence. Not all individuals or groups suffering from poverty resort to aggression, she observed, stating that social, political and economic exclusion can fuel conflicts.
Emphasizing the interconnectedness and mutual reinforcement of development, peace, security and human rights, she underscored the need for technologically inclusive development. The growing concentration of wealth in the hands of the few has increased inequalities in developing countries while also creating poverty and speculation. Noting that the weak regulation of international finance has failed to prevent recurring rises linked to financialization, she said that regulatory measures recommended after the 2008-2009 financial crisis have failed to prevent the occurrence of new speculative bubbles or excessive liquidity problems. Moreover, since the last global financial crisis, globalization has weakened, in addition to being impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and geopolitical tensions.
“We have a mission to empower the UN and reform the Bretton Woods institutions,” she said, advocating against double standards applied during crises. She recognized that the climate crisis has not been addressed conforming to the decisions made at international environmental forums, noting that the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on climate change have never materialized. Stressing that the poorest countries need resources to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, she unscored the need for consensus between developed and developing countries. She also observed that many countries have not reached the third industrial and technological revolution, emphasizing that the technological gap and digital divide create inequalities.
JEFFREY SACHS, President of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network and Director of the Center for Sustainable Development, Columbia University, said today’s meeting takes place at a time of major wars in Ukraine, Israel-Palestine, Syria and the Sahel. These wars may seem intractable, but all four could be ended quickly by Security Council agreement. For one thing, major wars are fed from the outside, both with external finances and armaments. The Council could agree to “choke off” these wars by withholding such external means, which would require agreement among the major Powers. These wars result from economic and political factors, which can be addressed through diplomacy rather than violence. By addressing the underlying political and economic factors, the Council can establish conditions for peace and sustainable development.
He said that the war in Ukraine has two main political causes — the attempt by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to include Ukraine, despite the timely and repeated objections by the Russian Federation, and the East-West ethnic division in Ukraine. The Council could quickly end the war by addressing its underlying political and economic causes. He recommended the Council’s establishment of a new peace and development fund to mobilize financing for Ukraine and other war zones leading to recovery and long-term sustainable development. The war in Israel and Palestine could be ended quickly if the Council enforces the many resolutions it passed over several decades, such as those calling for a return to the 1967 borders, the end of Israel’s settlement activities in the occupied territories, and the two-State solution. The Council should immediately recognize the State of Palestine and welcome it as a full UN member, with East Jerusalem as its capital and with sovereign control over the Islamic holy sites.
The Council could similarly end the war in Syria, which erupted in 2011 when several regional Powers and the United States joined forces to topple the Government of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, he said. This deeply misguided regime change operation failed, but it triggered a prolonged war with enormous bloodshed and destruction. All five permanent Council members are in full agreement that all regime-change attempts are now permanently ended and that the Council intends to work closely with the Syrian Government on reconstruction and development. On the economic side, Syria's best hope is to become closely integrated into the eastern Mediterranean and Middle East region. As for the war in the Sahel, it has similar roots, given that NATO Powers similarly aimed to overthrow the regime of Muammar Qaddafi in 2011, which quickly spilled over to the Sahel’s impoverished countries.
All five permanent member countries and indeed the whole world have suffered adverse consequences from the continuation of these wars. All countries are paying a price in terms of financial burdens, economic instability, risks of terrorism and risks of wider war. The Security Council is in a position to take decisive actions to end the wars before they escalate into even more dangerous conflicts. It is vested with considerable powers by the UN Charter when it has the resolve of its members. It can introduce peacekeepers and even armies. It can impose economic sanctions on countries that do not comply with Council resolutions. It can provide security guarantees to nations and it can make referrals to the International Criminal Court to stop war crimes. In short, the Council is certainly able to enforce its resolutions if it chooses to do so. For the sake of global peace, let the Council now choose to end these wars.
ZHANG JUN (China), Council President for November, speaking in his national capacity, said “development holds the master key” to solve all problems and constitutes the basis for promoting peace and protecting human rights. Convening the open debate to advocate for a broader view of security issues, his delegation called for mutual respect and common development to support maintaining international peace. Some countries use democracy and human rights as a pretext to “blatantly interfere” in other States’ internal affairs and to impose governance models. “We must fully respect each country’s right to choose its own development path” and governance model according to national conditions, he said. Externally imposed models are often incompatible with local environments and have generated more problems. He rejected protectionism and attempts by certain developed countries to obstruct cooperation by building barriers. Developed countries have the obligation and responsibility to provide assistance to developing countries, allowing them to benefit from the emerging industries of digital technology, clean energy and artificial intelligence, he added.
MANUEL JOSÉ GONÇALVES, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Mozambique, said sustainable, inclusive development is the only way to achieve durable and resilient peace. He called for bold measures to put the SDGs on track, lest increasing inequality in and between countries raise the potential for conflict. To ensure peace, he advocated a comprehensive and coordinated approach among Member States with an emphasis on common development. Economic, social and inclusive development should be given the same attention as military matters.
He noted that his country established the Northern Integrated Development Agency to promote the integrated socioeconomic development of the affected provinces of Cabo Delgado, Nampula and Niassa, and improve the quality of life of communities, and promote sustainable peace, social cohesion and resilience to conflicts. He called on Member States to promote development through technology provision, economic investment and development assistance.
LINDA THOMAS-GREENFIELD (United States) said that the promotion and strengthening of human rights are not conflict drivers, as others have said. However, proactive action is necessary, given the difficulties in taking action after conflict has broken out. As conflict is the number-one cause of hunger, which is a driving force of conflict, “it is our job to disrupt that cycle”, noting that in 2022, the United States provided over half of the budget of the World Food Programme (WFP) budget. Together with the Group of Seven, it is committed to mobilize $600 billion in new investment by 2027 through the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment. As the world’s major economies mobilize financing for development, responsible and transparent lending must be ensured. 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 added.
NICOLAS DE RIVIÈRE (France) said that in light of the magnitude of international tensions, it is the duty of the Member States to revisit and review their means of action and tackle the root causes of conflict. Noting that the conflicts are intrinsically tied to development, he emphasized that climate change and environmental degradation are additional factors of instability. The New Agenda for Peace offers an opportunity for collective commitment of nations, as it merges developmental support for political processes, respect for human rights and the delivery of peacekeeping operations. France has contributed to this strategy’s development, contributing to the mobilization of $16 billion for the Great Green Wall project, which aims to combat the effects of climate change, deforestation, food insecurity and poverty, from Senegal to Djibouti.
