Last year, more countries were experiencing violent conflict than in nearly 30 years. In many cases we didn’t fail to see the conflicts coming – we failed to respond in time. It is time to step up. We must act before wars are waged and massacres committed. We must invest in peace.

The names and places associated with the atrocities that stain the world’s recent history are only too well known: Sharpeville, Halabja, Rwanda, Srebrenica, Aleppo and Yemen, to name but a few. The memories of those who have suffered are as painful as the list is long. Yet new names continue to be added to the list.

Since 2010, the number of violent conflicts around the world has tripled. According to a new joint report from the UN and the World Bank, by 2030, more than half of the world’s poor could be living in countries affected by high levels of violence. The consequences will be devastating: immense human suffering, broken families and shattered societies, which will take decades to rebuild.

With the #NoNewNames campaign, Sweden wants to highlight why prevention of violent conflicts should be top of the agenda.

Through integrated UN work, diplomacy and mediation, as well as peacekeeping, humanitarian assistance, sustainable development and protection of human rights, conflicts can, and must, be prevented. As a member of the UN Security Council, Sweden is fully committed to making sure that prevention lie at the heart of the UN’s work.

Every dollar invested in peacebuilding can reduce the cost of conflict by 16 dollars. If we want to protect future generations from the horrors of violence, war and conflicts, we have to act now. The cost of doing nothing is immeasurable.

We must assess and act on the risks of violent conflict. We must invest in peace.

Read more: The United Nations Must Help Prevent Future Atrocities

No New Names

We didn’t fail to see conflicts coming – we failed to respond in time. It is time to step up. To assess and act on the risks of violent conflicts must lie at the heart of the UN’s work. As a member of the UN Security Council, Sweden is fully committed to this end.

Publicerat av Swedish Foreign Policy News den 21 september 2017