While focusing on the specific goals is imperative to ensuring implementation, Mediators Beyond Borders International (MBBI) advocates for a comprehensive approach to development, that incorporates the interlinkages between the various Sustainable Development Goals. As the international community considers expanding on the theme “Eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world,” it is important for all stakeholders to draw attention to two specific aspects of this agenda: first is to recognize the symbiotic relationship between eradicating poverty and the need for conflict resolution capacity building; and second is to recognize the unique role that women can play in boosting attainment of the specific goals.
First, to eradicate poverty sustainably, it is crucial to pay attention to the vital role that conflict resolution mechanisms play in building socially inclusive communities. This is only possible when all groups are heard and represented through socially inclusive forums, whose impact can be enhanced by effective conflict resolution capacity building. In this journey towards actualizing the Sustainable Development Goals, it is essential that both peace and development are invested in side by side. Conflicting interests and inequities of power and resources must be skilfully navigated in any society in order to move towards sustainably prosperous social and economic systems. Thus, building conflict resolution capacity at all levels, from community to global, plays an important role in addressing all points of the agenda (including Sustainable Development Goals 1, 2, 3, 5, 9, 14 and 17) in a way which includes multiple voices and points of view. The work by MBBI’s multidisciplinary teams found that jointly designing and implementing projects with local partners increased communities’ abilities to heal from severe conflict, reconcile relationships, eradicate poverty, and sustainably evolve into a stable, resilient, and economically viable state.
Secondly, MBBI calls attention to the particular contribution that women’s empowerment has to the ability to sustain socially inclusive development. MBBI is encouraged by Sustainable Development Goal 5: “Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls,” and the prioritization of women’s empowe rment and its link to sustainable development. Capacity building and women’s empowerment promote prosperity and a more peace-able world. As it was agreed in the Sustainable Development Goals, “[w]e must redouble our efforts to resolve or prevent conflict and to support post-conflict countries, including through ensuring that women have a role in peace-building and state-building”. It has long been recognized that women’s contributions are critical to these efforts, perhaps most notably captured in United Nations’ Security Council resolution 1325 and General Assembly resolution 65/283. Enhancing the participation of women in conflict resolution and prevention roles will help achieve the United Nations’ desire of levelling the playing field and will increase the likelihood of ensuring that the 2030 goals are met.
MBBI fully supports the advancement of conflict resolution capacity building in communities, corporations and governments to facilitate the realization of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and is uniquely positioned to provide practical support to help signatories create sustainable change and initiate programs that will facilitate this capacity building.
Read the statement in the six official languages of the United Nations here.