VANESSA FRAZIER (Malta) said sustainable development is an enabler of conflict prevention and peacebuilding, as it unlocks transformative change in societies, enhances adaptation, mitigation and resilience to current and future shocks. Malta underscores the importance of human rights, democracy, the rule of law and good governance, together with inclusive and sustainable development. It calls for a whole-of-system approach towards peacebuilding and further cooperation between UN bodies, including the Security Council, the General Assembly, and the Economic and Social Council, as well as the Peacebuilding Commission and Human Rights Council. Inclusive development requires the collective recognition of the specific needs of women and girls, in both conflict and post-conflict situations. Malta calls for their full, equal, meaningful, effective and safe participation in all spheres and levels of public and political life. Access to inclusive and quality education and empowerment opportunities also is a critical precondition to eradicating poverty, achieving gender equality and closing the digital gap.
MICHEL XAVIER BIANG (Gabon) highlighted that several epicenters of instability in Africa have become chronic and forgotten, including in the Sahel, Horn of Africa, Great Lakes region and the Lake Chad Basin. He called for massive investments in development, because tackling the root causes of State fragility will bring more benefits than dwelling on the crises’ symptoms. He echoed the Secretary-General that the best defence against violent conflict is inclusive development that leaves nobody behind. Investments should focus in particular on education, poverty eradication and youth employment to protect them from networks of violence and exploitation. A unified, diversified response is needed to help fragile States extricate themselves from multidimensional crises. In that regard, international financial institutions, such as the African Development Bank, are of paramount importance. The international community also should move beyond the multilateral sphere to mobilize the public and private sectors, including civil society, to establish a genuine global pact for socioeconomic development.
LANA ZAKI NUSSEIBEH (United Arab Emirates) said that investing in development pays the dividends of peace. The relationship between vulnerability, climate change and armed conflict must be addressed and the Council should embrace innovative approaches to see conflicts through a climate-sensitive lens. “We have a window of opportunity to integrate climate action and development. It is critical to seize this moment.” She also called for ensuring sustainable and equitable access to finance, including via reform of the international financial architecture to ensure that developing countries have access to low-cost, long-term financing. There must also be “a quantum leap” in climate financing, she added.
SÉRGIO FRANÇA DANESE (Brazil) said “underinvestment in prevention and in economic and social development has contrasted with the appalling increase in military expenditure and the reinforcement of approaches that respond to immediate security concerns”. Supporting conflict-affected countries in their journey towards peace and prosperity must be a system-wide commitment by the UN. He warned that the promises of peace are fickle and the relapse into conflict more likely without concrete advances in economic and social development. The international financial institutions must act as partners for the implementation of the SDGs, especially by financing capacity-building initiatives related to peacebuilding and conflict prevention. Instead of demanding austere fiscal policies, they must aim at projects that create conditions for economic and social inclusion and, therefore, bring about sustainable peace, he added.
ISHIKANE KIMIHIRO (Japan) said that providing necessary infrastructure and economic opportunities for all will help reduce grievances and lower social instability. To ensure that people have faith in their Governments, basic services — health, education and security — must be delivered to the public. Moreover, all development initiatives should be inclusive. To that end, Japan, in collaboration with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), has launched a multi-stakeholder pledge on the humanitarian, development and peace nexus for the upcoming second Global Refugee Forum. For its part, the Council should encourage cooperation and coordination between peace operations and UN country teams, agencies, funds and programmes, with the Resident Coordinator system supporting host countries in improving capacities of their people and institutions, he said.
ALBANA DAUTLLARI (Albania) said the best way to prevent or resolve conflicts is by staying true to the commitments Member States made to each other for an international rules-based order. Countries that act in ways that violate these commitments, such as infringing on another’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, or by trying to pressure another country into acting against its own interest, undermine the security of every nation. Further, such action undermines the international system that upholds peace and security around the world. Respect for human rights and the rights of women are also important factors in promoting development, sustaining peace and preventing conflict. The traditional approach of addressing security challenges in isolation is increasingly impractical in a globalized world. Equitable access to financing, UN peacekeeping operations, special political missions and other UN presences can play an important role in creating conducive conditions for peace and development.
ADRIAN DOMINIK HAURI (Switzerland), highlighting the link between peace, development and human rights, said: “We need trust, dialogue and good faith; and we need to address our differences openly and honestly”. If trust between States is vital for international cooperation, trust between Governments and their populations is integral to the functioning of societies. Low levels of trust indicate weak social cohesion, which is closely linked to high levels of economic inequality. The New Agenda for Peace contains important recommendations for action, he said, adding that the Council should reinforce a holistic approach to fulfilling the conflict prevention mandate envisaged by the United Nations Charter. He also underscored the need to integrate the women, peace and security dimension into the Council’s work.
HERNÁN PÉREZ LOOSE (Ecuador) said that prevention is the best tool to maintain peace and security. Leaving no one behind has become difficult to achieve and virtually impossible after the pandemic and various conflicts. He urged more attention to the needs of countries in conflict or transition, as well as the complementary work of peacekeeping and special political missions to facilitate access to multilateral financing. Over-indebtedness, due to an unjust financial architecture and limited access to concessional financing, contributes to fragility. Emerging from conflict is not enough — satisfying a population’s needs is also required, which implies public investment in basic services including health, education and infrastructure. Public and private sectors, including civil society, must unite efforts towards institutional transparency and integrity. He called for implementation of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development, as well as allocation by developed countries of 0.7 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) to official development assistance (ODA), and between 0.15 to 0.2 per cent for least developed countries.
JAMES KARIUKI (United Kingdom) said that the United Kingdom is committed to development partnerships founded on mutual respect that support national efforts to reduce poverty and instability. Crucial to this will be standing up for the values of open and inclusive societies and promoting gender equality. Under a new framework launched today, the Government of the United Kingdom will champion action to address conflict and fragility and build resilience. To sustain peace, Member States need to identify and address risk factors, such as horizontal inequality and discrimination, and strengthen protective factors that mitigate risks, he added. As a decades-long international development partner, the United Kingdom has learned that effective prevention efforts engage multiple stakeholders, at all levels, in multi-sector responses.
