The uncontrolled flow of small and light weapons has serious consequences around the world, the debaters write. Photo: Pixabay


Armed violence is a threat to peace and sustainable development

Every hour, 25 people in the world die due to armed violence. At the same time, we see how violence and conflicts are spreading around the world where the Corona pandemic is predicted to increase the risk of more conflicts. Peace cannot be taken for granted and the world must put an end to armed violence, write several current and former members of parliament from various parties on International Peace Day.

World peace has declined over the past decade Global Peace Index. The number of conflicts has also increased, democracy is rocking in several places and the world is polarized in several ways. Measuring peace in a society is complicated but is about factors such as security, security, the extent of ongoing internal and international conflicts and the degree of militarization. Since the COVID-19 pandemic took off, it has been reported increase in violence in close relationships. Measures used by societies to reduce the spread of the virus, such as social isolation and restrictions on freedom of movement, have particularly increased girls' and women's exposure to domestic violence. As also documented aggravates the presence of weapons situation and threatens the rights and security of girls and women.

Uncontrolled weapons kill lives

All people have the right to live in peace and security. In the world and in Sweden. Despite this, lose 25 people in the world every hour their lives due to armed violence. Lost future dreams, driving forces and ambitions that mean a loss for society - financially, socially and humanly.

In addition to human suffering, the impact of violence on the economy is serious. Year 2019 caused violence and conflict costs to the world a total of 14, 5 trillion US dollars, which corresponds to just over 10 percent of the world's economic activity, gross domestic product, or about 1900 dollars per person. A recent survey states that a certain slowdown has taken place in armed conflicts in the past year, which has, however, been replaced by tensions that have arisen in the wake of COVID-19. The impact of the pandemic, especially its economic consequences, is predicted in the long run increase the risk for outbreaks of violence and conflict.

Agenda 2030 - the road to fchange

In the global sustainability goals of Agenda 2030, the world is committed to creating a future where no human being is left out. Objective 16 highlights the importance of peaceful and inclusive societies, and its sub-objective four emphasizes the importance of significantly reducing illegal arms flows. According to the Small Arms Survey There are currently more than one billion small and light weapons in the world, of which about 85 percent are owned by civilians. Small and light weapons are the category of weapons that cause the most deaths in the world, 223 human lives in 300 - and can rightly be called today's real weapon of mass destruction.

Only ten years remain until Agenda 2030 is implemented. It is urgent for all the constructive actors and forces in the world to gather to find solutions and act resolutely for peaceful and sustainable global development. For this to happen, political will and international cooperation are required.

Political action

As noted in the Government foreign declaration earlier this year, the world is interconnected. What happens outside our borders also affects us in Sweden, which to a large extent applies to the uncontrolled flow of weapons and the fight against organized crime. Times of crisis also show both responsibility and the opportunity to act vigorously. Political will is crucial to addressing the challenges facing the world. Now, and in the forthcoming post-pandemic reconstruction effort, democratic actors, including elected parliamentarians, have important roles to play.

Parliamentarians can pave the way for the necessary legislative and reform work, such as a budget allocation for sustainable reconstruction and development, as well as in reviewing the government's implementation of policies. In this process, global support and cooperation is important. It requires reasonable conditions and solid support from international development cooperation, especially from Sweden, which has clear foreign and development policy priorities for democracy, peace and security, as well as a unique credibility in diplomacy and development assistance.

The decline of democracy in the world in combination with the pandemic's serious consequences justifies greater support from Swedish development cooperation to parliamentarians as democratic actors for peaceful and sustainable development. This is supported by a recent letter from Sida to the government that identifies the central role of parliaments for increased political capacity, democratic decision-making and participation. The letter states the imbalance in Swedish development assistance, in the form of current limited support for the legislative, parliamentary power in comparison with the executive government, and the importance of linking a holistic view to other important thematic issues, such as peace and security.

It is vital to support parliamentary actors who - not infrequently in headwinds in their countries - work for sustainable and peaceful development. Within the framework of Swedish development cooperation, it is important to prioritize efforts more strongly to limit the uncontrolled spread of weapons. Partly to promote peaceful societal development per se, but also to prevent developing countries' efforts to rebuild, for example, health systems and sanitation in the aftermath of the pandemic from being further drained by the human and economic costs of uncontrolled weapons and armed violence. It is also important for safety and security in Sweden.

Let us work together every day with common forces, around the world, for a more peaceful and sustainable world. Given the situation in the rest of the world, we believe that Swedish development cooperation, in line with political priorities, should give more vigorous priority to aid aimed at preventive work against armed violence and for the control of illegal arms flows. Every human being who loses his life due to armed violence is a loss to loved ones - and to society.

Lotta Johnsson Fornarve (V), Member of Parliament for the Defense Committee

Hanna Gunnarsson (V), Member of Parliament for the Defense Committee

Charlotta Lotta Hedström (MP), former Member of Parliament and co-founder of the Parliamentary Forum for Light Weapons Issues

Charlotta Lotta Ohlsson (M), Member of Parliament

Committee on Industry

Karin Olofsson, Secretary General of the Parliamentary Forum for Light Weapons Issues

Désirée Pethrus (KD), Member of Parliament for the EU Committee

Yasmine Posio (V), Member of Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee

Håkan Svenneling (V), Member of Parliament for the Foreign Affairs Committee

Christer Winbäck (L), former Member of Parliament, co-founder of the Parliamentary Forum for Light Weapons Issues

Eva Zetterberg (V), former Member of Parliament, co-founder of the Parliamentary Forum on Light Weapons Issues

Bodil Valero (MP), former Member of Parliament and Member of the European Parliament



Previous debates on the subject

Sida must prioritize the work against the illegal distribution of weapons

We must join forces against the proliferation of weapons
Utvecklingsmagasinet 17 December 2019:

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