Aseet kehityksen esteenä

Aseellisilla konflikteilla erittäin pitkäikäisiä vaikutuksia maiden poliittiseen, taloudelliseen ja sosiaaliseen kehitykseen. Kestää vuosia ennen kuin on konflikteista toipuvat maat houkuttelevat kestäviä investointeja, totesi Heidi Hautala avatessaan AEPF:n Disarmament for Development -seminaarin.[:]AEPF Finland – Asia Europe People’s Forum Finland

Opening words by minister Heidi Hautala

Violent conflicts and fragile states are one of the biggest development challenges. According to international estimates, over one billion people live in fragile states, and 340 million of them constitute the poorest of the poor. These states are unlikely to achieve the goals of the UN Millennium Declaration by the year 2015.

I am glad that the international community has begun to better understand and to pay more attention to fragile states. We all now recognize that in order to succeed there you need a more sophisticated approach than in working in developing countries where peace and stability prevail. You have to tackle multiple challenges and concerns both sequentially and simultaneously: security concerns, humanitarian relief, development, etc. You also have to use several instruments like civil and military crisis management, ODA, ngo support and so on.

It is alarming that in Africa, armed conflicts in the period from 1990 to 2005 cost around USD 300 billion, an amount equal to the development aid given to the continent during that period.

Several Central and South American states are still suffering from the long-term effects of the military coups and internal conflicts that took place in the countries 15 to 20 years ago.

Fragile states and violent conflicts lead to serious problems. In the initial stages, the local population loses its personal security and the possibility to engage in commerce. In addition, the infrastructure starts to crumble and basic services deteriorate. As the situation worsens, internal and external refugee flows increase. The gradual outcome is a humanitarian catastrophe. As conflicts become prolonged, refugee flows, armed groups, infectious diseases and organised crime spread into the territory of neighbouring countries.

The spread of small arms into crisis areas feeds conflicts, poverty and human rights violations. The problems of Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Somalia demonstrate how fragile states create fragile regions. In the worst instance, failed states create sanctuaries for internationally networked terrorists, who pose a threat to global security.

By the way of a few examples I wish to demonstrate how armed conflict erodes the base for development:

• The mortality statistics for 1998 to 2001 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo show that of the roughly 2.5 million deaths, 145 000 were victims of violent clashes. Most died from various diseases in the politically unstable eastern provinces, where armed conflict had led to the complete collapse of primary health care.

• Two-thirds of the 33 million people around the world who have contracted HIV live in Africa. Many of them live in societies experiencing violent conflict. Other more traditional diseases, such as malaria, also occur more predominantly in countries experiencing conflict.

• Crime and violence are characteristic of societies recovering from violent crises. Small arms are easily available. For example, in Somalia an AK-47 assault rifle costs EUR 100 and in Kenya EUR 90. Small arms can be found in sixty per cent of households in Burundi.

Armed conflict has a long-term impact on political, economic and social development. Once the political violence has abated, it can take years until an economy that has been battered by civil war attracts sustainable investments into the country.

Principles guiding the donor policies and activities in fragile countries and fragile situations (Principles for Good International Engagement in Fragile States and Situations) have been agreed upon in the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the OECD. According to the principles, stability in fragile states requires a comprehensive investment in the security situation, building state and local government institutions responsible for basic services, the development of the private sector, as well as the creation of an enabling environment for business activity.

The implementation of the principles requires concerted action so that military assistance, civilian crisis management operations and development cooperation strengthen the ownership of the efforts by the local government, and create an environment conducive for development. The various actors need to have a common vision and their work must be based on a clear division of labour and be well coordinated.

Since 2010, the G7+, a group of 19 fragile and conflict-affected countries, along with several donor countries and international organisations have been engaged in a dialogue to improve peacebuilding and statebuilding efforts in these contexts, beyond the aid effectiveness agenda. Drawing on much of those debates and reviews of international engagement, The “New Deal for the Engagement in Fragile States” is the result of this dialogue. The New Deal was endorsed by various partners in Busan last year.

New Deal sets out five peacebuilding and statebuilding goals to guide priorities and engagements in fragile states: legitimate politics, justice, security, economic foundations, and revenues and services. It also puts a strong focus on the leading role of fragile states in processes of transition out of fragility and on the importance of mutual trust between societies, the state and international partners in order to achieve results.
The New Deal is thus a shared commitment to correct the trajectories of national and international efforts for peacebuilding and statebuilding in fragile states. It includes a commitment by the governments of these countries to be responsible and responsive to their own societies and a commitment by donors to respect and support them in that process.

I wish to also note that the current Finnish development policy underlines the importance of human rights, democracy and the role of a responsive state. Finland will do its part in supporting fragile states on their path to stability and development. Of particular relevance to this seminar is the fact that the current development policy also notes that Finland will participate in international efforts to curb the illicit trade in small arms and the unregulated trade of arms.

I wish you a successful seminar.