1. Letter
  2. Peacebuilding

FCNL and More Than 100 Other Organizations Call for Commitments to Peace

September 20, 2019


Sept. 21 marks the International Day of Peace, which was established in 1981 by a unanimous resolution in the U.N.’s General Assembly. To mark the day, FCNL joined over 100 peacebuilding organizations from around the world in issuing a statement to U.N. member states that brings attention to peace concerns.


The United Nations (UN) was founded to “save succeeding generations from the scourge of war.” Now, 75 years later, will we reaffirm our commitment to collective action, centered on a vision of a peaceful and prosperous world for all?

The global economic cost of violence now exceeds 14 trillion USD per annum. By the end of 2018, over 70 million individuals were forcibly displaced worldwide as a result of persecution, conflict, violence, or human rights violations. If current trends persist, by 2030 more than half of the world’s poor will be living in countries affected by high levels of violence, and the aspirations of millions for a better life will go unmet.

Recent research and analysis, from the World Bank and the UN among others, has demonstrated that neither economic growth alone, nor securitized and militarized approaches, can bring sustainable peace. In an interdependent world, increasingly impacted by the self-inflicted scourges of climate change and inequality, we need to redouble our collective efforts to prevent violent conflict by addressing its roots, and in structuring our response to crisis in ways that support local capacities, respect human rights and align with long-term plans to build sustainable peace.

The coming year provides many opportunities for Member States to recommit to peace, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Summit; the 2019 Climate Action Summit; the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Women’s Conference; the 20th anniversary of UN Security Council Resolution 1325; and the review of the Peacebuilding Architecture and impending report by the UN Secretary-General on Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace. As Member States gather for the 74th UN General Assembly, our organizations devoted to building peace around the world call on the international community to:

  • Move from commitments to action on peace in the 2030 Agenda and across the three UN pillars: One of the main achievements of the 2030 Agenda was to commit to a radically different approach to development, particularly in conflict-affected and transitional environments. Fostering people-centered social, economic and political inclusion, ensuring access to justice and human rights, strengthening the social fabric and delivering good governance have repeatedly been shown to be essential to achieving prosperity and peace, universally and at all levels of development. We call on Member States to accelerate their commitment to peace, the gateway to achieving the SDGs.

  • Align crisis response with longer term prevention and peacebuilding efforts: If we are to move beyond late-stage, reactive, expensive and often ineffective responses to complex crises, including where climate change and migration are factors, governments need to fully embrace a commitment to preventive action by fostering resilience. Resilient societies are just and inclusive, where the relationships between individuals, their communities and the state are based on trust and the respect, protection and fulfillment of everyone’s human rights, and where there are robust mechanisms for addressing inequality, difference and grievances. When a crisis response is nonetheless required, we call on relevant actors to structure and implement such interventions in a way that does no harm, is people-centered and holistic, and explicitly aligns with longer term efforts to sustain peace.

  • Protect and support civil society in fostering sustainable peace: Social, political and economic changes that contribute to increasing peace are more robust if they are owned, implemented and sustained by local actors, including youth and women. Nevertheless, civil society inclusion continues to be under threat around the world, with onerous restrictions imposed on the ability of civil society groups to be effective, speak out and access funding. We call on Member States to recommit their support for and partnership with local and community actors, and for the UN system to model inclusion in all its local and global processes.

  • Think local and act global: recommit to multilateralism as a safeguard for the most vulnerable: National implementation alone will not suffice to achieve the SDGs or to address the global challenges of climate change and inequality. This is particularly the case with issues of peace, where fostering the external drivers of peace, justice and inclusion requires concerted action by states, as duty holders, to strengthen adherence to international humanitarian law, support responsible trade, reduce arms flows, and promote constructive financial, tax and investment practices. Member States should also seek to strengthen a rules-based system that creates a more effective enabling environment that privileges the long-term peace, development and human rights of all people and communities.

