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Posted by on Oct 28, 2015 in General News, Our Work

Strengthening Sustainable Development Goal 16

Editor’s note:  This week Canadian Voice of Women for Peace submitted our proposals regarding Goal 16 of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Goal 16: Promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies

Goal 16 of the Sustainable Development Goals is dedicated to the promotion of peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, the provision of access to justice for all, and building effective, accountable institutions at all levels.”

On September 25th, countries  adopted set of global goals to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all as part of a new sustainable development agenda. Each goal has specific targets to be achieved over the next 15 years.

For the goals to be reached, everyone needs to do their part: governments, the private sector, civil society and people like you.

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VOW  is pleased to submit the following to strengthen and help implement Sustainable Development Goal 16:

“ Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development,

provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and

inclusive institutions at all levels.”

In our view, for peace to prevail, militarism must be addressed. In addition, more broadly, we see a need to address security needs in terms of the concept of common security.

We propose these additions:

16.11 – to fulfill commitments to reallocate the military budget

16.12 – to prevent war and violent conflict

16.13 –  to recognise common security as fundamental

Regarding 16.11 – to fulfill commitments to reallocate military expenses:

 Throughout the years, through international agreements, member states of the United Nations have recognized that the [national] military budget has been a waste and misuse of resources.  Currently, the global community expends 1.7 trillion per year on the military budget at a time when many basic and fundamental rights have not been fulfilled.

We remind member states of these precedents:

1976 – at Habitat 1 member states of the United Nations affirmed the following: “The waste and misuse of resources in war and armaments should be prevented. All countries should make a commitment to promote general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control, in particular in the field of nuclear disarmament. Part of the resources thus released should be utilized so as to achieve a better quality of life for humanity and particularly the peoples of developing countries.

(11, 12   Habitat 1).

1986– The Declaration on the Right to Development‘s  preamble reaffirms that there is a close relationship between disarmament and development and that progress in the field of disarmament would considerably promote progress in the field of development and, that resources released through disarmament measures should be devoted to the economic and social well-being of all peoples and, in particular, those of the developing countries.

1981-1992– multiple United Nations General Assembly resolutions

reinforced  the message. For example, Reduction of Military Budgets”

( Preamble B,  A/RES/35/82  9 December 1981).

And we refer you to more support in conference action plans:

1992– Agenda 21 of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development states that “Warfare is inherently destructive of sustainable development.” (Rio Declaration: Principle 24) and urges “…the reallocation of resources presently committed to military purposes” (Agenda 21, Chapter 33 – 33.18e)

1994– The International Conference on Population and Development states       “None of the actions required, nor all of them combined, is expensive in the context of either current global development or military expenditures.”

(Article 1.19) )

1995 –The Social Development Summit calls for “… new ways of generating new public and private financial resources, inter alia, through the appropriate reduction of excessive military expenditures and the arms trade, and investments for arms production and acquisition, taking into consideration national security requirements, so as to allow possible allocation of additional funds for social and economic development.

(Commitment 9.)  .

1995 – In the Beijing Platform for Action of the Fourth World Conference on Women states committed to maintain peace at the global, regional, and local levels, together with the prevention of policies of aggression … and the resolution of armed conflict (Article 14); to reduce military expenditures (Article 15) and to increase and hasten the conversion of military resources and related industries to development and peaceful purposes. (Article 145a)

We urge efforts by member states of the United Nations to now finally fulfill years of commitment to reallocate the military budget. 

