Memo to Brazil: in the post-2015 development agenda, advocate for peace

Written by Robert Muggah and Eduarda Hamann, on Open Security:

Brazil should consider brokering a broader conversation on development that includes peacebuilding at its heart. At the same time, its diplomats can constructively challenge the creeping securitization of development.

[…]

Brazil’s endorsement of a traditional ‘development-first’ agenda is commendable, but also suffers from some drawbacks. For one, it implicitly excludes a host of other global priorities, not least peace and security. In Latin America and across the global south there is growing political consensus that insecurity – including armed conflict and homicidal violence – undermines development. There is also overwhelming evidence of the empirical relationships between fear and reduced economic growth. In fact, a UN Secretary General-appointed High Level Panel called for peace and security to be clearly included in future SDGs. Yet there is scarce mention of any of these issues in Brazilian debates on the subject.

So what explains Brazil´s determined silence on peace and security in the post-2015 development agenda? Brazil has historically supported the idea that security and development are interdependent. In 2011, for example, President Dilma stressed the importance of a “comprehensive and integrated approach that incorporates and strengthens coherence between political, security, development, human rights and rule of law activities that address underlying causes of each conflict.” But Brazilian diplomats have also signaled their discomfort with the risk of “securitizing” development – of aid being (mis)appropriated for military ends or diverted away from basic social welfare needs.”

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