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“Development and peace are indivisible,” Nelson Mandela said. “Without peace and international security, nations cannot focus on the upliftment of the most underprivileged of their citizens.”
But peace-building requires time, more money and better planning, and should not be outsourced to armies or aid agencies alone, according to a Friends of Europe event at the 2017 European Development Days.
A day after EU institutions and member states signed the ‘New European Consensus on Development’ to help meet the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals – one of which is to “promote peaceful and inclusive societies” – participants at the Friends of Europe event agreed that better links need to be made between governments, development agencies and civil society to secure lasting peace.
The issue has never been more pressing, as the US boosts military spending while rowing back on its foreign aid and climate commitments. Meanwhile, conflicts continue to rage in Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and beyond, with over 60 mn people displaced globally, a factor that is fuelling the refugee crisis in Europe.
IMAGE CREDIT: CC/Flickr—UNDP; Canada in Afghanistan/Kanishka Afshari; UN Photo/Marco Dormino; UN Photo/Martine Perret