HAROLD ADLAI AGYEMAN (Ghana) said that embracing inclusive development as the foreguard of the prevention agenda would be an important means for ensuring long-term peace and prosperity for all. Multilateralism remains critical to serve collective and individual national interests, but it and the UN Charter must be applied and respected equally. He called for genuine reform of the international financial system, saying it is not fit for purpose. Full implementation of the SDG stimulus package is needed for progress. Member States should consider ways to fund the UN development system and determine ways the UN can truly act as one in supporting national Government efforts to sustain peace and create inclusive prosperity. The Peacebuilding Commission and the synergy of its actions with those of the Council is important to building peace. He highlighted the advantage of networked multilateralism through strengthening partnerships with regional bodies, such as the African Union.
VASSILY A. NEBENZIA (Russian Federation) said that development issues must first and foremost be dealt with by the Organization’s specialized platforms, including the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council and the Organization’s development system. Developed countries are not honouring their ODA and climate finance obligations to the Global South yet are eagerly increasing weapons deliveries to conflict zones, he added. Syria, Afghanistan and countries in Africa face unilateral restrictions and blockades which undermine their ability to attract international financing, technical assistance and capacity-building, he continued, urging the UN to assist these countries in building a network of effective and sustainable development partnerships. The allocation of funds to countries in need is not enough, he said, emphasizing the need to mobilize vast financial and non-financial resources for Global South countries to implement the 2030 Agenda and “to ensure that they can jettison colonial economic models and embark on independent development paths”.
PÉTER SZIJJÁRTÓ, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary, said his continent has been confronted with serious security-related challenges, pointing to the Ukraine war and Middle East conflict. Hungary is protecting the European Union’s external borders on the “most busy” migratory route, he said, adding that the bloc’s migratory policy encourages migration and feeds the business model of smugglers. Terrorism and migration are forming an “evil cycle”, he said, highlighting the threat of terrorism in Europe. Observing that the major migratory risk stems from the Sahel region, he reported that Hungary has deployed 200 troops to Chad to help that country’s regular forces to create stability. Europe should help the African countries “to keep their growing population at home”, he said, urging job creation and appropriate living standards. To that end, Budapest has been carrying out tied aid credit programmes of $40 million in the region, also contributing $30 million in aid and, every year, 1,425 African students receive full-fledged scholarships to study at Hungarian universities.
GERARDO PEÑALVER PORTAL (Cuba) said that international peace and security are consistently threatened by conflicts, acts of aggression, non-conventional wars, embargoes, attempts at regime change and frequent violations of the UN Charter and international law. Cuba is extremely concerned at the serious escalation of violence between Israel and Palestine, he said, reaffirming support for the two-State solution and a guarantee of refugees’ right of return. Exorbitant resources are being squandered on sophisticated artifacts to kill, whilst States leave commitments to ODA unfulfilled, he said. Further, unilateral coercive measures seriously hinder the efforts of affected countries and prevents them from achieving their SDGs. The international community must firmly reject their imposition and work for their unconditional removal. A sustained and lasting peace requires the eradication of its root causes in conflict, he added.
AHMED MOHAMED EZZAT AHMED ELSHANDAWILY (Egypt) said the only way to prevent conflicts is by implementing the sustainable development agenda. He called for comprehensively addressing development alongside peace and security as two sides of the same coin. As African countries continue to suffer from terrorism and instability, intensifying efforts to advance peace can accelerate national reconciliation and help achieve prosperity. He called for mobilizing resources to create the right conditions for economic development, with foreign investment and job opportunities based on the principle of national ownership. “We need collective action to reform the global financial system and increase financing for development.” Beyond alleviating debt burdens, he called for combating terrorism, cutting off its financing sources, and confronting extremist ideology.
VATHAYUDH VICHANKAIYAKIJ (Thailand) said that local development needs should be integrated in every step towards peace. The Summit of the Future should help address poverty eradication, the development gap and the digital divide. People-centred approaches are vital in overcoming multi-faceted challenges, he said, adding that inclusivity is an inherent principle in this. Wider and more robust global partnerships are needed to promote sustained peace through development, he said, adding that the Council must engage with other UN bodies, such as the Peacebuilding Commission and the General Assembly, to better incorporate their development expertise into its work, thus ensuring a more holistic approach to mandate delivery.
GIANLUCA GRECO (Italy), associating himself with the statement to be delivered by the European Union, said that anytime a country violates international law, it becomes itself a driver of conflicts and insecurity, hampering development. Member States must untap the potential of the UN toolbox linking the development agenda with peace and security and must support the UN system and its agencies, funds and programmes, politically and financially. As the world’s largest global donor and as a promoter of rules-based, effective multilateralism, the European Union has been tirelessly pursuing peace, development and human rights. Italy has just doubled the annual contribution to the Peacebuilding Fund and is committed to ensuring adequate, predictable and sustained financing for peacebuilding, he added.
ALICIA GUADALUPE BUENROSTRO MASSIEU (Mexico) recalled that, in 2021, Mexico’s President had asserted in the Council that corruption, exclusion, poverty and inequality impede conflict resolution. A presidential statement in that regard was adopted. She noted that the situation of insecurity in Haiti is not only a consequence of a political crisis but is also related to development. She urged the Council to discharge its mandate to maintain international peace and security. She added that peacekeeping missions must contribute to national development strategies and underscored the need for adopting an integrated and coherent approach, which establishes synergies between political, security and development stakeholders inside and outside the UN system. To tackle multidimensional challenges, it is vital to recognize the need for a “wholesale reform” of international financial institutions, she added.
SEDAT ÖNAL (Türkiye) said that sustainable peace and development requires nurturing inclusive, resilient and accountable institutions as well as a holistic and integrated approach towards poverty reduction, capacity-building, job creation, education, health care, economic opportunity and political participation, among other things. Sustainable peace also requires effectively addressing the root causes of conflicts and instability. Sustainable development is the cornerstone for achieving lasting peace across the globe, but it cannot thrive in the shadows of conflict and insecurity. In this same vein, peace cannot be achieved where sustainable development is absent. More than ever, a world where the benefits of development are shared by all — particularly the least developed countries — is needed, he said.
