Building the Bridge


The impact of armed violence is significant in both conflict and nonconflict settings, ranging from direct effects such as deaths, injuries, or psychological harm, to long-term effects such as mass displacement and restricted access to health, education and livelihood, which impede investment and economic growth. Arms —in particular small arms, light weapons and explosive weapons—remain the primary tool of violence in affected environments.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development places arms control, peace and security squarely within the scope of prevention and development thinking and actions. States acknowledge that sustainable development cannot be realized without peace and security and that peace and security will be at risk without arms control. Uncontrolled proliferation, misuse and diversion of arms has implications for the realization of several Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including those relating to peace, justice and strong institutions (SDG16), poverty reduction (SDG1), economic growth (SDG8), health (SDG3), gender equality (SDG5), and safe cities and communities (SDG11).

Yet, there is scope for enhancing the shared understanding among arms control, prevention and development communities on the many areas where the successful achievement of conventional arms control objectives would benefit the implementation of the prevention agenda and the SDGs. Research indicates that more can be done to identify and exchange on good and emerging practices across these communities; to gather data more systematically and to share and analyze lessons learned; and to promote an integrated approach among these communities during strategic and operational planning and implementation.

Recognizing this, in 2018 the United Nations Secretary-General called for the integration of arms control into preventative thinking and actions as part of his Agenda for Disarmament, “Securing Our Common Future”. Building on this Agenda, UNIDIR, together with partners, has initiated research to brings new insights into good practices and lessonslearned for integrating conventional arms control into preventative thinking and actions in achieving sustainable development. Results from this research will be presented in form of meetings and written outputs.

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