Maybe it’s the urgency of this real-world challenge that brings us closer together. The World Bank Group is hosting the Global Fragility Forum 2016 Take Action for Peaceful and Inclusive Societies for three days until tomorrow, featuring more than 70 sessions organized by over 100 partners.
This year’s program builds on the momentum of the Sustainable Development Agenda 2030 and takes a hard look at implementation in fragile environments to achieve our own twin goals. It also highlights emerging challenges including forced displacement and violent extremism, where development actors have an important role to play. With three months to go before the World Humanitarian Summit, many of the discussions are focusing on improving humanitarian - development collaboration.
Communities from humanitarian, development, peacebuilding, security and more are represented, as well as my own colleagues at the World Bank Group. Among policy makers and practitioners, Central African Republic President Catherine Samba-Panza, UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Tunisian Quartet’s Ouided Bouchamaoui, Princess Sarah Zeid of Jordan, former President Danilo Turk of Slovenia and Afghan Rapper Sonita Alizadeh are also taking the stage.
Our partners include:
- African Development Bank
- Alliance for Peacebuilding
- Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
- Brookings Institution
- Club de Madrid
- Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH
- Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
- French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development
- Geneva Peacebuilding Platform
- International Crisis Group
- International Development Research Centre (IDRC)
- International Dialogue on Peacebuilding and Statebuilding
- International Labour Organization (ILO)
- Islamic Development Bank
- Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KFW)
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands
- Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
- Overseas Development Institute (ODI)
- Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat
- Princeton University
- Stockholm International Peace and Research Institute (SIPRI)
- Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA)
- United Nations
- United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)
- United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
- United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
- World Economic Forum
- World Resources Institute (WRI)
Closer collaboration with partners is critical to take on the challenge of fragility, conflict and violence. In fact, it’s the partnerships that make this Forum unique – the way in which diverse communities worldwide are able to come together, not just for the event itself but in preparation over the past few months, engaged in serious discussions across institutions to learn from each other’s experience.
This is my second year as the main coordinator for the Forum, playing the role of matchmaker to bring partners together around common issues. For example, Mercy Corps, International Crisis Group, Princeton University and the Fragility, Conflict and Violence Group of the World Bank have teamed up for a workshop on violent extremism and development. The World Bank’s Global Infrastructure Facility, the g7+ and the Institute for State Effectiveness will convene a session on how to infrastructure right in fragile states. The United States Institute of Peace (USIP) and UNDP are getting together for a session on how to mitigate electoral violence. Regional banks such as the Islamic Development Bank, the African Development Bank, bilateral partners such as DFID, Agence Francaise de Developpement, and the German Society for International Cooperation(GIZ) have teamed up with World Bank Group colleagues to share lessons and insights about how best to work in insecure areas.
Many partners are back with us after our first Forum last year, like Nancy Lindborg, President, USIP, who joined the opening panel yesterday. I’m glad to hear that she is hoping to stimulate additional work to help states and communities become more cohesive, resilient and better able to manage conflict in ways that transform them for the better instead of lapsing into violence.
I’d like to share a comment from Ms. Lindborg which I found very inspiring:
“The World Bank plays a leading role in shaping global policies when it provides an evidence basis for action, which it did so powerfully with the groundbreaking 2011 World Development Report. This Fragility Forum can play a vital role in refocusing our collective attention on the core development challenge ahead, which is to make headway in those areas of fragility where extreme poverty and violent conflict are clustered. Refocusing will require shifting from a traditional development priority of increasing productive growth to one that puts development of effective, accountable, inclusive government as a core priority for sustaining gains.”
I see many “marriages” between partners from different communities happening here. Partners want to access ideas. Others want feedback on their work, or to highlight innovative initiatives. It’s a convening moment, for a wider community of practice. I hope you can join us in this space to share ideas - during this Forum and beyond.