YOKA BRANDT (Netherlands), also speaking on behalf of Belgium and Luxembourg, said that peace, development and human rights are an “unbreakable triangle”. To achieve the SDGs, she highlighted two vital reforms — the UN development system and the international financial architecture. She firmly supported reforming the Resident Coordinator system in particular to ensure a focus on all sides of the triangle at the country level. She echoed the Secretary-General’s remarks that the multilateral system is insufficiently equipped to address today’s development challenges and needs to further mobilize capital for SDG and climate financing. Efforts must be stepped up, including by reaching out to non-traditional donors through trilateral cooperation.
TESFAYE YILMA SABO (Ethiopia), describing extreme poverty as the most potent underlying cause of conflict, said that development plans must focus on the local context and national ownership. Countries must do their best to mobilize resources and expand their revenue base. Trade and financing should enable developing countries to convert their natural resources into productive economic assets. International cooperation needs to focus on enabling States to exploit their natural resources, he added. In addition, there is a clear imbalance between the investments made by peacekeeping missions and the resources allocated to national development, with national institutions in host countries having constrained access to international financial, economic and other areas of cooperation. This needs to be addressed, he said.
MARISKA DWIANTI DHANUTIRTO (Indonesia) said that in Gaza, “we are losing on both fronts”. There is no peace and development or hope for its people. “Violence must stop. Aid must be delivered. Civilians must be protected, and livelihoods restored.” To achieve peace and security, addressing the root causes of conflict must be the priority, and the basic needs of populations addressed. As the capacities of conflict-affected countries must be strengthened, the Council should provide a well-targeted mandate for all peacekeeping operations and special political missions to help them create a strong foundation for long-term and sustained social and economic development. To that end, the inclusive and meaningful participation of all national stakeholders is also needed.
ROBERT KEITH RAE (Canada) said that to succeed, Member States do not need new global initiatives produced by individual countries; rather, they need to implement the foundational documents they have already agreed upon. Sustainable peace and sustainable development cannot be achieved without respecting the human dignity of every individual, he said, adding: “we will not achieve sustainable peace or sustainable development if people continue to be excluded on the basis of their race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion.” Everyone should benefit from equal participation in economic, political, social and cultural life, he said, calling for greater financing for developing countries and reform of the international financial architecture. “But we cannot expect to achieve sustainable development when half of the global population is suppressed,” he said, observing that “tyranny is no friend to development”.
CLAUDIO ERNESTO GARRIDO MELO (Chile) said peace and security are crucial components of any prosperous society. However, peace is not simply the absence of armed conflict. States must be capable to tackle the underlying causes of discord as well as fostering peaceful coexistence of all, as an antidote to despair and marginalization. Development, by offering prospects for a better future, reduces the motivation to participate in violent activities. Moreover, equitable access to resources and opportunities reduces competition and clashes. Societies which fairly distribute the dividends of development are less likely to see social unrest and discontent. Economic and social equity is a solid foundation on which to build a lasting peace. The Council must adopt a sequential approach when it comes to developing peace operation mandates, setting forth long- and medium-term goals involving verification on the ground and implementation strategies.
ANTONIO MANUEL REVILLA LAGDAMEO (Philippines) said that it is important for the Council and development agencies to coordinate closely for economic and social reconstruction. Recognizing the importance of narrowing digital and development divides, he supported UN-led efforts to build robust digital infrastructure and to promote technology transfer. The Philippines has been committed to its role in UN peacekeeping operations since 1963 and it intends to increase its footprint in that regards. International collaboration and a rules-based order is crucial to assist conflict-affected countries, enhance capacity-building for development and strengthen resilience to security risks. International financial institutions play a crucial role in providing necessary resources to rebuild post-conflict areas, enhance governance capacities, strengthen justice systems and invest in education and skill development, he added.
BJÖRN OLOF SKOOG, Head of Delegation of the European Union, in its capacity as observer, said development is key, not only for a country’s stability, but also for peace and stability among countries. Hence, it is a global imperative. Economic development alone, however, will not be sufficient to ensure stability if human rights are not respected and if people suffer discrimination. Moreover, individuals, in particular women and young people, must also be at the heart of the response as agents of change in resolving conflict, longer-term development impacts and in building sustainable and lasting peace. The European Union believes that achieving the SDGs is key, and together with its member States, collectively provided $92.8 billion in 2022, which amounts to 43 per cent of global assistance. Since December 2022, the bloc has rolled out the Global Gateway, a strategy for sustainable investments in infrastructure globally. It will contribute directly to progress on a range of interlinked SDGs, notably through investment in transport, energy and digitalization infrastructure, as well as health and education.
He noted that these projects are initiated in full partnership with the countries concerned. Their macrofinancial impact is minimized through grants, blending public and private funds, and innovative financial instruments. Such development projects will not be a game-changer, however, if development finance and debt alleviation are not addressed. At the UN level, there are several tools that link the development agenda with peace and security. The Peacebuilding Commission is one of them. Its ability to convene UN bodies, donors and development banks makes it a suitable forum to discuss how development can promote peacebuilding. At the operational level, the Peacebuilding Fund has proven to be a useful instrument in supporting coordinated efforts across the humanitarian development-peace nexus. However, these key parts of the UN must be adequately resourced.
MICHAEL ALEXANDER GEISLER (Germany), aligning himself with the European Union, said that approaches to address the root causes of conflict must be strengthened and mainstreamed. “Closely interlinking our humanitarian, development and peace efforts is key.” Noting that Germany is the biggest donor to the Peacebuilding Fund, he said that more funding and investment is needed for the Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace agenda. All Member States should agree on the introduction of assessed contributions to meet the growing need for Peacebuilding Fund support among conflict-affected countries. The Peacebuilding Commission should be the central UN forum to coordinate and streamline efforts in this field, but more is needed for peace financing and investment. He went on to welcome the Secretary-General’s suggestion to enhance the Commission’s role in addressing issues that lie between peace and development.
