High level government leaders are gathering in New York for the UN Sustainable Development Summit on 25–27 September, where they are expected to adopt the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which follows on from the largely unrealised Millennium Development Goals adopted in 2000.
The 2030 Agenda commits governments “to foster peaceful, just and inclusive societies which are free from fear and violence.” It declares: “There can be no sustainable development without peace and no peace without sustainable development.” Yet despite this emphasis on peace and freedom from violence, the Agenda only includes one goal related to weapons – to significantly reduce illicit arms flows by 2030 (goal 16.4).
This falls far short of the action necessary to restrict the arms trade and the possession and use of weapons, without which development and peace are just empty words. Legal as well as illegal production and flows of arms blight lives, development and aspirations across the world. People in poorer countries and unstable regions suffer the worst consequences of this trafficking and use, and then have to divert resources to deal with the consequences of weapons-fuelled conflicts.
Available at: https://www.opendemocracy.net/5050/ray-acheson-rebecca-johnson/un-are-development-and-peace-empty-words