How is progress on Goal 16: Peace?

Goal 16 – the ‘Peace Goal’ – is part of the  Sustainable Development Goal framework. It is an important recognition that peace is essential for development, as much as development is essential to peace. However, having a goal is only the first step. We need to ensure that Goal 16 is measured, and that concrete steps are taken towards its achievement all the while holding Governments to account.

This is the task taken on by Peace Bank member the Institute for Economics and Peace. Their Goal 16 Progress Report presents a detailed analysis of available data to measure the goal and its targets. It also measures progress achieved to date, country by country. Findings highlight the major challenges facing Goal 16, including methodological issues, political challenges, as well as practical implementation issues around data collection and statistical capacity that if not addressed may undermine the achievement of the goal.

Read more here.

Putting Peace first and the Sustainable Development Goals


Most people may have heard of the Sustainable Development Goals. Agreed within the United Nations on September 25th 2015, countries adopted a set of goals to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all as part of a new sustainable development agenda. Each goal has specific targets to be achieved over the next 15 years. The United Nations encourages everyone to do their part to reach the goals: governments, the private sector and civil society.

Invest in Peace believes Goal 16 is the most important to focus on.

Without peace there can be no development, and without development, there is unlikely to be peace. Each of the 16 other Goals can contribute to peace as in turn peace contributes towards prosperity.

According to the Institute for Economics and Peace:

High levels of violence impact economic development by reducing foreign direct investment and broader macroeconomics such as interest rates and national productivity.

This directly affects poverty, life expectancy and educational outcomes, as well as indicators that are essential for long term development, such as infant mortality and access to services. Goal 16 measures everyday interpersonal violence, which affects all 163 countries through detrimental social and economic impact.

The conflict trap 

Nations affected by armed conflict suffer what’s known as a ‘conflict trap’. This occurs when the impact of conflict further increases the risk factors associated with conflict. For example, low socio-economic development can support conditions that create violence, but it is also a consequence of violence.

Countries with weak institutions are more vulnerable to conflict, as they do not have an effective means for conflict resolution. In 2016, global losses from conflict were estimated to be $14.3 trillion (PPP).

As the diagram at the top illustrates, there are 16 dimensions requiring urgent analysis – between the goal of peace and the other 16 goals. Each of these dimensions could potentially be influenced by economic factors which in turn can come from reforming the economic system through the implementation of stabilizing factors such as dividend-bearing climate fees.

The economic system should be treated as a system. Systems can be designed and run to perform to requirements. An economic system with various control points and feedback loops can serve humanity by ensuring that the better challenges are solved, the better it pays everyone in the system.

We believe we should explore  how financial incentives can be implemented to create societies where it pays to fulfill the global goals and build peace. In other words, we are calling for a system upgrade, where it pays all actors better in the economic system to act responsibly, fairly and sustainably.

The model requires the economic system to be completely aligned with, and serve, human values and needs. Fortunately, advances in engineering using digital systems to control performance, and the spreading digital economy, allow this next leap to happen. Breakthrough developments in Market-Based Instruments that work as actuators in complex systems, relying on information and feedbacks to citizens, like Climate Dividends, provide the potential for completely new approaches to governance through financial steering.

The Sustainable Development Goals, with peace as the main focus, will provide good guidance for how to set such a system up.

Peace Story: an annual conference to connect peace and land restoration

Conferences that bring together different people from widely different backgrounds to “join the dots” on central issues like foods security, peace and land restoration can inspire, educate and create strong networks with a strengthened ability to drive change for the positive.

While many people are aware of the rapid speed of desertification (1% of agricultural land lost each year), few understand that deserts are often man made. Where land degradation is occurring and restoration is not happening, the primary reasons are often not technical or financial, but are connected to lack of trust or actual conflict. Change in human attitudes, behaviour and relationships, the principle focus of Initiatives of Change (IofC), are seen as key to achieving both peace and land restoration.
In 2011 and 2012, Luc Gnacadja, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, requested that dialogues on these issues be arranged at the Caux conference center.
The annual Caux Dialogues on Land and Security starting in July , 2013  have explored the potential of sustainable land management as a driver of peace, development and climate change mitigation by bringing together individuals, governments, international organizations, NGOs and business in a unique environment.

The Economics of Happiness: preparing for a transition

These Videos are from talks given at the “The Economics of Happiness: Creating a More Equitable World” event organised by Initiatives of Change and Local Futures.
The session was based around the ideas of Helena Norberg-Hodge that designing an economy on a human scale can bring wealth, happiness and prosperity in an ecological way. She talked of the steps local, national and international, to getting there. Continue reading

Peace Story: Post-WW2 reconciliation

Frank Buchman

TIME AND PLACE: CAUX, Switzerland post WW2

THE PEOPLE INVOLVED: Frank ND Buchman was the initiator of Moral Re-Armament, now known as Initiatives of Change.

SITUATION: Buchman returned to Europe after WW2, conscious that lasting worldwide peace could only be established on the basis of a change in personal and public relationships. At this time any contact with the Germans was extremely difficult.

WHAT HAPPENED: Moral Re armament opened an international conference centre in Caux, Switzerland, made possible through the generosity and hard work of hundreds of Swiss citizens. Over the next four years more than 3,000 Germans and 2,000 French came to Caux, and their

CAUX Conference Center

encounters became the basis of a massive development in reconciliation and reconstruction.

END RESULTS: Buchman was later decorated by both the German and French governments for his contribution to European reconciliation. The story of one them, Resistance leader Madame Irène Laure, is told on video – and is also available as a book. The conferences at Caux, and similar ones at Mackinac Island in the United States, achieved further public recognition through several other major contributions to international developments in the post-war years, notably the part played in the reconciliation of Japan with her South-East Asian neighbours, and in the achievement of independence by several African countries without major bloodshed. By the 1950s, casts of plays presenting MRA’s ideas were travelling all over the world.


See the IOFC website under history