SAMUEL ŽBOGAR (Slovenia), associating himself with the European Union, said inequality, poverty, social injustice, water scarcity, food insecurity and climate change are the most evident causes of social fragility. Pointing to his country’s development cooperation programme in a partner country in Africa, he said that civil society partners, in response to acute food and water insecurity, introduce sustainable agricultural practices and sustainable access to safe drinking water. As they establish cooperatives and savings schemes for local communities, they use the entry points for social cohesion among the displaced, refugee and host populations through awareness-raising campaigns against sexual and gender-based violence. Coordinated humanitarian assistance, development cooperation and peacebuilding represent a building block for prevention, he said, urging stakeholders — donors and recipients alike — to work together to better align the financial institutions, SDGs and collective security mechanisms.
MICHAEL KIBOINO (Kenya) said that the Council should shift from short-term stabilization approaches and put more focus instead on long-term context-specific solutions. It should also recognize the role and unique needs of women and youth. Peacekeeping and special political missions can partner with host countries to facilitate inclusive community-level reconstruction and serve as a pivot of the peacekeeping, peacebuilding and development nexus. The Council should not only make more use of the Peacebuilding Commission’s advice, but also actualize the ambition of multiple funding streams, including voluntary, innovative, and assessed financing. Furthermore, the Council must support countries to curb the illicit exploitation and trade in natural resources that has contributed to underdevelopment and conflict in many African countries, he said.
ANA JIMENEZ DE LA HOZ (Spain), aligning with the European Union in its capacity as observer, said Spain advocates a comprehensive approach to international peace and security. This involves addressing humanitarian assistance, development, human rights, climate action and women’s effective and equal participation. Further, international financial institutions play a key role in the promotion of peace and sustainable development. In this regard, Spain favours maximizing the financing capacity of multilateral development banks as well as exploring ways in which the international financial architecture can be made more effective, inclusive, transparent, and ultimately, more democratic. To build peace, a particular emphasis must also be placed on tackling the root causes of conflict, as well as on consolidating institutions and, she reiterated, guaranteeing women’s full participation in political, economic and social life.
OMAR HILALE (Morocco) said that investing in development means investing in peace. One of the most effective ways to maintain peace and prevent conflict is to build national capacities, invest in human resources, empower women and youth and consolidate national institutions. International financial institutions have a key tangible role to play in mobilizing resources for conflict-affected countries with very limited budgetary space, he said. Appropriate and predictable financing for mediation efforts is key, but investments have been insufficient in recent years. Under South-South cooperation, Morocco is working tirelessly through many multidimensional partnerships with fellow African countries to advance socioeconomic development on the continent, he said.
YASHAR T. ALIYEV (Azerbaijan) said his country has undertaken efforts to become a key transport hub between Europe and Asia, despite decades of armed conflict with devastating humanitarian and economic impact. Supporting conflict-affected States must remain a critical commitment of the UN. Since his country’s war with Armenia ended three years ago, Azerbaijan has prioritized the de-mining, rehabilitation and reconstruction of the liberated territories and their reintegration into the country’s economy to ensure the safe and dignified return of the displaced population and the high standard of living. It now expects Armenia to “strictly abide by its international obligations, cease and desist from disinformation and misinformation and engage faithfully in efforts to build peace and stability in the region”.
DANG HOANG GIANG (Vietnam) said the Council must take a leading role in resolving conflict and preventing an arms race so that more resources can be channelled to development. It must put a high premium on addressing development-related root causes of conflict through, for example, eradicating hunger and poverty, safeguarding livelihoods and ensuring social cohesion. The UN, and the Council in particular, should take a whole-of-system approach to promoting sustainable peace and development and to breaking the vicious cycle of conflict and poverty. The work of the Council, as well as peacekeeping and special political missions, must align with implementation of the SDGs and international development initiatives. Adequate financing is needed for development challenges in conflict areas, he said, adding that the Council must also address emerging threats to both development and security, including climate change.
HYUN WOO CHO (Republic of Korea), noting his country’s transformation from a least developed country to one of the most advanced, said its development of a society that values democracy, freedom and rule of law allowed resilience, despite the challenges of economic growth. While his country has been able to narrow the development gap through foreign investment, technology transfer, and development assistance, narrowing the gap alone will not achieve sustainable peace. The international community must stand united, with the UN at its core, in supporting developing countries to address simultaneously today’s complex challenges, namely, development, climate and digital divide gaps. His country will share its experience and provide necessary support in this regard. It also aims to double this year’s 21.3 per cent increase in next year’s ODA budget. The Council should pay increased attention to climate change and artificial intelligence and digital technologies as these are directly related to peace and security, not only of fragile States, but also regionally and globally, he added.
HRVOJE ĆURIĆ HRVATINIĆ (Croatia), aligning himself with the European Union, said that addressing root causes requires a holistic approach, working across peace and security, development and human rights. Conflicts can be mitigated or resolved by promoting dialogue and fostering inclusive mediation processes, he noted, underscoring the need for fair and efficient institutions and processes for an environment conducive to achieving Sustainable Development Goals. Synergies between sustaining peace, peacebuilding and sustainable development should be utilized in a systemic manner. “Attaining the 2030 Agenda is dependent on our success in sustaining peace as a global public good. We all have a stake in it,” he said, adding that the Peacebuilding Commission is well-placed to bring on national ownership and to support countries in sustaining peace and preventing conflict.
MARTHINUS CHRISTOFFEL JOHANNES VAN SCHALKWYK (South Africa) said countries that experience armed conflict often face challenges in development and are far behind schedule in achieving the SDGs. This is primarily because violence and its drivers reduce a country’s abilities to generate domestic revenue and attract international investment. He acknowledged the work by key agencies such as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in helping to eradicate poverty, inequality and exclusion, and build resilience. The primary function of peacekeeping operations is to protect civilians, actively prevent conflict, reduce violence, strengthen security and empower national authorities. Additionally, important work is carried out by quick impact projects. South Africa welcomes ongoing discussions around the New Agenda for Peace and the emphasis on the need to revisit the collective security system. It is important that these respond to the needs of all countries, based on trust, solidarity, diversity, but also mutual respect, commitment and honest fulfillment of international agreements.
