Short-Term Working Group on Peace

October 2014

Calling on Members to Participate in Short-Term Working Group on Peace

This is a new opportunity for any WG-USA member to participate in a working group addressing peace and human security, with the first step to be completed by Feb. 28, 2015. See details below for how to apply, or request more information.

 The Call – The participants at the Women Graduates-USA (WG-USA) Annual General Meeting passed a resolution related to incorporating a peace and security focus into the proposed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be formulated by the United Nations (UN) in 2015. The SDGs will be the next stage for the world-wide economic development agenda begun in 2000 with the establishment of the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The WG-USA resolution calls for the immediate establishment of a working group to study the possibility of advocating for the inclusion of either a goal or a cross-cutting issue across all SDG goals that is aimed at ensuring a long-lasting, non-violent, and socially just world for all – without a peaceful society it is impossible for economic development to occur, as shown by the fact that no country that has been undergoing armed violence during the last 14 years has achieved any of the eight MDGs.

WG-USA supports human rights for all and has established specific resolutions and actions that address related issues such as gender equity, freedom from violence, economic parity, opposition to slavery, protection of women in conflict areas of the world, use of unarmed peacekeeping of civilians, sustainable development, and women’s participation in decision-making in all human endeavors. WG-USA recognizes peace, respect for human rights and good governance as core elements of well-being, not optional extras. WG-USA has adopted the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) as its ‘moral authority’ and to provide the framework for all of our actions.

The 14 years since the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were agreed to have seen the fastest reduction in poverty in human history, demonstrating that intentionally planned and measureable outcomes, along with a global partnership, can have a most positive effect on humanity. However, to fulfill the vision of a sustainable world, the Post-2015 agenda needs to go beyond the MDGs, which lacked the ability to reach enough of the very poorest and most excluded people, and were silent on the devastating effects of conflict and violence on development. In the next stage, the SDGs, this issue needs to be intentionally addressed.

The nexus between sustainable development, peace and stability recognizes that sustainable development cannot be achieved in a situation marked by violence, threats to the rule of law, criminal enterprises, fragility and armed conflict. Armed conflict has been recognized as one of the most significant structural barriers to development, with the UN Task Team on the Post-2015 UN Development Agenda stating that, “violence and fragility has become the largest obstacle to the MDGs”.   According to the World Bank, one-and-a-half billion people live in areas affected by fragility, conflict, or large-scale, organized criminal violence, and no low-income fragile or conflict-affected country has yet achieved a single MDG.

If you are interested in learning more about the opportunity to study this issue through electronic communication, and assist in the formulation of an advocacy statement and plan of action before the end of February 2015, please submit the following information to Kathleen Laurila at

  •  Name and Contact information
  • Familiarity with the MDGs
  • Background in issues related to peace issues (as professional and/or volunteer) Experience/Familiarity with the United Nations structure and NGO interaction, if any Questions/Clarification

Kathleen Laurila, WG-USA Coor. Intl Relations