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November 2018

Paris Peace Forum - Preventing conflict in 2018, 100 years after the Armistice

Franck Bousquet's picture
Paris Peace Forum. © Ibrahim Ajaja/World Bank
Paris Peace Forum. © Ibrahim Ajaja/World Bank

This week marks 100 years since the end of World War I. One hundred years since an armistice encouraged battling sides to lay down their arms and usher in peace. Many of us – the lucky ones – still enjoy peace. We go to work, to school, to the playground, to shops and restaurants all with a sense of safety and security. But that is not the case for many people around the world. Wars still rage in Syria, Yemen and Iraq, and violent conflict mars communities in every region of the globe.
 
Also this week, world leaders are in France – site of the 1918 Armistice signing – for the Paris Peace Forum. They are marking the occasion, but also working to address the international tensions that cause unrest in our day and age, and the initiatives aimed at preventing them: cooperation to fight climate change, resource scarcity, globalization and technological disruptions; institutions to channel power rivalries and administer global public goods; justice to assuage grievances and frustration, regulation to address inequalities and abuses of power; and peacebuilding and security.
 
I participated in the Forum yesterday with other colleagues from the World Bank and highlighted the plight of one group for whom conflict and fragility make worse an already tenuous situation: the world’s poor.

Tackling gender inequality through investments in health equity

Kristalina Georgieva's picture
Also available in: العربية | Français | Español
© Dominic Chavez/Global Financing Facility

Still today, in almost all societies around the world, women are less well-off than men. Women are still paid less than men; they are less represented in business, politics and decision-making. Their life chances remain overwhelmingly less promising than those of men. 
 
This inequality hurts us all. The world would be 20% better off if women were paid the same as men. Delaying early marriage in the developing world by just a few years would add more than $500 billion to annual global economic output by 2030. 
 
But this is more than a problem of lost income. For women and girls in poor countries, it cuts life short before it can flourish.  
 
Today, 830 women will die from complications related to pregnancy or childbirth. This month, 450,000 children under the age of five will die. This year, 151 million children will have their education and employment opportunities limited due to stunting. If current trends continue, 150 million more girls will be married by 2030.
 
Clearly, we need to accelerate progress so that no woman or child is left behind.