Speech on the Role of Peace in Advancing Achievement of SDGs

Over the last three decades, a diverse group of leaders from private corporations, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and subnational government leaders have developed and promoted a global agenda of collective action. From advancing human rights to combating climate change, these diverse group of leaders have become new governors in world politics. What is worrisome is, more recently, a second movement—a loose array of populist and nationalist groups and governments—have questioned the forward momentum of institutionalized global cooperation.

Considering the above context, the International Institute of Governance & Leadership, organized the 2nd Global Governance & Leadership Forum in India on 10th September 2018 at Hotel Taj Mahal Palace, Colaba Mumbai. The theme of the Forum was appropriately chosen to be the ‘Challenges in Global Governance – Collective Governance of the Planet’.

Here, our Director and Former Defence Minister of Netherlands & Member of the Global Board of IIGL,  Joris Voorhoeve, being an expert on Peace, as he was co-chair of global partnership for the prevention of armed conflict, which is a ‘UN Peace Keeping’ initiative, shared his thoughts on the ‘Role of Peace in advancing achievement of SDGs’.

Elaborating the essence of ‘Sustainable Development Goals No.16 – Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions’, Mr.Voorhoeve highlighted that peace is very important to make progress, in implementing the SDGs. Peace, goes along with requirements of justice and strong institutions, he said. Peace without justice means suppression. Strong institutions are necessary to implement human rights, which, without strong institutions, remain rights on paper and not in reality, he added.

Emphasising the importance of good governance, Mr. Voorhoeve said, good governance makes sure there is no violence in the State and that the conflict which will always exist between people, but they can be settled peacefully. Therefore, maintaining peace is not just the task of UN Security Council, it is also the prime task of national Governments, he added. He further highlighted that the crux of good governance is peaceful conflict settlement, legal order and strong institutions for the legal order. He also emphasised the importance of economic benefits of Peace and said that if we look, not just from a humanitarian, but an economic point of view, at the cost of violence, it is gigantic. Those countries, which in the last 70 years, were in peace, have had 3 times higher economic growth than countries which went through war.

Mr. Voorhoeve also shared his concerns over the ‘Costs of Violence’. Quoting from the recently released Global Peace Index report, he said that:

  • The global economic impact of violence in 2017 was equivalent to 12.4 % of global GDP, or US$ 1,988 per person.
  • The economic impact of (civil) war has increased by 16 % since 2012, corresponding with the start of the Syrian war and rising violence in the aftermath of the Arab Spring.
  • In the last 70 years, per capita GDP growth has been three times higher in highly peaceful countries.
  • Over the last decade, countries with the largest improvements in peace recorded seven times higher per capita GDP growth than those that deteriorated the most.


He said that it is a major responsibility of business leaders to remind their Governments that it is important to remain non-violent and peaceful because more peaceful countries with strong legal institutions for peaceful conflict settlement are the best environment for business so Giving equal importance to civil society leaders he said that we need stronger civic societies which advocate peaceful conflict resolutions and settlement in time and preventive action. Finally, reiterating the vision of International Institute of Governance & Leadership (IIGL), Mr. Voorhoeve said that Good governance is all about leadership and all three kinds of leaders via; Political, Business & Civil Society leaders work together the Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions will be established faster.