MATEUS PEDRO LUEMBA (Angola) said that common development is a shared responsibility. Global governance should be restructured through comprehensive reform of the international financial architecture, building modern infrastructure, investing in education and accelerating agricultural modernization and industrial transformation. It is also important to promote gender equality and youth-inclusive policy to ensure their full participation in society. He added that common development cannot be discussed without proper attention to climate change. Energy transition and food security are essential tools for conflict prevention, he noted.
ZENON NGAY MUKONGO (Democratic Republic of Congo) said that at a time when several regions are on the brink of conflagration, the common development tool must be strengthened for the benefit of peace. Sustainable development contains the solutions to challenges faced by fragile countries. Transnational and global challenges are becoming increasingly complex and interdependent, evolving into a threat that no country can face alone. Efforts to achieve the SDGs are the most eloquent illustrations of “our needs and our focus”. He highlighted the occupation of part of his country, which has claimed the lives of many Congolese with more than 2.5 million internally displaced. The country looks to restore peace and urges the Council to take appropriate measures, including allowing the internally displaced to return home and children to go back to school. There should also be synergy between UN development work and regional and subregional organizations, and financing should be made more accessible, especially for the fragile countries.
TIJJANI MUHAMMAD BANDE (Nigeria) said that the root causes of conflicts are a complex mix of factors including poverty, inequality, irregular or forced migration, communal crises, organized crime, natural disasters, and climate change. There is no doubt that struggle over natural resources and their exploitation have been a major contributing factor to tensions and conflicts. Natural resources must be managed responsibly for the benefit of the population to prevent conflicts and enhance conditions necessary for human security, she said. The Council should focus on the exploitation of natural resources as one of the root causes of conflict, including criminalizing illegal exploitation as a crime against humanity. She called for taking a deeper view of this dimension of conflict, adding that the proliferation of small arms and light weapons and its connection with terrorism must be addressed.
MUNIR AKRAM (Pakistan) voiced support for the Peacebuilding Commission’s efforts to address the resolution of conflict situations through the promotion of development. “Yet no amount of development can bring peace when peoples are suppressed by foreign occupation and forcibly denied the right to self-determination, as is happening today in Palestine and has been happening also in occupied Jammu and Kashmir,” he said. Pledges and commitments made under the political declaration of the SDG Summit must be implemented, in particular, to expand concessional and grant development finance, re-channel the unused special drawing rights, provide urgent debt relief, and meet climate commitments, among others. The commitments and pledges made on development could be endorsed by the Council to transform them into binding obligations, he added.
JAMAL FARES ALROWAIEI (Bahrain) said that his country’s strategy for achieving peace and security in the Middle East is underpinned by the prosperity and security nexus. Spotlighting that Bahrain gives priority to peaceful conflict settlement, he called for putting an end to the unfolding Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Conflict and violence should not have the “upper hand”, he continued, adding that one of the Government of Bahrain’s priorities is to propagate the values of tolerance and interfaith dialogue. In that regard, he underscored the need for more investment and stronger international efforts to eliminate hunger and poverty to attain economic stability, adding that Bahrain provides humanitarian aid to several counties affected by conflict and natural disasters.
CHRISTINA MARKUS LASSEN (Denmark), speaking on behalf of the Nordic countries, said that in order to address the underlying drivers of insecurity, promoting the 2030 Agenda in its entirety and achieving the SDGs must remain the all-encompassing priority. First, inequalities between countries must be addressed. The global effects of climate change have worsened — and least developed countries carry the heaviest toll. They account for less than 4 per cent of total global greenhouse gas emissions yet are affected most by climate change. The destructive impact of that phenomenon drives inequality. Among those facing the most serious consequences of climate change are those living in small island developing States. Finding workable solutions is the joint responsibility of all States. The Nordic countries are committed to supporting climate-sensitive efforts for adaptation and mitigation in order to foster greater resilience.
She said that climate-sensitivity also could benefit from strengthened coherence of inter-agency analyses to underpin the work of peacekeeping operations and special political missions. In this regard, the New Agenda for Peace promotes key actions for addressing the link between peace and sustainable development. Delivering effective solutions on prevention, peacebuilding and sustaining peace requires multidimensional engagements. A fundamental requirement for delivering on these agendas is financing and addressing the debt burden which affects countries in transition contexts. The international financial institutions and regional development banks are critical in financing the transition towards sustainable development and peace, she said. The Nordic countries are committed to working with partners to advance their work for inclusion, in particular, of women and youth in the security agenda. Finally, efforts must be redoubled to achieve the full and effective operationalization of the humanitarian-development-peace nexus.
ISSA KONFOUROU (Mali) recalled that the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) had failed as the security situation in Mali deteriorated, prompting the Government to request its immediate withdrawal in June 2023. MINUSMA was unable to protect the civilian population and property, nor could it help the Government restore authority over its territory. In line with the Malian people’s sovereign choice to take their destiny into their own hands, the Government has undertaken significant political and institutional reforms, including the adoption of a new Constitution and building the capacities of Mali’s defence and security forces. He regretted that the Secretary-General and Security Council did not react to major developments, including a terrorist attack against Timbuktu on 7 October that killed several dozens of people.
JAMES MARTIN LARSEN (Australia) said the opportunity to discuss the relationship between peace and development affords all States the recognition that “for peace and prosperity, we must do better”. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development highlights the interconnectedness of the challenges the world is facing; therefore, concrete implementation of the SDGs must be a shared task. He called for a settlement of disputes through mutually agreed frameworks, upholding international law, including the UN Charter, and full respect for human rights. Committed to the New Agenda for Peace, his country plans to remedy the erosion of trust and social cohesion through democratic renewal and strengthening of the social contract, while striving to improve the inclusion of women and youth in political processes.
ALYA AHMED SAIF AL-THANI (Qatar) emphasized that no peace or sustainable development can be achieved under occupation and settler colonialism in any country. Pointing to the Israeli occupation’s illegal practices and genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity perpetrated against Palestinians in Gaza and other occupied Palestinian territory, she said the Council must uphold its moral and legal responsibility by compelling the Israeli occupation to put an end to the escalation and respect international law and international humanitarian law. She noted her country’s ongoing bilateral and multilateral efforts, including its strategic partnership with the United Nations, and called for investment in preventive diplomacy, early warning, mediation, dialogue and preventive efforts to address the root causes of conflict.