 Regarding 16.12 – to prevent war and violent conflict:

 We urge member states to strengthen efforts to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war and violent conflict. There are many avenues:

 . Implementation of Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace, and Security (2000);

. . End the reluctance of all nuclear arms states to achieve nuclear disarmament, recognizing the humanitarian consequences of their use, as well as prior obligations contained in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to end the nuclear arms race and to achieve disarmament (Article 6);

. Formally endorse the Humanitarian Pledge to fill the legal gap for the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons;

.. Ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty;

. Support the rapid expansion of Nuclear Weapons Free Zones around the world, including the Middle East;

. End the production, circulation and birthing of nuclear-powered or nuclear-armed-capable vessels throughout the world;

. End the destabilization of states and regions through the sale of arms, including through the guise of foreign aid, or through infiltration of non-governmental organizations;

. End the production of all weapons of mass destruction including nuclear, chemical, and biological as agreed in the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment (1972) and specific conventions;

. Strengthen provisions in the Convention on Cluster Munitions;

. Ratify the Arms Trade Treaty;

. Prohibit propaganda for war as determined by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Strengthen its provisions so as to prohibit the establishment of military bases on foreign soil, engaging in war games, and holding arms exhibitions.

. Delegitimize war. Given the social, environmental, health, human rights and economic consequences of war, under no conditions or circumstances should war remain legal or just;

. End practices which counter international resolve to end the scourge of war such as intimidation, or offering economic incentives in exchange for support at the Security Council for military interventions;

. Invoke United Nations Charter Chapter V1- Pacific Settlement of Disputes- routinely rather than Chapter V11- Action with respect to Threats to the Peace, Breaches of the Peace, and Acts of Aggression;

. Universally recognise the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice;

. End the misconstruing of United Nations Charter Article 51 (self-defence) to justify non-provoked military aggression;

. End the guises for military intervention. Recall “human security“

(Iraq,1991), “humanitarian intervention” (Kosovo,1999),”self-defence” (Afghanistan, 2001), “pre-emptive/preventive attack” (Iraq, 2003), “Responsibility to Protect” (Haiti, 2004, Libya 2011) and “will to intervene” (Mali, 2003);

. Avoid discriminatory application of the International Criminal Court;

. Uphold the Declaration of the Use of Scientific and Technological Power, in the Interests of Peace and for the Benefit of Humanity (1975).

   Regarding 16.13 –  to recognize common security as fundamental:

 . Common Security, the concept in the Palme Report on Disarmament and Security (1982), launched by Olaf Palme, 26th Prime Minister of Sweden, identifies common security as the adherence to the rule of international law. The premise is that common security is not militarized security or collective security. Neither is it human security, subject to pretexts for war.

 . Common Security will evolve in scope of meaning and application with:

 . Reallocation of military expenses and the delegitimization of war; 

 . A global structure that respects the rule of law and the International Criminal Court;

 . Development of socially equitable and environmentally sound employment for the enjoyment of the right to development and social justice;

 . Global practice of human rights, including labour rights, women’s rights, indigenous rights, civil and political rights, social and cultural rights ;

 . Universal practices to preserve and protect the environment, recognizing the inherent worth of nature beyond human purpose, with an understanding  of the acute  peril of continuing the current, unsustainable  model of development.

 The opportunity to enjoy peaceful societies and fulfill the intention of the Charter of the United Nations is within our grasp.

Member states can resolve to work with women and civil society to leap forward to this paramount sustainable development Goal 16.    

  Regarding 16.13 –  to recognize common security as fundamental:

 . Common Security, the concept in the Palme Report on Disarmament and Security (1982), launched by Olaf Palme, 26th Prime Minister of Sweden, identifies common security as the adherence to the rule of international law. The premise is that common security is not militarized security or collective security. Neither is it human security, subject to pretexts for war.

 . Common Security will evolve in scope of meaning and application with:

 . Reallocation of military expenses and the delegitimization of war; 

 . A global structure that respects the rule of law and the International Criminal Court;

 . Development of socially equitable and environmentally sound employment for the enjoyment of the right to development and social justice;

 . Global practice of human rights, including labour rights, women’s rights, indigenous rights, civil and political rights, social and cultural rights ;

 . Universal practices to preserve and protect the environment, recognizing the inherent worth of nature beyond human purpose, with an understanding  of the acute  peril of continuing the current, unsustainable  model of development.

 The opportunity to enjoy peaceful societies and fulfill the intention of the Charter of the United Nations is within our grasp.

 Member states can resolve to work with women and civil society to leap forward to this paramount sustainable development Goal 16.