According to a global study launched by the Vice President of Zimbabwe, Hon. Kembo Mohadi in Harare recently, the international community's attention must urgently refocus on prevention of conflict.
The Vice President, who is also is also responsible for national peace and reconciliation in Government, officiated at the study together with the UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Representative Mr Bishow Parajuli, Ambassador of Sweden to Zimbabwe Sofia Caltorp and World Bank Country Manager Mukami Kariuki and the National Peace and Reconciliation Chairperson, Retired Justice Selo Masole Nare. Also present at the launch were officials from Government, the United Nations, civil society and the media.
Relating to the findings in the study, Vice President Mohadi noted "The launch comes at a time when Zimbabwe is taking the path that will lead the country to middle income country, ... and central to the programme is the articulation of national unity, peace, social cohesion and reconciliation as the bedrock of sustainable economic development." The Vice President also recognised the need to build a sustainable peace architecture as a key enabler for this development.
Speaking at the launch, the UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Representatives, Bishow Parajuli, commended Zimbabwe for "embedding principles of peace, reconciliation and social cohesion as constitutional values and development imperatives."
Highlighting one of the key results from the report, Ambassador of Sweden, H.E. Sofia Saltorp emphasised the importance of inclusivity in peace building efforts. "Women are a key agents in building more resilient and peaceful societies. It is therefore of fundamental importance that we all make an effort to include more women in peace building and developmental processes "
Pathways for Peace: Inclusive Approaches to Preventing Violent Conflict is a joint study of the United Nations and the World Bank.
The study originates from the conviction on the part of both institutions that the attention of the international community needs to be urgently refocused on prevention.
This study seeks to improve the way in which domestic development processes interact with security, diplomatic, justice, and human rights efforts to prevent conflicts from becoming violent.
Key messages from the study are that the human and economic cost of conflicts around the world requires all of those concerned to work more collaboratively. The SDGs should be at the core of this approach. The best way to prevent societies from descending into crisis, including but not limited to conflict, is to ensure that they are resilient through investment in inclusive and sustainable development.
The report also shows that Growth and poverty alleviation are crucial but alone will not suffice to sustain peace. Preventing violence requires departing from traditional economic and social policies when risks are building up or are high.
In addition, the report notes that inclusive decision making is fundamental to sustaining peace at all levels, as are long-term policies to address economic, social, and political aspirations. Fostering the participation of young people as well as of the organizations, movements, and networks that represent them is crucial. Women’s meaningful participation in all.