MARKOVA CONCEPCIÓN JARAMILLO (Panama) said that her country bears witness to the number of people forced to leave their homes, with more than 474,000 people moving through its territory this year, 20 per cent of them being minors and breastfeeding women. The most vulnerable members of societies are at greater risk of challenges that cannot be tackled by force. State institutions are the backbone of any society and their ability to be inclusive determines how far a nation will prosper. Stressing that systematic exclusion can turn into a breeding ground for mistrust and resentment, dividing communities and weakening the social fabric, she emphasized the importance of promoting inclusive institutions. The role of the United Nations and the Security Council to that end is crucial as it can promote capacity-building and knowledge sharing, she said.
ZEPHYRIN MANIRATANGA (Burundi) said it is no accident that the first SDG is the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger. Violence carried out by some armed groups stems from a low level of literacy and frustration, caused by poverty and the unequal distribution of economic growth within States. To achieve development, a new generation of special missions is needed which are not limited to humanitarian action. They should establish a direct bridge between peace and development, with a specific focus on national post-conflict programmes. He added that a paradigm shift is needed to unpick the international economic order under which fragile States struggle to relaunch their economies. A new economic and financial order is needed that will provide true added value for community development, he said.
TATIANA BÁRBARA MUÑOZ PONCE (Bolivia) said international peace and security will only be possible if underpinned by social justice, with all humans accessing quality education, health care, housing, basic services and recognition of their dignity. Unequal development has historically resulted from dispossession, occupation or colonization, leading to deeply rooted disparities across countries’ trajectories. It is inconceivable that thousands are desperately seeking food while billions of dollars are funneled into manufacturing weapons for war. She called for structural reform of the international financial architecture and adjustments to multilateral development banks. States must not fall foul of “hegemonizing processes” and must respect every State’s sovereignty for international cooperation to be based on complementarity and reciprocity. She called for sustainable development missions instead of UN peace missions to guarantee basic material conditions necessary for lasting peace. Building peace involves equity and justice across economic, social and environmental dimensions.
JOANNA SYLWIA SKOCZEK (Poland) said sustainable and inclusive development is both a goal and the world’s most effective form of conflict prevention and maintenance of peace. Peace efforts should therefore be anchored in the principles of the 2030 Agenda, which form the best framework to address major drivers of instability and conflict. “For the peace-development nexus to work, we need long-term strategies that reduce vulnerability and instability, such as efforts aimed at poverty alleviation and risk management,” she said, underscoring the need for increased cooperation among implementing agencies from across the humanitarian, development, disaster risk reduction, and climate sectors. She urged the United Nations and Security Council to be at the forefront of actions to strengthen resilience to international security risks.
JORGE EDUARDO FERREIRA SILVA ARANDA (Portugal) said human-centred approaches to development, which foster economic growth while improving the lives of the citizens, in harmony with nature, can successfully address some of the triggers of violence and war and can provide answers to some of the root causes of ongoing conflicts. “We need to keep connecting the dots between peace and development and human rights,” he said, noting that early warning mechanisms should be combined with data which better allows the identification of opportunities for development, including data on climate-related security risks, as well as existing bottlenecks. Noting his country’s 2030 Strategy for Development Cooperation, he said Portugal and Cape Verde have recently signed an agreement to convert debt into climate investment.
MADHU SUDAN RAVINDRAN (India) said that Member States should not lose focus by diluting or cherry picking — in name or substance — from the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Development is not sine qua non for peace or vice versa. “We need to ensure the indivisibility of the Sustainable Development Goals — thus working towards all 17 SDGs in unison,” he emphasized, observing that peace is elusive and development is a “distant dream” if “resource crunch” persists. In that regard, India, in different forums — including in its current Group of 20 presidency — has worked towards reforming international financial institutions. Also noting that peace seemed elusive when the UN struggled to restrain the “vaccine apartheid” during the pandemic or the rising inflation of food, fuel and fertilizers which unjustly affect the Global South, he added: “without representation the voice of the Global South is lost and forgotten”.
MOHAMED SIAD DOUALEH (Djibouti) said development is central to preventing and reducing conflicts. Aside from the obvious cost in destruction of infrastructure and loss of lives, mass displacement risks a lost generation of youth. Addressing the drivers of conflict is critical to supporting post-conflict countries in rebuilding their institutions, infrastructure and social services to ensure that development goals are not lost. New institutions should provide financing at scale to struggling economies in the developing world, with the ultimate aim of establishing a fairer and more equitable international financial system. Maximum support should be lent to vulnerable and fragile countries as they try to capacitate the State and build institutions that are fit for purpose. Further, to build a more peaceful and prosperous world, the Security Council should find solutions to the deepening gridlock that hampers effectiveness, authority and legitimacy — hugely negative implications for peace and security around the world.
EVANGELOS SEKERIS (Greece) said addressing root causes of conflict is key to achieving sustainable development, including by promoting social justice and political participation as well as protecting human rights. He called for investing in conflict prevention and peacebuilding, in addition to putting women and girls at the centre of security policy. It is more urgent than ever to strategically use official development finance to mobilize more resources and align investment in the SDGs. His delegation “cannot think of a higher priority” than protecting human life, when more than 500,000 women die every year from pregnancy-related complications. The peaceful settlement of disputes is a main priority of Greece’s candidacy for the Security Council for the 2025 to 2026 term.
RAFIQUL ALAM MOLLA (Bangladesh) said that sustaining peace relies heavily on eliminating the root causes of conflict and creating a social and financial system that meets the needs of the people and reduces risks of conflict. The multiple and interlocking crises in the world today are impeding the development initiatives of many developing countries, placing them at an increased risk of relapsing into conflict. Asserting that the ongoing financial crisis has made the situation unbearable for many least-developed and developing countries trying to achieve the SDGs, he called for global solidarity and the adoption of a well-coordinated response that is commensurate with the scale and gravity of the crises.
