Greater global action needed to tackle threat of terrorism, migration, warns forum

Reuters News
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Posted: Apr 04, 2016 6:38 PM

By Belinda Goldsmith

STOCKHOLM (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The threat of terrorism and mass migration will grow worse in rich and poor nations without greater global cooperation to tackle the causes of poverty and conflict, leaders of an international forum on peace building said on Tuesday.

The Swedish co-chair of the International Dialogue on Peacebuilding and Statebuilding (IDPS) said conflict and violent extremism - such as the attacks in Paris and Brussels - coupled with rising migration had changed the global landscape.

Minister for International Development Cooperation Isabella Lövin called for all nations to speed and scale up efforts to tackle the causes of conflict and meet global goals agreed last year to end poverty and inequality by 2030.

Studies show the number of conflicts globally had been stable for the last decade but are now on the rise and 2014 was the most lethal year since the end of the Cold War, she said.

Conflict, poverty and climate change have forced 60 million people from their homes - the highest level since World War Two - with up to 1.5 billion people living in fragile states.

Lövin called for a "coalition of the willing" to commit to supporting fragile and conflict-hit states, saying failure to tackle root causes of conflict and poverty would exacerbate world volatility and increase the risk of violence.

"This is maybe the opportunity to see the world is one and we need to work long-term to help poor people in their countries and to create global security for all of us," she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation at the fifth global IDPS meeting.

"The refugees that are coming into Europe right now remind us that the war going on in Syria is not so far away ... and we do have the instruments to try to stop new conflicts erupting."

RISKS OF VIOLENCE INCREASING

The IDPS meeting is the first international peace forum since the United Nations' 193 member states agreed last year to 17 global goals to end poverty and promote peace by 2030.

United Nations Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson said the world was at a "critical juncture", facing turmoil and risks from various forms of violence as well as "glaring inequality".

"We see civilians continue to pay the highest price in today's crises ... We have to confront these threats together," said Eliasson, a former Swedish foreign minister.

But he said there was some good news with peace talks starting for Syria and Yemen and agreement on the U.N. global goals known as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

"If we live up to these intentions we could turn a different direction," he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

In this new global landscape, Lövin said there was a need for the IDPS to play a stronger, more relevant role. Launched in 2008, its mission is to find ways through political dialogue to support countries move from conflict to peace and resilience.

The IDPS includes more than 40 countries, nine multilateral organizations including the World Bank and the United Nations and a rising number of civil society groups.

Lövin led a renewed commitment by the IDPS to the so-called New Deal agreed in 2011 that outlined five peace and statebuilding goals - legitimate politics, security, justice, economic foundations, revenues and services - with locally driven and locally led processes.

"I hope this gives a new injection into the thinking of how we provide development aid and also how we do peacekeeping and peacebuilding," Lövin said.

(Reporting by Belinda Goldsmith, Editing by Katie Nguyen. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women's rights, trafficking, property rights and climate change. Visit http://news.trust.org)