By Jeremy Lind, University of Sussex
For the first time, issues of violence and peace are part of a global development framework. The recently launched Sustainable Development Goals aim to “significantly reduce all forms of violence and related deaths everywhere”.
While admirable in its intent and ambition, is this possible? And, if so, how?
Earlier global agreements, notably the Millennium Development Goals, did not consider issues of conflict and violence. Critics point to the omission as one reason areas affected by conflict and violence lagged so far behind peaceful and stable countries on achieving the goals. Human development indicators are often far worse in conflict areas.
On top of this delivering development is made more difficult by continuing violent insecurity, politicized divisions and militarization. Unsurprisingly, people in these areas see reducing levels of violence and conflict as the most important way in which their lives could be improved.
The inclusion of violence and peace in the latest goals follows a groundswell of thinking about the issue since the 1990s. Over the past 25 years practical approaches have been developed to deliver a range of basic services and other social support in conflict areas.