SERHII DVORNYK (Ukraine), pointing to the Russian Federation’s aggression against his country, said the Rapid Damage and Needs Assessment, undertaken jointly by the Government of Ukraine, World Bank, European Commission and United Nations, reported that the direct damage in Ukraine in the 12 months prior to February 2023 reached $135 billion. Disruptions to economic flows and production, as well as additional expenses associated with the war, amounted to $290 billion and reconstruction and recovery needs are estimated at about $411 billion. Moreover, the immediate global effects of the war increased food and energy insecurity, disruption of supply chains and inflation. It has also diminished the health and well-being of people around the world. “Countries, waging aggressive wars and thus undermining development prospects for others, cannot serve as sincere contributors to the development pillar on the global level.” The Russian Federation’s aggressive behaviour continues to undermine Ukraine’s ability to focus on achieving the SDGs, he said, adding that as soon as a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in Ukraine, based on UN Charter principles, is achieved, “our common efforts on development would be more efficient”.
CARLOS SEGURA (El Salvador) said that Member States must invest in policies and social programmes that promote inclusion and provide resources for peacebuilding. To that end, it is necessary to analyse new connections between peace and sustainable development, taking into consideration specificities and needs of each country, he noted, emphasizing that this should be done periodically, systematically and in coordination with other UN bodies. In its 2022 voluntary national review, El Salvador highlighted significant progress in goals and indicators relating to peace, justice and sound institutions, he recalled, underscoring the need for more predictable and sustainable financing for peacekeeping efforts. However, he expressed concern for persisting challenges in that regard. Furthermore, he spotlighted the importance of women and young people’s contribution to achieving sustainable development and bringing about peacebuilding.
JOAQUÍN ALBERTO PÉREZ AYESTARÁN (Venezuela) expressed hope that the Security Council can make progress towards full and effective implementation of its mandate, specifically in the context of the escalating Israel-Palestine conflict. In that regard, it is more urgent than ever to bring about an immediate and lasting ceasefire, with a view to saving as many lives as possible. It is further needed to put an end to the current genocide and provide a political horizon for achieving a two-State solution. The international community should address root causes of political, economic and social imbalances, which create tension as well as fuel and prolong conflicts. States must join together to achieve multilateralism and reverse negative trends that stem from colonialism, the pillaging of natural resources and an unjust global economic, financial and social structure. In addition, developed countries need to fulfil their commitments in the areas of development aid, technology transfer and climate change.
ABDULAZIZ M. ALWASIL (Saudi Arabia) said that the most important challenges to economic and social development are lack of food supply, energy, the environment and climate change. Addressing these priorities requires international cooperation and a just, balanced and unified approach. Saudi Arabia has proposed environmental protection initiatives that respond to the interests of energy producers and consumers, sparing the world of negative effects from unrealistic policies. Such policies exclude key energy sources without caring for their impact on international supply chains, inflation, energy prices, higher unemployment and other negative socioeconomic impacts. Saudi Arabia has launched two green initiatives for the country and the Middle East, with the goal of reducing emissions by 278 million tons annually by 2030 and achieving carbon neutrality by 2060, he said.
PETER MOHAN MAITHRI PIERIS (Sri Lanka) said efforts must be made to exploit Member States’ competencies to achieve peace and security through common development for humanity’s good. Highlighting the report by the Interagency Task Force on Financing for Development, which notes that the poorest developing countries pay an average of 14 per cent of revenue for interest on their debts — nearly four times higher than developing countries — he underlined the importance of reform of the international financial architecture as a priority in pursuing common development. “International assistance through multilateral institutions should be rendered when a nation needs it on its road to recovery and not on the brink of collapse,” he said. Common development efforts can address transnational threats like climate change, terrorism, organized crime and pandemics as well as promote social cohesion by reducing inequalities, eradicating poverty and marginalization.
NACIM GAOUAOUI (Algeria) said that investing in inclusive and sustainable development, especially when focused on targeting the underlying causes of under-development, is the most effective means of conflict prevention. Achieving the SDGs is the best response to conflict and crisis, but effective implementation of the development agenda requires support to Governments and nationally-owned initiatives over the long term. Conflict and political crises that affect Africa are linked to dire social and economic conditions, with the Sahel region one of the most affected in this regard, he said, noting that his delegation looks forward to the high-level independent panel’s assessment of the situation in the region and recommendations on ways to foster international engagement and response to the region’s complex challenges.
AMARA SHEIKH MOHAMMED SOWA (Sierra Leone) said that reducing inequality within a period of only seven years to deliver on the 2030 Agenda is becoming implausible. In this regard, he emphasized the need for developed States to partner with least developed countries and nations in fragile situations to provide development assistance, climate financing and technology transfer. Underlining the imperative for stronger global cooperation to address the rising public debt burden, consideration of debt cancellation, and allocation of Special Drawing Rights to developing countries, he reaffirmed his support for the Drawing Rights Stimulus. While developed countries continue to make advancements in technologies associated with the fourth industrial revolution, countries in the Global South struggle to catch up with first- and second-generation technologies, he observed, adding: “We must now strengthen the unity and solidarity among the countries of the Global South and increase collaboration in the fields of science and technology.”
OUMAROU GANOU (Burkina Faso) said that cooperation and regional partnerships are key to tackle challenges at the nexus of peace and development. Burkina Faso launched an appeal for international assistance to strengthen its capacity to fight criminals and terrorists, strengthen its border controls and promote regional cooperation for development. Peacekeeping alone cannot create lasting peace if the conditions that resulted in conflict remain unchanged, he said. Political solutions for long-term development are needed, with the goal of equitable and sustainable development. Burkina Faso has also strengthened cooperation with Niger and Mali, other countries hardest hit by terrorism in the central Sahel, to establish a permanent framework for collective defence and mutual assistance, he said.
CECILIA A. M. ADENG (South Sudan) said that her country regards inclusive development as outlined in the 2030 Agenda not only as a goal but as a pathway to lasting peace and stability. South Sudan supports the call for implementing short-term humanitarian aid with long-term development investments and underscores the importance of fostering a sense of ownership, nurturing internal development drivers and enhancing resilience to shocks for sustaining peace. She suggested actions for mitigating the challenges highlighted in the concept note of today’s debate to include investment in infrastructure, capacity-building, job creation and conflict-sensitive development. International assistance, digital inclusion, and synergy between peacekeeping and development should also be harnessed, she said.