Panama Consultation Discusses Violence, Security in Post-2015 Agenda

The World We Want 20151 February 2013: Over 100 UN officials, civil society representatives and stakeholders convened in Panama City, Panama, to discuss how to reflect citizen security and violence in the post-2015 agenda. The meeting focused on the relationships between citizen insecurity, violence and sustainable development, as part of the post-2015 Global Consultation on Conflict, Violence and Disaster.

The meeting, “Violence, Security and the Post-2015 Development Agenda,” hosted by the Government of Panama from 31 January-1 February 2013, considered how to address the linkages among: security and development; HIV, conflict and violence; and disasters, insecurity and violence. Ricardo Mena, UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (ISDR), cautioned that disasters, which disproportionately affect poor populations, “can have social, environmental, economic and political implications which frequently increase conditions of violence and insecurity,” and can contribute to persistent governance challenges and conflict.

Participants discussed the implications of conflict, crime and violence on achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Violence in Latin America and the Caribbean negatively impacts children's development and survival, economic productivity, human rights, and political stability and hinders MDG achievement, it was noted.

Participants also emphasized including inequity in the post-2015 agenda. According to Jose Luis Machinea, former Executive Secretary, UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), inequality has increased in nearly every world region in the last 15-20 years, and Latin America “remains the region with the worst income distribution.”

The Panama meeting is the third in a series of three sub-thematic consultations, including one on disaster in Indonesia, in October 2012, and one on conflict and fragility in Liberia, in November 2012. The Panama meeting is expected to produce a report on strategic options for accounting for fragility, peace, security and violence reduction in the post-2015 agenda, including goals, targets and indicators. This report will contribute to a synthesis report to be discussed at a High-Level Consultation on Conflict, Violence, and Disaster in Helsinki, Finland, on 13 March 2013.

This consultation is one of 11 global thematic consultations. To date, consultations have reflected consensus on four areas: “economic opportunity and the end of extreme poverty, social inclusion, environmental sustainability and democratic governance,” according to Magdy Martinez-Soliman, UN Development Programme (UNDP). UNDP, the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), the UN Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO) and ISDR serve as the co-leaders of the consultation, which is supported by the Government of Finland. [UNDP Press Release] [Consultation Concept Note] [Webpage for Conflict, Violence and Disaster Consultation] [IISD RS Story on Liberia Consultation]