International Dialogue on Peacebuilding and Statebuilding Delegates agree major political commitments

For Immediate Release

 

Stockholm, 5 April, 2016.

 

  • Over 40 countries agree new commitments to support fragile and conflict affected states
  • Commitments focused on tackling route causes of conflict through the ‘New Deal’
  • The New Deal is an action plan and guide for prioritising investment in peacebuilding and statebuilding 
  • Since launching in 2008 the New Deal has been ‘pilot tested’ in 8 countries including Somalia, Sierra Leone, and Timor Leste with notable success 

 

Today, 1.5 billion of the world’s poorest live in countries grappling with conflict or fragility. By 2030, without coordinated international action to tackle the root causes, two thirds of the world’s poor will be living in countries and regions plagued by endemic violence, and fragility. This will undermine any prospect of achieving the UN’s ambitious goal of eradicating extreme poverty in Agenda 2030, which the world signed up to last September. And, crucially, it could further precipitate the global humanitarian and refugee crises and heightened threats of terrorism with increasing repercussions on a global scale.

Recognising the urgency of this challenge, members and supporters of the International Dialogue on Peacebuilding and Statebuilding, from over 40 countries, gathered in Stockholm today to commit to speeding up and scaling up their efforts to prevent conflict by tackling its root causes. 

Speaking at the end of the meeting, Sweden’s Minister of International Development Cooperation and Co-Chair of the International Dialogue, Isabella Lövin summed up the challenge:

“This high level meeting comes at a critical time. Increasing refugee flows, violent extremism, a rise in wars and conflicts as well as climate related disasters have changed the global landscape. It is now more important than ever to tackle the root causes of conflict, to fight against extreme poverty and to work on resilience. Agenda 2030 and the Global Goals provide us with an opportunity for action - we need a New Deal for Peace!”

 

What is the International Dialogue?

The International Dialogue is a unique multi-stakeholder partnership between the ‘g7+’ group of countries affected by conflict and fragility, donors from OECD countries, and civil society organisations. 

Founded in 2008 out of the belief that externally imposed solutions do not work and often actually undermine prospects of recovery of states weakened by war and other forms of fragility, the International Dialogue spearheaded the New Deal for Engagement in Fragile States in 2011. 

What is the New Deal?

The New Deal is essentially an action plan and guide for how to prioritise investment in peacebuilding and statebuilding in fragile environments. ‘Implementing the New Deal’, as it came to be known, meant investing financially and politically in the 5 peacebuilding and statebuilding goals (PSGs) - inclusive politics, security, justice, jobs and basic social services, but in line with basic aid effectiveness principles and nationally defined priorities. This meant rebuilding broken down national institutions (statebuilding), but at the same time rebuilding broken down relations between states and citizens, a common feature in conflict-affected and fragile settings. The New Deal provided a step-by-step guide as to how to do this practically, in ways that donors could then agree to collectively underwrite.

Progress so far – the case of Somalia

After just a few years, where the New Deal has been ‘pilot tested’ (Somalia, Sierra Leone, Timor Leste), there have been notable successes. After 20 years of war and incoherent international approaches, although not out of the woods yet, inspired by the New Deal, Somalia has made huge strides. Both Government and International donors, since 2013, have united behind the same priorities, working in partnership, prioritising peacebuilding and statebuilding and pulling actors together across diverse sectors (security, justice, defence, diplomatic) to join forces to build peace.

While much has been achieved, the International Dialogue acknowledges that much remains to be done to turn New Deal commitments into concrete results on the ground and across the board.  In some countries, progress has been slow and erratic; in others there has been little progress at all, as initial international and national enthusiasm has waned. 

Today’s Declaration:

The Stockholm Declaration outlines what members must do now to revive commitment to the New Deal and take it the next level, and fast if the UN’s ambitious 2030 Agenda for sustainable development for all is to be realised, particularly in fragile and conflict affected environments.     

The International Dialogue recognises it cannot do this alone but must work with new stakeholders that can carry its message. At this, its 5th Global Meeting, the Dialogue joined forces with new allies from the humanitarian community, other countries also grappling with conflict and fragility, and a wider network of like-minded stakeholders. Together as part of the ‘Stockholm Declaration’ they called for stepped up commitment to prevention and tackling the root cause of conflict and fragility. Next month, with the International Dialogue, they will send a strong message to World Humanitarian Summit about how to forge stronger collaborative partnerships between humanitarian and development actors based on shared commitments to these goals.

Statement highlights 

The members of the International Dialogue on Peacebuilding and Statebuilding concretely committed to:

  • Accelerating and improving the effort to address root causes of fragility, conflict and violence. And to use the New Deal Peacebuilding and Statebuilding Goals as tools to guide their interventions 
  • Strengthening women’s active participation in peacebuilding by linking the implementation of the New Deal to the implementation of UNSCR 1325 and related resolutions, in particular UNSCR 2250 on the need to increase representation of youth in decision-making at all levels; 
  • Developing coherent approaches to make politics inclusive; and building effective structures for conflict management and reconciliation.
  • Using development aid more effectively and coordinated. Target development support in fragile and conflict –affected settings, especially in protracted crisis, and bridge the gap between humanitarian aid and long-term development aid. 
  • Build stronger partnership in order to build trust and share experiences between countries as well as donors and civil society organisations.

 

Implementing the 2030 Agenda by using New Deal principles

The New Deal is the preferred framework for achieving resilience and development results in fragile and conflict-affected environments and for meeting our commitment to ‘leaving no one behind’. Within this context the members of the IDPS agreed that they will:

  •  increase political and financial efforts to operationalise and implement the 2030 Agenda in line with the New Deal principles and according to the special needs of fragile contexts;
  •  strengthen multi-stakeholder dialogue at country level; and
  •  streamline bureaucratic procedures to increase timely delivery of development support.

 

The IDPS members also committed to using development aid in more innovative ways to better respond to protracted crises. They will:

  • aim to increase the investment of country programmable aid in countries affected by fragility,  violence and conflict; 
  • strengthen national public financial management systems and adopt proven risk management strategies in order to reduce fiduciary risks so that the wider use of country systems becomes possible;
  • implement the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development by scaling up the levels of development support invested in domestic resource mobilisation by 2020, with a special focus on tackling tax avoidance schemes in line with the Addis AbabaTax Initiative

 

About the Ministerial Meeting, the International Dialogue, and the New Deal 

  • The meeting was chaired by the Government’s of Sweden and Sierra Leone and was attended by Ministers from International Dialogue signatory states plus major multilateral development organisations including the World Bank and the UN.
  • The International Dialogue on Peacebuilding and Statebuilding is unique. It is the only peacebuilding and statebuilding forum that brings together donors, fragile and conflict affected states and civil society, to collectively forge transitions out of fragility and towards peace and development. 
  • By promoting its ‘New Deal’ principles as a guide to effective engagement in fragile environments, it is rebuilding state capacity and facilitating country-led and country owned pathways out of fragility and conflict in countries as diverse as Somalia, Sierra Leone and Afghanistan. 
  • The International Dialogue’s New Deal is endorsed and supported by 40 signatory states, as well as the major development actors such as the World Bank, UN, and the EU.