Security Council debates links between peace, security and development

Security Council

Security Council

Poverty and a lack of freedom and opportunities are driving instability and conflict in the world’s poorest countries according to the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.  Nine of the 10 least developed countries have experienced conflict in the last 20 years demonstrating the strong linkages between peace, security and development.   Gerry Adams reports.

Narrator: Countries facing stark inequalities and weak institutions are at increased risk of conflict, said Mr. Ban. Unemployment, especially among youth, can also fan the flames:

Ban: Poorly distributed wealth and a lack of sufficient jobs, opportunities and freedoms – particularly for a large youth population can also increase the risk of instability. Drug trafficking and international organized crime have found fertile ground in places that lack basic services and economic opportunities, leading to fear in the streets and insecurity across entire regions..

Narrator: Sarah Cliffe of the World Bank says there needs to be an increase in the international community’s ability to link security with development assistance. We are under-invested in these areas, she continues, although they are central to today’s risks of violence:

Cliffe: It is much harder for countries to get assistance when they’re struggling to prevent risks from rising than it is after they have had a civil war. As President Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia said to us in our discussions, “After we have had a civil war, you guys provide us with all the assistance. But when we are trying to prevent it, there is very little very little that the international community is able to do to help.

Narrator: While the lack of development can feed the flames of conflict, economic and social progress, said the Secretary-General, can help prevent it and secure peace. He said while development can help address the roots of conflict, above all, it should be inclusive:

Ban: By definition, this means including women, who can play a critical role in negotiations and peace processes, and young people, who have vast potential to contribute to the development of their societies.

Narrator: At their request, the United Nations assists countries in conflict by providing peacekeeping forces. Another way to minimize the recurrence of violence where violence has ended, is to better manage the withdrawal of United Nations forces once the conflict has subsided. Again Secretary-General Ban:

SG: We need to better manage the process of drawdown and withdrawal of Security Council-mandated operations, and provide a stronger basis for seamless transitions of specific tasks to the UN Country Team and other development actors.
Third, we need to find innovative ways to build and strengthen national institutions in fragile countries.

Narrator: The Secretary-General says the next generation of security challenges will the strengthening of the rule of law. Gerry Adams, United Nations.

duration: 2’50″

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