Signed,

Accountability Lab
ACT Alliance
African Youth Action Network - AYAN
All Anglophone Union for Peace and Development (AAUPD)
Alliance for Conflict Transformation (ACT)
Alliance for Peacebuilding
American Friends Service Committee
Baha'i International Community
Bangladesh Indigenous Peoples Forum
Bangladesh Model Youth Parliament
Bangladesh Nari Progati Sangha (BNPS)
Brain Builders International
Camp for Peace Liberia
Canadian Friends Service Committee
Care and Development Centre
Causeway Institute for Peace-building and Conflict Resolution International
Centre de Défense des Droits de l'Homme et Démocratie (CDHD)
Centre de Documentation et de Formation sur les Droits de l'Homme (CDFDH)
Center for Development of Civil Society
Centre for Human Rights and Climate Change Research, Nigeria
Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies
Center for Peace, Research and Development (CEPRAD Consultancy)
Centre for Sustainable Development and Education in Africa (CSDEA)
Centre of Studies for Peace and Development (CEPAD)
CHALLENGES Int; Action for Sustainable Development
Christian Aid
Church of the Brethren Office of Peacebuilding and Policy
Civil Society Platform for Peacebuilding and Statebuilding (CSPPS)
Community Empowerment for Progress Organization-CEPO, South Sudan
Conciliation Resources
Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd
Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace
Cordaid
Council for International Conflict Resolution
Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation
Democracy and Development Associates-Sierra Leone (DADA-SL)
Dirigentes de mi Comunidad (Dicomu)
Empathy Surplus Project
Epikeia Universitary Human Rights Observatory
Friends Committee on National Legislation
Friends Women's Association
Friends World Committee for Consultation - World Office (Quakers)
FriEnt – Working Group on Peace and Development
Fryshuset
Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
Global Ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Christ
Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC)
Global Peace and Development Organization
Globethics.net Foundation
Great Lakes Peacebuilding Institute (GLPI)
Healing and Rebuilding Our Country (HROC-Burundi)
Helping Hand for Survivors (HHS)
Héritiers de la Justice
Human Rights Committee Leskovac, Serbia
Human Rights Observatory of the University of Los Andes
Igarapé Institute
International Alert
International Association of Liberal Religious Women (IALRW)
International Civil Society Action Network (ICAN)
Interpeace
Jewish World Watch
Kenya Economic Youth Network (KEYNET)
Kenya Muslim Youth Alliance (KMYA)
Loyola Institute of Peace and International Relations (LIPI)
Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns
Mennonite Central Committee
Mercy Corps
Ministry for Peace and Reconciliation under the Cross (Mi-PAREC)
Minnesota Peace Project
Modern Advocacy Humanitarian Social and Rehabilitation Association (MAHSRA)
Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights
Nigerian Coalition for the International Criminal Court (NCICC)
Nonviolent Peaceforce
NYU Center on International Cooperation
OMNIA Institute for Contextual Leadership, Chicago, Illinois
Our Lady of Perpetual Help Initiative, Port Harcourt, Nigeria
PartnersGlobal
PAX
Pax Christi International
Pax Christi Korea
Peace Direct
PEACE Foundation Melanesia
Peace Warriors Organisation (PWO) – KENYA
PeaceNexus Foundation
Peacifica
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
Quäker-Hilfe Stiftung
Quaker Council for European Affairs
Quaker Service Australia
Quaker Service Norway
Quaker United Nations Office
Quakers in Britain
Regional Center for International Development Cooperation (RCIDC)
Rwanda Women's Network
Saferworld
Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled
Search for Common Ground
SecurityWomen
Self-Help Association for Rural people through Eduction & Entrepreneurship
SenosAyuda
Sisters of Charity Federation
Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur
Society of Catholic Medical Missionaries
Society of the Sacred Heart
Solutions for Humanity International (SFH)
Somali Conservation organization (SCO)
Spanish Society for International Human Rights Law (SSIHRL)
STAND: The Student-Led Movement to End Mass Atrocities
Success Capital Organisation
Swisspeace
The Carter Center
The Center for Global Nonkilling
The Center for International Ethics at Central Michigan University
The Cora di Brazzà Foundation
The Faith and Justice Network of the Mano River Basin Countries (FJN)
The Graduate Institute of Peace Studies, Kyung Hee University (South Korea)
The International Federation for Peace and Sustainable Development
The Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Australia
The Stanley Foundation
Trippinz Care Inc
Union des Amis Socio- Culturels d'Action en Développement (UNASCAD)
Unitarian Universalist Association
United Church of Christ, Justice and Witness Ministries
United Youth for Growth and Development (Advocacy Centre)
Universal Rights Network
VIVAT International
Win Without War
Women for Peace and Gender Equality Initiative (WOPEGEE)
World Council of Churches - Commission of the Churches on International Affairs
World Federalist Movement - Institute for Global Policy (WFM-IGP)
World Society of Victimology