Press release 13/2014
18 January 2014
Minister for International Development Pekka Haavisto was elected chairman of an international forum promoting the development of fragile states on 17 January. Focusing on countries suffering from conflicts and instability, the International Dialogue on Peacebuilding and Statebuilding (IDPS) is a unique body that brings together fragile states, international donors and civil society. Minister Haavisto shares the chairmanship with Minister of Finance Emilia Pires of Timor-Leste.
“Many of the fragile states are countries that are recovering from wars and that lack state structures. They are unable to guarantee citizens’ safety and basic needs. Creating the basic state structures is a starting point in the development of these countries. A topical example is South Sudan, which is only building its society following conflict and independence and is now at risk of sliding into a civil war,” Minister Haavisto says.
“This chairmanship provides an opportunity to solve problems together with fragile states. One important task is to incorporate questions of peace and stability prominently in the UN’s post-2015 development goals.
The work of the IDPS departs from the idea that issues concerning development and security are intertwined. The aim is to find new operating models that will help fragile states onto their feet and down the road of sustainable development. The emphasis of activities is placed on developing countries’ own needs and commitment as well as strong cooperation between fragile states, donors and civil society.
“In fragile countries, the activities of civil society can be very difficult, even paralyzed. Attention must be paid to the position of women, education and the basic pillars of democracy. The treatment of minority groups – for instance the situation of people with disabilities – may be very poor. The international community must also support the implementation of civil rights,” Haavisto stresses.
The base for the work of the IDPS is an agreement known as the New Deal for Engagement in Fragile States, launched in 2011. The task of the IDPS is to implement the New Deal in pilot countries as well as to promote peace and state-building globally. Finland joined the New Deal in 2012.
Additional information: Milma Kettunen, Press Attaché to the Minister, mobile tel. +358 40 522 9869, Adviser Tanja Viikki, tel. +358 295 351 804, Pekka Puustinen, Director General of the Department for Development Policy, tel. +358 295 350 560