Investment in children is crucial to sustain peace and development and build peaceful, just and inclusive societies, stresses SRSG

New York, 27 January 2017 - The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development recognises children as essential agents of change who will channel their infinite capacities for the creation of a better and more inclusive world, a world in which every child grows up free from fear and from violence. Investment in children is crucial to sustain peace and development, and build peaceful, just and inclusive societies. This was the key message delivered by SRSG Santos Pais in her remarks during the High Level Dialogue on Building Sustainable Peace for All: Synergies between the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Sustaining Peace organised by the President of the 71st Session of the UN General Assembly.

 “The 2030 Agenda and the Sustaining Peace agenda are the roadmap to a safer, more resilient and sustainable world where no one is left behind. The best way of avoiding leaving children behind is by putting them first and ensuring that no child grows up in a world of fear and violence” highlighted SRSG Santos Pais.

“Children have a very clear vision of what makes institutions accessible, effective and accountable and it starts with including them in the design of laws, policies and the delivery of services. Children call for countries to invest in strong child protection systems, and child sensitive health care, education, welfare, justice and police institutions. All these institutions and services need to be accessible, effective and accountable to children: this starts with their genuine participation and inclusion in decision-making processes that affect their lives” said the SRSG.

In her remarks, the SRSG stressed the importance of involving children in development and peace processes as change agents: “Children want to play an active part in identifying solutions and when given the opportunity to participate in an inclusive, respectful and child sensitive environment, they show how resourceful they are. And their priorities are clear: first they want a safe, inclusive, relevant and empowering education to gain skills and to enjoy a healthy life, to promote dialogue and critical thinking, and to prevent fear and violence. Second, they recognize the imperative of being protected from all forms of violence, everywhere and at all times,” highlighted SRSG Santos Pais.

The High Level Dialogue was convened by the President of the General Assembly to discuss the synergies between Sustaining Peace and the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda across SDG targets, including those related to the promotion of peaceful and inclusive societies, the fostering of responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels, the building of effective, transparent and accountable institutions and the tackling of the root causes of conflict. The outcome of the High Level Dialogue will contribute towards preparations for the High-Level meeting on “Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace”, which will be convened during the 72nd session of the GA.

The Dialogue included the participation of the Secretary-General, the President of the Security Council, the President of the Economic and Social Council, the Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission, Member States, UN entities, civil society and academia other stakeholders.

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