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UN chief economist: Conflict can be avoided through sustainable development

By Majeed Gly 1/8/2018

The United Nations' sustainable development goals are the foundation of the world body’s efforts to eradicate poverty, inequality, and environmental degradation. UN Chief Economist Elliot Harris says the strategy can help societies recover from conflict and prevent new ones from taking hold. 

Speaking to Rudaw at the UN in New York, Harris explains why all nations must pursue sustainable development to benefit their people, their neighbors, and the welfare of the planet. 

“When we talk about inclusive development, we talk about growth that does not lead to further widening of inequality, we talk about development that is sustainable from an ecological and environmental perspective, we realize we are addressing many of the root causes of conflict,” says Harris.  

In the context of Iraq and the wider Middle East region, Harris believes the goals will help prevent future conflict by addressing the problem of inequality. 

“In many respects the sustainable development agenda is the best approach we have to preventing conflict happening in the first place. And when conflict has happened and we come out of the conflict it puts us back on the trajectory of development that is sustainable such that these root causes don’t cause a reversal back into conflict,” he adds. 


pre-Boomer Marine brat | 1/8/2018
Nevile Chamberlain is alive and well, head still firmly inserted in the nether region of a politically-motivated fantasy ... As an example, Turkey had a growing, thriving economy 12 years ago, and if Harris is right, then Erdogan would today be a prophet of peace.
Cary | 2/8/2018
WOW, what a load of garbage. He uses a lot of fashionable buzz words, but doesn't say anything useful. I don't remember ISIS saying anything about being mad because Iraq was not "on the trajectory of development that is sustainable". We all know that things would be better for everyone in Iraq if all parties worked together and tried to get along. When the UN can tell the people how to make that happen, only then will they have said something worth listening to.

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