The United Nation Secretary General António Guterres has said that the world need to invest a lot in preventing crises while revealing that at least 233 billion dollars was spent on humanitarian response, peacekeeping and hosting refugees in the last 10 years.
Guterres further warned that the world is witnessing human suffering on a scale hard to comprehend. He told an informal meeting of his report on ‘Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace’ that “if the financial cost is unsustainable, the human cost is unbearable.
“Instead of responding to crises, we need to invest far more in prevention. Prevention works, saves lives and is cost-effective.”
Guterres rallied for Peacebuilding Fund, saying it is “a critical tool” to achieve this and urging all to increase the Fund’s resources to 500 million dollars annually.
He explained that other innovative financing solutions were also being explored, including web-based mechanisms and crowdfunding.
“These proposals should be seen firmly in the context of peace and security, and should not impact on funds for sustainable development in any way,” Guterres emphasised.
According to him, the imbalance between spending on conflict, and spending on peace, must be tackled head-on.
He rallied all international actors “for our efforts across the peace continuum – from prevention, conflict resolution and peacekeeping to peacebuilding and sustainable long-term development.”
He explained that inclusive and sustainable development makes a critical contribution to conflict prevention.
“Sustaining peace is both a goal and a process that relies on building a common and cohesive vision of a society that takes the needs of all into account,” he stated.
Guterres noted that “the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is our global path to a safer, more sustainable and resilient world.”
He also argued that a failure to adequately finance peacebuilding would undermine other efforts to save lives, stabilise countries in crisis, alleviate suffering and protect the vulnerable.
President of the General Assembly, Miroslav Lajčák, noted that the Assembly called for a new approach “for more capacity for peacebuilding and sustaining peace, on the ground.”
Lajčák evoked the call for financing sustained peace, “Not for a month, or a year – but over the long-term.”
Lajčák called the Secretary-General’s report “a strong guide on how we can go forward” and the High-Level Meeting an opportunity “to chart the course ahead.”