Magdy Martinez-Soliman: Remarks at Jobs for Peace: Impact of Employment Programmes on Peacebuilding

Let me thank the Co-hosts, Secretaries of the Government of Norway and Switzerland and His Excellency Faustin Archange Touadera, President of Central Africa Republic for their presence in this important event.

We know for countries to sustain peace and increase the impact of employment programmes, excellent policy design is needed, as are considerable political will and financial means. Needless to say this is peace and jobs – essential to advance the 2030 Agenda. Generating employment is difficult enough in prosperous, high-tech, widely skilled societies with last generation infrastructures. It is of course much harder where the economy struggles, the physical capital has been damaged, the workforce is less well-trained and technology is not widely available.

UNDP strongly supports the efforts of the UN and WB partners and works closely with all partners to speed up these efforts. The current partnership as well as this particular event, where we present the emerging findings of the Employment and Peacebuilding study, is a good example of our joint efforts.

On the 2030 Agenda and Employment and Peacebuilding

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has identified the promotion of peaceful and inclusive societies as a key priority. Leaving no one behind in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals requires putting first those countries affected by conflict and fragility. The background paper prepared by this partnership, will help us prove that most SDGs are achieved faster through employment and peacebuilding programmes.

The root causes of conflict and violence, in particular, poverty, inequalities, social exclusion and unemployment require investment. The best investments in conflict prevention, target youth, women, and population groups with unequal opportunities.

Jobless growth amidst persisting inequalities, coupled with disappointing poverty reduction outcomes have brought attention to employment as a way to increase incomes of the poor and to contribute to more cohesive, sustainable and equitable societies. Few dividends of peace are as tangible and appreciated as employment and social protection. Conversely, inequalities, unemployment and poverty have been cited as ‘push factors’ that can lead to, or lead back to violent extremism, conflict, and social and political instability.

Employment programmes contribute to peacebuilding. If well designed, they contribute to gender equality, youth empowerment and citizen security.

Emergency jobs and livelihoods improvement programmes are integral components of the overall architecture for peacebuilding. Sustaining peace requires longer term national leadership on policies that promote employment-led growth and develop inclusive societies.

Thank you.

Source: United Nations Development Programme.