This meeting note summarizes the findings of a workshop on April 26, 2013, which brought together members from the UN Secretariat, agencies, funds, and programs, along with outside experts to assess the lessons learned so far on the impact of conflict, violence, and instability on development, and to consider strategies for addressing them in the post-2015 development agenda.
Co-organized by the UN Foundation, Quaker United Nations Office, the International Peace Institute, and in collaboration with the Post-2015 Development Team at the Executive Office of the Secretary-General, the discussion aimed to offer ideas and inputs into the final deliberations of the High-Level Panel and its May 2013 report, the secretary-general’s July 2013 report, as well as the negotiations among the member states at the UN.These are the key recommendations of the workshop:
- Conceptualize a strong narrative: The post-2015 agenda should be underpinned by a bold and ambitious narrative that addresses conflict and violence. The voices of the affected—from the global South and the regions experiencing persistent conflict—need to be heard. In other words, the narrative must belong to the people, who can best make the case that violence is an impediment to development and undermines opportunities and aspirations. While universal, this post-2015 agenda can be contextualized to allow for regional, national, and local interpretations and implementations. Workshop participants suggested that language for this narrative can already be found in existing UN documents and from the results of the extensive global consultations held to date.
- Design ambitious goals: Design ambitious goals starting with the secretary-general’s reports. The reports set the standards for the discussions among member states at the UN. Goals in a post-2015 framework should be universal yet adaptable and contextualized to each national situation, and they should reflect underlying narratives and targets. Indicators need to be based on numerical standards that will be global but adaptable to different country situations, and they should be disaggregated, based on gender, age, income level, etc. “Reducing violent deaths” was suggested as a relevant target.
- Strategize the UN approach: While strengthening the narrative and designing ambitious goals are the first steps toward addressing conflict and violence in the post-2015 agenda, workshop participants recognized that an internal United Nations system consensus around a common framework was also required as well as providing the time and space for the intergovernmental process to discuss and debate the issues.