10 November 2017
Experts Discuss Integrating Sustainable Development in Post-Conflict Situations
Photo by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth
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DESA's Division for Public Administration and Development Management held an expert group meeting on integrating sustainable development and peace in post-conflict situations.

The meeting is expected to inform the 2017 issue of the World Public Sector Report, which will focus on integrated approaches to implement the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs.

25 October 2017: In preparation for the 2017 edition of its World Public Sector Report (WPSR), the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) organized an expert group meeting (EGM) to discuss ways for public institutions and administration to better integrate sustainable development and peace in post-conflict situations. Overall, the forthcoming WPSR will examine ways in which governments, public institutions and public administration can foster integrated approaches to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and SDGs.

The EGM on the theme, ‘Integrating Sustainable Development and Peace in Post-conflict Situations: the Role of Public Institutions and Public Administration,’ brought together representatives from countries, UN entities and other stakeholders, and took place on 25 October 2017, at UN Headquarters in New York, US. It considered: challenges involved in post-conflict governance; integrated cross-sectoral approaches for post-conflict recovery, the role of local governments and successful examples of integrated action for lasting peace and sustainable development; challenges and approaches to people’s engagement in post-conflict situations and post-conflict governance programmes; and the role of public administration to support the adoption of multidimensional conflict-sensitive and development-oriented approaches for sustaining peace.

David Le Blanc, UN Division for Public Administration and Development Management (DPADM), DESA, specified that the report’s analysis will utilize three dimensions: horizontal integration, vertical integration and the engagement of non-state actors. The report’s thematic chapters will include integrated approaches to post-conflict situations, he noted.

Jairo Acuña-Alfaro, UN Development Programme (UNDP), reported that 1.5 billion of the world’s population currently live in countries affected by fragility and repeated cycles of conflict, and 43% of poor people live in fragile states. Referring to the ‘Lessons Learned Review of UN Support to Core Public Administration Functions in the Immediate Aftermath of Conflict,’ he said the UN, along with the wider international system, is not doing enough to support core public administration functions post-conflict, and that the current approach to support core government functions in the aftermath of a conflict has often been unsuitable.

Carmen Rosa De León Escribano, Institute of Education for Sustainable Development, Guatemala, said Guatemala’s experience demonstrates that a peace agreement is not sufficient to achieve sustainable development and peace. She stressed the need to make changes to the security and justice sectors and political power to achieve that objective in the post-conflict period, and highlighted that it can be challenging to engage political parties in the peace process, and to ensure that they facilitate inclusion and participation of the population.

Marika Theros, Institute for State Effectiveness, US, remarked that the nature and performance of public sector organizations are critical for sustaining peace. She noted the importance of budget for policy coordination and overcoming fragmentation.

Previous editions of the WPSR were published in 2001, 2003, 2005, 2008, 2010 and 2015. [Event Webpage] [Event Agenda, with Links to Speakers’ Presentations] [Lessons Learned Review of UN Support to Core Public Administration Functions in the Immediate Aftermath of Conflict]

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