Violence and fragility has become the largest obstacle to the MDGs. The consequences of violence on development are significant and long-term. The nature of violent conflicts has changed dramatically in recent decades. The predominant form of violent conflict has evolved from national armies fighting each other (inter-state wars); to armies fighting for independence, separation or political control (intra-state or civil wars); to various forms of violence, involving non-state actors such as rebels, gangs and organized crime
These kinds of conflicts are not easily addressed with traditional instruments. The drivers of violence often include a wide range of factors, including political, economic, social and environmental issues that can be broke down to into socioeconomic inequalities, injustice, joblessness, natural resources management, human rights abuse, political exclusion and corruption.
The world is at a critical juncture in the midst of turbulence and turmoil. It is period of uncertainty, fragility and serious risks of continued violence and conflict. Civilians continue to pay the heaviest price in conflicts and humanitarian crises. International Humanitarian Law is being widely neglected.
There is steep increase in death and destruction from terrorist acts and highest number of forcibly displaced people both within and between countries. The nature of conflict and violence has changed.
There are many more non-state actors, often part of transnational networks with links to organized crime. In addition – in the economic and social areas – there is growing risks from climate vulnerability to financial crises, glaring inequalities and dangerously high unemployment among young people.
Many conflict-affected countries seem to be stuck in a conflict trap of repeated cycles of violence. Countries that experienced violent conflict in the past have a high chance of experiencing a recurrence. The multidimensionality of the drivers of the conflicts, also implies that addressing them requires a multidimensional approach that spans the development, political, security and justice. The different dimensions are interdependent.
Peacebuilding is about reducing the risk of relapsing violence. Countries need to reduce this risk, by addressing the root causes of violence and building resilient institutions and peaceful societies. A broad approach to development will also contribute to peacebuilding. A focus on, inter alia, justice, human rights, horizontal inequalities, jobs and inclusive politics will reduce the risk of violence. Development, human rights, and peace and security are indivisible and interrelated. One important aspect of the interrelation between development and peace and security is through the capacity and legitimacy of the state.
It would therefore to focus on the following areas of concern namely (i) violence; (ii) access to justice; (iii) effective, accountable, and inclusive institutions; (iv) economic foundations; and (v) capacity to adapt to social, economic, and environmental shocks and disasters.
Justice and security are key concerns of poor people in fragile states. Strengthening the delivery of justice and security is an important development challenge, for without justice and security other public goods and services cannot be provided or accessed. Security and justice play indispensable role in creating a conducive environment for sustainable economic, social and political development; and
providing effective services to all members of society while addressing the weak governance and limited accountability that lead to fragility.
Justice and security have not traditionally been viewed as development services. However, without security and justice the poor will be unable to receive these vital services. The costs associated with disorder, insecurity and injustice pose an enormous drain on development. Enhancing the delivery of security and justice, therefore, is a key challenge for development.
Service delivery lies at the heart of state fragility, with the provision of the public goods of safety, security, law and order being not only the most elemental exercise of state power, but the foundation upon which all other human rights are grounded
That is why Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16 is so important. It focuses on peaceful societies, access to justice and strong, well-functioning institutions. It aims to reduce conflict and violence, corruption and organized crime. It highlights the crucial role of the rule of law and inclusive decision-making.
The SDG Goals, particularly through SDG 16, tackle a vial omission of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), that of governance, inclusion, participation, rights and security. The SDG 16 goal’s aim is to “Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels”.
SDG 16 apart from focus on reducing violence, security, the rule of law, and creating strong, inclusive and effective institutions to deliver justice and public services, it is transformational goal and key to ensuring that the SDG Agenda is accomplished through multistakeholder approach especially in addressing climate change, inequality and security.
Goal 16 is not the only Goal that addresses the drivers of conflict. Other goals, such as those related to poverty, women’s empowerment, decent jobs, and management of natural resources are also affecting both peace, development and human rights.
While the SDGs are universal, it is clear that achieving them will to a large degree depend on how much progress is made in conflict-affected and fragile countries. To achieve the SDGs by 2030, world must strengthen the work on conflict prevention, address the roots of conflict and consistently try to find political solutions as early as possible. The 2030 Agenda is the overarching framework, but there is need for tools to implement it.
This means understanding drivers of conflict through assessments of fragility. It means national ownership and inclusive political dialogue to address root causes and to agree on sometimes difficult reforms. It also means greater transparency and more rapid and predictable support on the part of international partners. There is need for better dialogue between countries and partners who provide support. That is why regional and international dialogue is essential.
The dialogue need to focus on switching from reactive, short-term responses to prevention, peacebuilding and statebuilding. It will address immediate humanitarian needs and take more preventive measures to reduce humanitarian needs. The dialogue has to seek ways and mans to develop a more dynamic interrelationship between humanitarian assistance and development on one hand and indeed, peace and security on the other in order to better at stamping out the flames of conflict before they pose an existential threat to social, economic, and political systems.
It is clear that a greater investment is needed in prevention and peacebuilding. And also encourage inclusive political dialogue as a means to find solutions to conflicts. National ownership, capacities and accountability are key in this pursuit.
This programme primary goal is address the Governance, Peace and Security challenges in order to provide the foundational basis for sustainable inclusive equitable development.The programme prioritized focus is:
a. Democracy and Human Rights;
b. Human Security and security governance;
c. Criminal Justice and Legal Order;
d. Fragility, Conflict and Migration