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Thematic Debate of the General Assembly “Ensuring Stable and Peaceful Societies”

24- 25 April 2014

Stakeholders are invited to provide inputs by 17 April.

Stability and peace in relations both between and within societies are essential and overarching conditions for progress toward the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and for sustainable development. The mutually reinforcing nature of the inter-linkage between peace, stability and development is abundantly articulated in both the 2000 Millennium Declaration and the 2005 World Summit Outcome Document which, among other things, acknowledges that peace and security, development and human rights are the three pillars of the UN system and foundation for collective security and well-being.

While over the past decade some progress has been recorded in terms of inter-state conflicts, during the past few years the attention of the international community has been increasingly absorbed with conflict and violence within societies, particularly in the wake of prolonged conflict. One of the lessons of the attempts to rebuild societies that have been torn apart by such conflict is that beyond silencing the guns, restoring trust and re-constructing the shattered social cohesion which the conflict itself manifested, is much more complex. The process of promoting development is seriously at risk where conditions do not exist for such restoration and reconstruction. External stresses such as human trafficking and illegal trade in wildlife and other organized crime networks can also undermine peace and development progress.

The international community is about to embark on the task of defining a post-2015 Development Agenda with the overarching goal of poverty eradication that will also have the hallmarks of inclusiveness, good governance, the rule of law, gender quality and human rights, including the right to development for all. It is essential that a deliberate set of strategies be contemplated to protect against the exclusion from the benefits of such an agenda, of the growing numbers of persons who continue to be affected by the tensions and instability persisting in the wake of conflict and violence, so as to ensure that building stable and peaceful societies is an essential part of the international effort to achieve sustainable development.

Against this backdrop, sustained efforts to ensure stable and peaceful societies are today more important than ever before. This task requires intensification of efforts at all levels, national, regional and global, in order to improve social cohesion and remove the marginality, alienation and other forms of social and economic inequities which may have contributed to the conflict in the first place. This includes, inter alia, consideration of the role of women in conflict prevention and in post-conflict peace-building and governance.