The threat posed by explosive weapons to sustainable development
The negative interaction between violence and development, and the severe impacts of armed conflict in particular on economic, social and environmental development, are now widely recognised. The recently agreed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), targets that states have agreed to work towards in the next fifteen years for “people, planet and prosperity”, emphasised that “there can be no sustainable development without peace and no peace without sustainable development.”
In a new report, the UN Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) examines how the far-reaching impacts of increased use of explosive weapons in populated areas threatens the achievement of the SDGs, creating barriers to their implementation. The report is part of UNIDIR’s project to investigate the reverberating effects of explosive force – the further consequences of the harm and destruction caused by explosive weapons that can last long after the initial blast, such as the effects of damage to infrastructure and homes on livelihoods, access to healthcare, and education.
The use of explosive weapons in populated areas is a humanitarian and a development issue. The report looks at how the scale of devastation caused by explosive violence negatively impacts on the SDGs’ vision of a world free of fear of violence and respect for human rights, as well as inclusive and sustainable growth which leaves no one behind. It analyses the impact of the reverberating effects of the use of explosive weapons in populated areas on specific SDG goals: 2 on ending hunger; 3 on health; 4 on safe education; 5 on women’s empowerment; 6 on water and sanitation; 8 on employment; 10 on inequality within and between countries; 11 on safer cities and urban environments; and 16 on the promotion of peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development.
The report intends to provide evidence in support of international efforts to agree a political commitment to respond to the harm caused by the use of explosive weapons in populated areas by setting new standards to restrict their use.
Read INEW’s booklet on developing a political commitment on explosive weapons: A commitment to act: Protecting civilians from the use of explosive weapons in populated areas