Armed violence reduction and development


Armed Violence Reduction and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Armed violence is a major obstacle for human development everywhere it occurs. Every year armed fighting and minor conflicts cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of men, women and children and injure millions more. The price of armed violence is paid not only by the dead and injured but also by the families left behind.

When a community, or even a whole state, is affected by armed violence, it has dire consequences for the society at large. It naturally affects the actual security situation, but the psychological effects of a perceived threat can be just as devastating, halting subsistence activities and reducing investment and general economic activity, which again falls back on families.

Embodied in Goal 16 of SDGs, one of the root causes of lack of progress in the many of the world’s most fragile states, is the prevalence of armed violence and the lack of justice and rule of law. Goal 16 aims to “promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels”.

To take effect on January 1st, 2016, the indicators of achievement for the global community include the reduction of armed violence, the promotion of social cohesion and a preventative approach conflict management. Combined with the broad support for the Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development and the Oslo Commitments on Armed Violence, the international community has made armed violence a priority to tackle significantly by 2030.

The Danish Demining Group (DDG) advocates for the need to acknowledge that prevention and reduction of armed violence, as part of improving overall safety and security, is paramount if a community is to facilitate and encourage human development for the benefit of its people.

DDG regularly participates and presents on bespoke interventions that can help governments implement their commitments under the Geneva Declaration in Annual Review regional meetings, including those in North Africa, Geneva and East Africa in 2015.