On 8 December 2017, the SDSN hosted a UN-led dialogue entitled Sustaining Peace: Partnerships for Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding, in partnership with the President of the 72nd General Assembly (PGA) of the United Nations, the UN Foundation, the UN Global Compact, the New York University Center on International Cooperation (NYUCIC), and the Quaker United Nations Office.

The event was designed to support efforts of the PGA to advance the cause of sustainable peace, one of the priority issues he has identified for his term. The meeting served as a dialogue to solicit the views of experts from different segments of society, complementing the UN perspective on sustaining peace. The event was a critical discussion leading up to the PGA’s high-level meeting planned for April 24th and 25th of 2018 on the same topic.  With its twin resolutions on review of the UN peacebuilding architecture in 2016 in both the General Assembly [A/RES/70/262] and the Security Council [S/RES/2282(2016)], the UN has made a commitment to taking a more comprehensive approach to peace.

The event opened with keynote addresses given by the PGA H.E. Mr. Miroslav Lajčak, Chef de Cabinet of the Executive Office of the Secretary-General of the UN Ms. Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti, Director of SDSN Professor Jeffrey Sachs, and the President of the Mastercard Centre for Inclusive Growth Ms. Shamina Singh. The opening remarks set the tone by emphasizing the importance of partnerships across multiple sectors, stressing that peacebuilding is not solely the responsibility of the government, but of academia, civil society, and the private sector. Some of those responsibilities included:

  • Governments can seek compromises and negotiations rather than acts of war;
  • Academia can educate populations that are likely targets of radicalization;
  • Civil society can support and mobilize peacebuilding efforts; and
  • The private sector can build networks and tools that yield peaceful solutions.

The first panel entitled, Prevention in Sustaining Peace, consisted of speakers from various backgrounds and industries. Names and bios of the speakers of the panels can be found here. The discussion continued with a second panel entitled, How Partnerships Can Support Sustaining Peace. Concrete examples of effective operational partnerships were provided with an open discussion on what was successful or not successful based on each speakers’ peacebuilding experiences. Thoughtful questions regarding gender roles in sustaining peace and furthering partnerships across branches of society came from the audience to add more depth to the conversations.

This event played a role as one of the many discussions leading up to the PGA’s high-level meeting planned for April  24th and 25th of 2018 on the sustaining peace. The main objective of the meeting is to assess previous efforts undertaken and future opportunities to strengthen the United Nations’ work on peacebuilding and sustaining peace. More information on this meeting will be available here as details unfold.

The full recording of the event can be viewed here.