Your Excellency Shaikh Khalid Bin Ahmed al-Khalifa,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I thank the Government of Bahrain and the Global Security Institute for their continued support and for hosting this forum.
It is a pleasure to join you to discuss the current challenges facing the world and to explore how we can address, together, the interconnected threats to peace and development.
Conflicts are the biggest obstacle to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the largest cause of humanitarian suffering. Nearly all those in need of humanitarian assistance, and about half of the extreme poor, live in countries affected by conflict and fragility – and this proportion is expected to rise.
Yet, in many countries, humanitarian, development and peace actors work in a fragmented way -- side by side but not together -- hindering our ability to achieve rights to real results for the people we serve.
Peace and security must be based on a shared vision. The 2030 Agenda and the Sustaining Peace Agenda embody our common project and are intertwined and mutually reinforcing.
The reform process that is now under way, including a repositioned development system and a new peacebuilding architecture, aim to enable all actors to work in synergy and coherence through more integrated and comprehensive approaches towards preventing and resolving crises, reducing risk and building resilience.
According to the recent United Nations-World Bank study, “Pathways for Peace”, better funded, more focused preventive action could have saved between $5 billion and $70 billion per year for the affected country and the international community combined.
The Sustainable Development goals address many drivers of armed conflicts. SDG 5 on gender equality and women’s empowerment is not only essential in itself and an enabler for all the Goals, but is also a vital component of sustaining peace. Women’s participation in decision-making at all levels makes peace agreements stronger, societies more resilient and economies more vigorous.
To respond to these complex, multidimensional challenges, we need to support governments simultaneously on peace and security, humanitarian and development aid, and human rights.
I applaud the government of Bahrain for establishing the Supreme Council for Women - an advisory body to the government on women's issues.
We must deliver quickly and efficiently for the most marginalized, women and girls, young people and those who have been displaced from their homes.
In this context, last year, the Secretary General established a Joint Steering Committee to advance Humanitarian and Development Collaboration, a problem-solving mechanism for complex situations that cannot be addressed in isolation.
We are also exploring the potential of innovative financing, including contributions by individuals, foundations and faith-based organizations, corporate partnerships, web-based mechanisms and crowdfunding.
The 2030 Agenda remains our universal roadmap. Development is a critical objective in its own right and is our surest pathway to sustainable peace.
I look forward to hearing your ideas on how to strengthen collective action for an equitable, sustainable and peaceful future that leaves no one behind.
Thank you for your commitment.