Post-2015: My Learning From Finland

Nepal stands at the crossroad from where the nation is to embark to new dimensions of ideologies, beliefs, and politics.

May 12, 2013, 5:45 p.m. Published in Magazine Issue: Vol: 06 No. -22 May. 10- 2013 (Baishakh, 2070)

As the 2015 deadline to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) fast approaches, the global leaders and citizens everywhere are engaged in dialogue and critical reflection on what has been achieved thus far, and how the international community can better prepare to respond to development challenges in the post-2015 period. Governments, regional organizations, civil society organizations, the private sector, and bilateral and multilateral agencies have initiated a number of processes to take stock of the progress made in achieving the MDGs and reflect on future challenges.

This was taken up by the High-level Consultation on Conflict, Violence and Disaster and the Post-2015 Development Agenda on 13 March 2013 in Helsinki under the aegis of the Government of Finland. This high-level consultation is one of the 11 global Thematic Consultations, conceptualized around five global conversations designed to address the inter relationship among conflict, violence, disaster, fragility and sustainable development. It brought together distinguished representatives from all over the world to discuss the importance of addressing these issues of development, as well as offer recommendations on how to reflect this in the post-2015 framework.

The high-level meeting acknowledged the significant contributions put forward by the four sub- thematic consultations on disaster, conflict and fragility, and violence in Indonesia, Liberia and Panama, respectively. The consultation process has been led by the United Nations Development Programme, the UN Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO), the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).

The consultation not only produced rich, substantive observations and recommendations, but did so through a truly participatory and diverse in-person consultation exercise. In Nepal's context, these issues are not only important but form the basis of our road ahead. Peace building being more than just a post–conflict reconstruction emerging through complex phenomenon and involving a full array of processes, approaches and stages, signify a range of activities and structures before, during and after formal peace agreements between parties are signed. As such conflict management, conflict resolution and conflict transformation has been an overlapping process in Nepal to end violence and promote peace.  The consultation meeting was unanimous in its call for the post-2015 agenda to address the causes and consequences of conflict, violence and disaster. Conflict, violence and disaster are universal issues of great concern to people across the world, and their toll impacts many countries, hits the most vulnerable hardest, and thwarts progress on the Millennium Development Goals.

Nepal stands at the crossroad from where the nation is to embark to new dimensions of ideologies, beliefs, and politics. Peace in a broad sense determines not only about the survival of humanity in the present context, but also the quality of life for future generation. As such the broad post 2015 framework which includes – ending impunity and ensuring access to political, economic and social justice, prevention of all forms of violence, particularly against women and children – disaster risk reduction- equality and social cohesion – participation in decision making- fair, responsive and accountable governance – the importance of inclusive growth and institutions, have a crucial role for the attainment of sustainable peace in Nepal.

The Government of Finland, realizing the importance of external financing in the poorest developing counties, focused its development cooperation on the least developed countries in Africa and Asia. The development cooperation is to concentrate on long-term partnership in order to reduce the fragmentation of financial and human resources. Finland's long term partner countries in the future include Nepal along with Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania and Zambia as well as Vietnam, a lower middle-income country. The responsibility of emerging economies in reducing poverty and inequality within their own countries and in global development efforts is emphasized. Nepal could benefit greatly from such development cooperation. As their regional level policy Finland aims to support regional integration and the resolution of cross- border problems.

As the Secretary of Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction, the learning and knowledge shared at the meeting was not only contextual but also relevant as this is Nepal's top priority at the moment because of the impact of peace-building process which cuts across all aspects of the nation. The call for new development framework that will succeed the Millennium Development Goal post 2015 gives a clear picture of the areas that need to be addressed as part of the agenda.

Dharanidhar Khatiwada

Khatiwada is Secretary at Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction

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