Foreword

Life on the streets and in the fields of Bamyan, a province in central Afghanistan where the United Nations Development Programme supports environmental and livelihoods projects.  © UNDP Afghanistan/Rob Few/2015

 

Addressing the Security Council in January of this year, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said “prevention is not merely a priority, but the priority. If we live up to our responsibilities, we will save lives, reduce suffering and give hope to millions.”

As conflict and crises undermine attempts to strengthen the founding pillars of the United Nations—peace and security, human rights and development—we must reaffirm our commitment to peace and to inclusive and sustainable development. If the scourges of war, terrorism and extremism, and the effects of climate-related natural disasters continue unabated, and we stand idle, they can adversely affect lives and livelihoods. Comprehensive reforms and greater integration of our capacities are thus necessary, as we strengthen our partnerships and build trust among Member States and stakeholders.

Two years ago, the magazine looked at the link between conflict and the implementation and attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals in its issue “Implementing the 2030 Agenda: The Challenge of Conflict”. This issue focuses on the importance of fostering and maintaining a commitment to a culture of prevention in reaching those Goals. It explores conflict and crises, and their relationship to the empowerment of civil society, media and information literacy, women’s role in ongoing peace processes, and desertification and the reversal of land degradation.

With this issue of the UN Chronicle, we hope to help inform the discussion on the culture of prevention, and contribute to the objective of strengthening and sustaining peace and security, human rights, the rule of law, and sustainable development, for current and future generations.