Speech by Thomas Silberhorn at the Global Meeting of the International Dialogue on Peacebuilding and Statebuilding (IDPS)

on the 5 April 2016 in Stockholm, Sweden

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Ladies and gentlemen,

We are currently witnessing an unprecedented increase in conflicts and humani­tarian crises. This means that the international community must increase its efforts to help resolve these violent conflicts and prevent such conflicts through long-term work to address the underlying causes. This requires international dialogue and a strong political partnership. That is why we are here today.

Over the past five years, we have jointly managed to put fragility on the international agenda. And we managed to ensure that SDG 16 became part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – which had met with some opposition in the beginning.

The 2030 Agenda and the SDGs form the new paradigm that will guide German and international development policy over the coming decades – and not only develop­ment policy!

So we need to renew the New Deal for Engagement in Fragile States. In fact, the success of the 2030 Agenda depends, to a major extent, on whether and how fragile states will be able to achieve sustainable development. For us, this means:

  1. In the future, we should view ourselves more as a political coalition for conflict prevention and peacebuilding. To that end, it is important that the IDPS play an active role in providing input to the peace and security architecture of the United Nations. In that context, we must not forget the central role of civil society.
  2. The experience and principles of the New Deal have to inform the implementa­tion of the SDGs in fragile states. In development cooperation programs with fragile states, priority should be given to peacebuilding and statebuilding.
  3. Women have to play a greater role in the peace processes of their countries. As UN Women has said, there can be no sustainable peace without women.
  4. Finally, we have to put stronger emphasis on long-term conflict prevention. This will lay the foundations for inclusive, resilient societies as described in SDG 16.

You can count on our commitment. Conflict and fragility are not a side issue for the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. On the contrary: In 65 per cent of the countries with which we have cooperation programs, there is an increased or immediate potential for fragility, conflict and violence. We are already investing some 45 per cent of our total development cooperation funding in fragile states, thus contributing to greater stability.

We want to use this funding to increase our efforts to address the root causes of conflict. We are already taking practical action on the ground to strengthen institu­tions that help to build peace, for instance by helping to strengthen the rule of law in Afghanistan, building the resilience of the Somali population, and engaging in peacebuilding efforts in Timor-Leste. Our approach is based on pre­vention, conflict sensitivity, country ownership, and capacity development.

We want to make sure that our efforts are part of effective, multilateral strategies – and the International Dialogue on Peacebuilding and Statebuilding is exactly the right partnership for this. We all aspire to be a strategic partnership for pre­vention. So we need an overall strategy for the next phase, a strategy that will enable us to translate our political goals into tangible results on the ground. We already need to start making headway on this during today's meeting.

After all, one thing is clear: Sustainable development in the spirit of the 2030 Agenda is only possible if there is peace. And the reverse is also true: Inclusive, sustain­able development is the most effective means of preventing war and violence.

That is why we are working to boost our capacity for political action by renewing the New Deal. I look forward to our continued and increased cooperation.

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