Violence is a heartbreaking reality in our world. Rates of people killed in violent conflict are 10 times higher than they were in 2005, according to the United Nations. These statistics are scary, but there are groups of people around the world devoting their time and resources to building lasting world peace.
A group of Peacebuilding coalitions is running a campaign called Peace in Our Cities to raise awareness about the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 16, which is a global goal dedicated to reducing violence and promoting sustainable development throughout the world by 2030.
Just last week, the Global Parliament of Mayors committed to Peace in Our Cities, meaning they will aim to reduce all forms of violence in their communities by 50% by the year 2030.
Let’s dive into this goal, the campaign, and the parties involved:
Global Parliament of Mayors
The Global Parliament of Mayors (GPM) is a coalition of mayors from across the world. The group aims to represent cities on a global scale. The coalition sits in on United Nations discussions and other large scale meetings to make sure the voices of mayors, and their citizens, are heard. The GPM recently committed to the Peace in Our Cities campaign, which is explained below.
21 Peacebuilding organizations came together to create +Peace. They aim to raise awareness about the importance of peacebuilding, as well as earning international acceptance of it. +Peace focuses on running campaigns that raise awareness for, and increase participation in, international peacebuilding efforts.
Pathfinders for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies
Pathfinders for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies are an assembly of “31 UN member states, international organizations, global partnerships, civil society and the private sector.” Their primary goal is to raise awareness for the global peace goal, Sustainable Development Goal 16.
Evidence and research is a vital component of raising awareness and implementing change. Impact:Peace focuses on the scientific side of Peacebuilding. They do collaborative research as well as publishing original research, all in hopes of using evidence as a catalyst for change.
The Campaign and Main Goal
Peace in Our Cities Campaign
Pathfinders for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies, Impact:Peace and +Peace came together to create the Peace in Our Cities Campaign. The goal of this campaign is to raise awareness for Sustainable Development Goal 16.
By signing the Peace in Our Cities pledge, city governments and other partners agree to the following:
- Communicating the imperative of global investment, political attention, and action focused on reducing and sustainably transforming urban violence.
- Sharing best practices and accelerated actions towards achieving SDG16.1 and SDG16+ over the course of the 12-month initiative.
- Ensuring appropriate representation and participation in the Peace in Our Cities Action Committee over a 12-month period, including:
- Launch events, September 2019
- Optional retreats, October 2019 (USA) and November 2019 (Switzerland)
- Virtual Action Committee calls, every 2 months
- A 2-day Action Committee Retreat, early 2020
- Supporting the development and dissemination of a final Peace in Our Cities Action Committee Report.
Sustainable Development Goal 16
The United Nations created 17 goals, called the Sustainable Development Goals, which are intended to improve the world in a variety of ways by 2030. These goals were endorsed by all of the United Nations Member states in 2015.
The Sustainable Development Goals aim to increase development and prosperity in the world while protecting the environment. They address all facets of world issues such as violence, education, health, climate change, and natural resource preservation.
As mentioned above, Sustainable Development Goal 16 is focused on significantly reducing violence and resulting deaths by 2030.
Bringing world peace can seem like an impossible goal, especially when it seems like things are getting worse. Raising awareness about the people tackling this issue (and supporting or joining them if you can) is how we can all come together to make lasting change.