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Book Launch “Long Walk of Peace: Towards a Culture of Prevention”

24 May 2018
Book Launch “Long Walk of Peace: Towards a Culture of Prevention”

Remarks by Mr. Michael Møller
United Nations Under-Secretary-General
Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva
Book Launch “Long Walk of Peace: Towards a Culture of Prevention”
Thursday, 24 May 2018 at 12:30 p.m.
Library Events Room (B.135), Palais des Nations


Ms. Al-Nashif,
Excellencies,
Ladies and gentlemen:

If you were to summarize the essence of Geneva in one word it would be “peace”. Geneva as the ‘City of Peace’ dates back to more than 150 years ago when the Red Cross was created here.

Today, as the natural location for peace talks, Geneva is the place where a large community of peace actors is working side by side.

One of the them is UNESCO and in particular the UNESCO Liaison Office in Geneva, which in collaboration with the Abat Oliba CEU University in Barcelona, facilitated the work on this unique publication, “The long walk of peace: Towards a culture of Prevention” that we are launching here today in one of our library events.

I sincerely thank UNESCO for their exemplary work of bringing all the contributors of this book around the table to share their experiences and innovative ideas on how to prevent violent conflict and build and sustain peace. This publication is an example par excellence of “Delivering as one”, taking stock and being aware of each other’s activities.

And let me thank UNESCO for choosing Geneva for the launch of this publication. The book embodies everything that makes Geneva the capital of peace and prevention. It brings together theoretical and academic reflection with real-life experiences of the agencies working on the ground on prevention and on building and sustaining peace.

This book comes as a timely contribution to our current reflection about reforming the peace and security pillar of the United Nations. As we are faced with ever new and greater challenges related to peace and security – from the use of new technologies to the involvement of transnational non-state actors – this book provides welcome inspiration and opens up new conversations. It also provides a comprehensive contribution to achieving “a culture of prevention”. Indeed, prevention is a central pillar of our reform agenda and very much the priority of our UN Secretary-General.

The book illustrates that preventing violent conflict and sustaining peace can only be achieved if seen as part of a broader perspective that is embedded in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, our common and global roadmap that is crafted in the understanding that peace, development and human rights are all intrinsically linked. Consequently, the book does not only feature the players that are typically associated with the peace agenda. Many of the 32 agencies introduced in the publication work on different aspects of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and contribute to peace and prevention of violent conflict through their important work on areas such aus labour, health or migration, to name just a few.

ILO, the International Labour Organization, for example, supports job creation in fragile countries with its flagship ‘Jobs for Peace and Resilience’ programme.

WHO, the World Health Organization, that is meeting in this building as we speak, supports health workers in delivering health programmes in conflict and post‑conflict situations, through its Health as a Bridge for Peace policy and planning framework.

IOM, the International Organization for Migration, engages in the context of forced displacement and protracted crises, addressing conflict dynamics as a driver of displacement at community-level.

Many other actors featured in the book – such as ITU, UNITAR, UN Environment, UNAIDS, UNIDIR, UNICEF, UNRISD and WMO – are based here in Geneva. By presenting the value of their work for the international peace and prevention agenda, the book provides us with a deeper understanding of how the current concept of ‘sustaining peace’ is naturally linked with the Sustainable Development Goals.

Ladies and gentlemen,

This book is not an end in itself, but fuels into a larger conversation that takes place globally but has a special place here in Geneva. It culminates every year in the Geneva Peace Week, that brings together all Geneva-based actors involved in the peace agenda. I invite you all to be part of this ongoing dialogue and if you have something interesting to share, the upcoming Geneva Peace Week, which will take place from 5 to 9 November 2018, is a great opportunity. You can still suggest your events until 15 June 2018 on www.genevapeaceweek.ch.

With this, I thank you all for being here with us today and wish you a very good discussion!