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In his remarks to the UN General Assembly’s High-level Meeting on Sustaining Peace in April 2018, UN Secretary-General António Guterres described the current state of peace and security in the world in sombre terms:
“We must recognize that in some fundamental ways, our world is going backwards. More countries are experiencing violent conflict than at any time in nearly three decades. Record numbers of civilians are being killed or injured by explosive weapons in urban areas. Record numbers of people are on the move, displaced by violence, war and persecution. We see horrific violations of human rights, and rising nationalism, racism and xenophobia. Inequalities are increasing; whole regions, countries and communities can find themselves isolated from progress and left behind by growth. Women and girls face discrimination of all kinds. These are all indications that we need greater unity and courage – to ease the fears of the people we serve; to set the world on track to a better future; and to lay the foundations of sustainable peace and development.”
In front of an ever more turbulent world and ever stronger calls to action, this Annual Meeting of the Geneva Peacebuilding Platform sets the scene for the reflections of Geneva Peace Week 2018 on the urgency to find peaceful solutions for the growing risk of violent conflict in its many forms. Heeding the Secretary-General’s call to action, the Annual Meeting aims to contribute to greater unity by distilling what we know about the coming turbulence and to greater courage across institutions and sectors to ‘walk the talk’ and act to prevent conflict and build peace.
Intent on galvanizing the courage to act, the Annual Meeting emphasizes that wherever people prevent conflict and build peace on a daily basis, those willing to lead have much work to do and many places to start; but they should be reassured that effective approaches are readily available. The Annual Meeting – and Geneva Peace Week in general – offer a glimpse into this practice and propose a space to broker new partnerships for action that are driven by cool heads, sober judgement, and effective action.
The Annual Meeting places a particular emphasis on the diversity of voices that are involved in shaping prevention and peacebuilding practice in specific places. It therefore features speakers from local, national and international levels to initiate the conversation across a diversity of perspectives that will go on in greater depth during Geneva Peace Week.
The Platform’s Annual Meeting brings together a variety of actors and representatives from government, international organizations, business, and academia and provides a space for frank and open exchange outside of more formal policy forums. The Annual Meeting is a public event and proceedings are ‘on the record’.
More information on the Programme and Speakers coming soon.
Registration opens early October 2018.