Today is the International Day of Peace. The Sisters of Charity Federation has signed onto a letter with 131 organizations worldwide that urges greater commitment from all governments to foster sustainable peace. The statement calls for the international community and the United Nations General Assembly to 1) fully embrace the commitments to peace in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, 2) balance national efforts with a focus on regional and international drivers of peace, justice and inclusion, 3) mainstream prevention, and 4) protect and support civil society in fostering sustainable peace.
“It is appropriate with all of the rhetoric going around to take time and to think about peace,” said Sister Teresa Kotturan, SCN, Federation NGO representative to the United Nations. “We [the Federation] need to stand up for global peace building initiatives. Without peace there is no development. Wars, whether they are real wars or wars of words, are going on everywhere. We need to build a global peace building effort – whether it is person to person, organization to organization or country to country.”
Read the statement that the Federation endorsed below:
The last year has seen significant global challenges, including an unprecedented level of humanitarian need, rising inequality and exclusion, growing climate change impacts, and increasing threats to our shared security. Nevertheless, the international community has taken important steps in addressing these challenges by implementing the recent bold commitments to foster sustainable peace.
Member states have affirmed the centrality of peace and prevention, first through their commitment to “foster peaceful, just and inclusive societies which are free from fear and violence” with the adoption of the 2030 Agenda in 2015, and then with the dual resolutions on Sustaining Peace in 2016. While these efforts should be applauded, urgent action must be taken to ensure that the opportunities for more effective development, peace and security, and humanitarian action presented by these new approaches are realized. Most critically, these commitments to address root causes are at the heart of the changes required for the international community to genuinely shift towards preventing, rather than responding to, crisis…read the full statement here.