With less than five years to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), a growing number of states, international organizations and civil society are addressing one of the paramount obstacles to their achievement: armed violence.
To galvanize this movement, and call for more countries to join, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) are co-hosting a global meeting on armed violence in Geneva, aimed at making the reduction of armed violence a top issue on the global development agenda.
“Every day armed violence kills more than 2,000 people,” said Foreign Minister Støre. “The majority of these fatalities are civilians. This is a fundamental challenge to our common humanitarian and developmental goals. States must come together and work in partnership with the UN and civil society to take action against armed violence now.”
At the conference, delegates from international organizations, civil society, and 60 states are discussing strategies to tackle armed violence. Their conclusions will contribute to the 2010 MDGs review process, leading up to the High Level summit in New York in September, when world leaders will gather to assess progress, identify gaps, and commit to a concrete action agenda to achieve the MDGs.
Armed violence has a devastating effect on development progress,” said UNDP Administrator Helen Clark. “Life as normal is severely disrupted affecting citizens’ safety and security and access to basic services and livelihoods. The international community can mobilise to deter the proliferation and use of the weapons which fuel this violence.”
By endorsing the Oslo Commitments, States commit to a wide range of actions, including, for example, to better monitor and record armed violence; support its victims through the provision of adequate care and rehabilitation; better integrate armed violence into development plans at all levels of government; and strengthen international cooperation and assistance to prevent and reduce armed violence.