Pakistan stresses peace-development link to promote world peace

UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan has told a meeting at the United Nations that the linkage between peace and sustainable development was vital for promoting peace and stability in the world.

“Where there is no peace, no significant economic development takes place. Sustainable development itself contributes to conditions of peace and stability,” Ambassador Masood Khan said when the Group of Friends of the United Nations Alliance of Civilization (UNAOC) met at the UN Headquarters in New York.

“This linkage (peace and development) can either create a vicious cycle of conflict, strife and underdevelopment or lead to a virtuous cycle of peace, harmony and inclusive economic growth,” he told the group, a community of countries and international organizations which actively promotes the Alliance’s objectives and work at the global, regional and local levels, as well as worldwide.

The Alliance is an initiative proposed by the Prime Minister of Turkey and Spain at the UN General Assembly in 2005 to galvanize international action against extremism through the forging of international, intercultural and interreligious dialogue and cooperation. The Alliance places a particular emphasis on defusing tensions between the Western and Islamic worlds.

While noting that wars and violent conflicts lead to regional and international humanitarian crises spawning waves of refugees and migrants, he said even in peaceful countries and regions of the world, constant vigilance is required to ensure that conditions of stability and development are not undermined by transnational crime, illicit
trafficking of human beings, narcotics,  arms and natural resources.

Underlining the nations’ collective responsibility to prevent conflicts and relapse to conflicts,  and make, keep and build peace, Masood Khan that attaining prosperity does not automatically guarantee peaceful co-existence. “Rich nations may remain as prone to conflict as poor nations,” he said, adding “Peaceful coexistence therefore is a conscious choice that individuals and nations have to make,” while highlighting the Alliance of Civilizations’ role in building trust among nations and civilizations.

Empirical evidence suggested that the performance of the anti-poverty Millenium Development Goals (MDGs)  had been decelerated  in the countries riven by conflict, he said it was important to focus on peace, stability and development as a nexus while crafting the sustainable development goals and develop the post-2015 Development Agenda.