New York

19 January 2015

Secretary-General's remarks to Security Council Debate on "Inclusive Development for the Maintenance of International Peace and Security"

I thank Chile and Madame President [Michelle Bachelet] for organizing today’s debate on a subject that is central to the mission of the United Nations: how inclusive development can promote peace and security.

Madame President, since this is my first participation in the Security Council this year I would like to wish all the members a happy New Year, and all the Member States who are participating in this. I take this opportunity to welcome the new members – Angola, Malaysia, New Zealand, Spain and Venezuela. I count on their leadership and commitment in addressing world peace and security. I would also like to thank the outgoing members – Argentina, Australia, Luxembourg, the Republic of Korea and Rwanda for their contribution.

Again, I thank President Bachelet for leading the Council in this debate, and for her commitment and drive as the first head of UN Women, where she successfully raised the profile of women’s rights around the world. 

And I thank Nobel Peace Laureate Leymah Gbowee for her contribution to today’s debate.

Our Organization is built around three pillars: peace and security, development and human rights.  In dealing with the enormous and complex challenges of each, we sometimes pay little attention to their interdependence. But the founders of the United Nations well understood that if we ignore one pillar, we imperil the other two. 

We must break out of our silos and work together on all three areas simultaneously.  That is why I very much welcome the Security Council’s focus today on inclusive development.

This year, 2015, is a year of action on sustainable development. We are striving to complete the work of the Millennium Development Goals, to launch a new post-2015 sustainable development agenda and reach agreement on climate change.

I am encouraged to note that in their deliberations so far, Member States have paid considerable attention to peace and security and to human rights.

In the General Assembly Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals, Member States have stressed the importance of inclusive growth and decent work, in building a better future.

They have called for reducing inequality and ensuring universal access to basic services including health care and education.

And significantly, they have explicitly linked peace with social inclusion and access to justice for all, and called for inclusive, representative decision-making.

My own contribution to this debate underscores the importance of justice to build peaceful and inclusive societies, by promoting strong and responsive institutions, as reflected in the synthesis report that I presented to the General Assembly last month.

With the full membership of the United Nations beginning its negotiations later this morning, we now have an important opportunity to broaden the development agenda and highlight the fundamental importance of inclusive societies in building a more peaceful world.

All countries and all societies can benefit from sustainable and inclusive development, whether they are rich or poor, developed or developing, in conflict or at peace.

There is a growing consensus that the high levels of inequality we have seen in recent decades are socially, politically and environmentally damaging. Development that excludes part of the population can be socially corrosive. It can contribute to crime and create a sense of hopelessness and alienation -- conditions that can breed extremism.
Inequality can lead to the concentration of power in the hands of the few, undermining democracy. And it can lead to the unregulated exploitation of natural resources, further degrading the environment.

Despite this consensus, exclusion and inequality persist.

In many countries, the poor, migrants, people living with disabilities, indigenous groups and older people have little or no access to basic services, and cannot participate in political dialogue.

Discrimination against women and girls is a blatant injustice, denying them opportunities for education, health and other services, jobs and leadership positions, hindering their own development and that of their communities and societies.

Social security provision is desperately inadequate around the world. More than half the world’s people lack any social protection at all; no pensions; no safety net in times of illness or unemployment.  

Post-conflict societies in particular must prioritize social, economic and political inclusion if they are to have any hope of rebuilding trust between communities. Gender equality and women’s empowerment are a key condition if women are to contribute to reconciliation and reconstruction.

Even in countries at peace, inclusive development will not happen by accident. Governments, the private sector and civil society must demonstrate their commitment to education, health, job creation and other key steps.

The institutions of governance and political representation are some of the most crucial determinants of inclusive development.

People need effective, responsive channels for voicing their views and addressing their grievances and concerns.

The United Nations system stands ready to increase its support for countries in promoting inclusive development.

The Peacebuilding Commission provides coordinated international support targeted at countries emerging from conflict. The current review of the UN’s peacebuilding architecture should help to make that support more robust and flexible.

The post-2015 sustainable development agenda is an important opportunity to reinforce the interdependence of development, peace and security, and human rights.

I urge all members of the Security Council to play their part in making sure this message is heard in the continuing negotiations, and in the final agreement.

Thank you. Muchas gracias.