Armed Violence and Development
| Working Group on Armed Violence and Development
Although the incidence of armed conflict has declined in recent years, the number of people killed by armed violence has not. More than 740,000 men, women, and children die each year as a result of armed violence. The majority of these deaths occur in countries that are not affected by armed conflicts. It is clear that the factors shaping armed violence are often the very same as the causes of underdevelopment, which include: acute income and social inequality, chronic unemployment, uneven access to resources, unregulated urbanization, and various forms of marginalization. Therefore it is important to recognize that the relationship between armed violence and development is a two-way street. There is no safety without development and development can't be sustainable without security.
QUNO’s current work on armed violence and development (AV&D) issues grew from its substantial and pioneering involvement on «demand»-related factors affecting the proliferation and wide-spread (mis)use of small arms and light weapons. Since 2007 QUNO has played a major role in the as a key civil society point organization in the major multilateral framework for action on AVD, the Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development.
The Geneva Declaration
The Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development represents a high-level diplomatic initiative designed to support states and civil society actors to achieve measurable reductions in the global burden of armed violence in conflict and non-conflict settings by 2015.
The Geneva Declaration was first adopted by 42 states on 7 June 2006 during a Ministerial Summit in Geneva, to which the Swiss government and UNDP invited high-level representatives from ministries of foreign affairs and development agencies. The Ministerial Summit reflected a strong common political will by both representatives of the donor community and from countries directly affected by armed violence to address the challenge of developing measures to reduce political and criminal armed violence in order to enhance sustainable development at the global, regional, and national level. The Geneva Declaration is now endorsed by 108 states.
Understanding that the fight against the global scourge of armed violence and the prospects for sustainable development are closely linked, the signatories recognize that armed violence constitutes a major obstacle to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. They agree to strengthen their efforts to integrate armed violence reduction and conflict prevention programmes into national, regional, and multilateral development frameworks and strategies. The Geneva Declaration is the strongest political statement to date that addresses the impact of armed violence within a development context. For further information, see www.genevadeclaration.org.
The Working Group on Armed Violence and Development
Under the leadership of QUNO, the Working Group on Armed Violence and Development (WG on AV&D) was created by civil society organizations in 2007 to support the integration of armed violence and development (AV&D) policies and programmes from the local to the global levels. It was motivated by the opportunity generated with the launching of the Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development. The Working Group seeks to facilitate the exchange of knowledge among practitioners working in the AV&D field enabling them to draw concrete lessons from practice that will inform more effective policy, advocacy and program development at national, regional and international levels. Interested? Join the Working Groups Facebook Group to connect with practitioners and policy makers around the world at https://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/home.php?sk=group_133493916690271.
After the two global civil society consultations and a number of regional meetings organized by QUNO for civil society organization, the Working Group on Armed Violence and Development is facilitating the creation of regional communities of practice on AV&D. Currently QUNO is working with partners in the organization of civil society organization encounters (Rio de Janeiro for Latin America, November 2010; Nairobi for Eastern Africa, November 2010; Kathmandu for South and Southeast Asia, March 2011; Abuja for Western Africa, June 2011; and Zagreb for Southeaster Europe, September 2011) which are aimed at highlighting good or promising practices in armed violence reduction programming. These are part of the preparations being made for the 2d Ministerial Review Conference of the Geneva Declaration which will take place in Geneva at the end of October 2011. These workshops also act as opportunities for civil society organizations to exchange ideas and good practice, helping to inform advocacy campaigns, project development and national and international public policy and programming. A series of Good Practice magazines have been produced from these regional seminars and can be found on under our ‘Programme Publications’ section.