Stockholm, 4 May (ChinaEuropeNet) Over the next four days, more than 4300 global participants from over 150 countries and over 60 partner organizations will convene in a virtual space for the eighth annual Stockholm Forum on Peace and Development.

Watch today’s opening session here and download the Stockholm Forum agenda here (PDF). 

The afternoon panels, ‘New frontiers in peacebuilding: The role of social media’ and, ‘The future of peacebuilding: Climate-related security risks and peacebuilding efforts in Mali’, will be livestreamed.

This year’s forum centres on the topic, ‘Promoting Peace in the Age of Compound Risk’, and was opened by Ambassador Jan Eliasson, former United Nations Deputy Secretary-General and Chair of the SIPRI Governing Board.

Ambassador Eliasson’s address touched on the compound nature of today’s risks and stressed the need for more innovative solutions to collective problems.

Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director, International Monetary Fund, highlighted the three major risks affecting global peace: the risk stemming from global interdependence; climate change; and the risk of underinvesting in resilience.

She commented that a ‘vaccine policy is our best economic policy’. She argued that current risks are unique opportunities to build a better, greener, more resilient and peaceful world.

Hajer Sharief, co-founder of the Libyan non-governmental organization, Together We Build It, gave the Keynote Address.

Sharief stressed the importance of meeting spaces such as the Stockholm Forum on Peace and Development as places where critical discussions take place and voices are heard. Stemming from her personal experience in peace and human rights activism, ‘people working in the peace and development sector are just as “change phobic” as those outside the sector.’ She asked, ‘we do a lot but do we get a lot done?’, stressing that while the development community does a lot, getting things done is often missed but equally important.

HE Ann Linde, Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs, provided concluding remarks to the opening session pointing to the need for cooperation and concerted action as well as community engagement in the second year of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The theme for the first full panel was ‘Managing interconnected risk: Promises and pitfalls of the international system’ and was moderated by Robyn Kriel, a former CNN anchor.

Watch the panel discussion here.

Dee-Maxwell Saah Kemayah, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Liberia, emphasized the key role of multilateralism from the experience of Liberia in containing the Ebola virus and now Covid-19.

Amina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the UN, stressed the need for multilateral solutions which are inclusive, innovative and highlighted gender equality as a priority for peace and development.

Josep Borrell, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, European Commission, spoke of efficient and positive multilateralism and the need to build coalitions towards positive action.

Axel van Trotsenburg, Managing Director of Operations, World Bank, pointed to exposed vulnerabilities in poorer countries during the pandemic. His message underscored the need for more support to bolster current strains on social protection systems and greater investments in crisis preparedness against natural disasters and economic pressures.

Fiona Lortan, Acting Director, Conflict Management Directorate, PAPS, African Union Commission, called for a more democratic international world order where Africa has better and more fair representation in international organizations.

Anne-Marie Slaughter, CEO, New America, spoke of impact hubs as the agreed framework of metrics for companies, organizations and countries. She pointed to a willingness to be measured and transparent as means that would attract capital. 

About SIPRI and the Stockholm Forum

The 2021 Stockholm Forum on Peace and Development enables interdisciplinary exchange among global thought leaders with the aim of influencing key policy and research agendas. It is co-hosted by SIPRI and the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs.SIPRI is an independent international institute dedicated to research into conflict, armaments, arms control and disarmament. Established in 1966, SIPRI provides data, analysis and recommendations, based on open sources.The Ministry for Foreign Affairs is responsible for developing and implementing Sweden’s foreign policy. In addition to overseeing the operations of the country’s embassies and consulates, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs is responsible for Sweden’s development cooperation, trade and investment.

By Chinaeuropenet

Xuefei Chen Axelsson is an independent media person. She has been a journalist for 30 years. She studied English, International politics, and sustainable development. She has been to Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia and South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and America, Canada, France, Germany, Spain and all the nordic countries including Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway, Iceland and Britain. She is good at talking with all kinds of people and exchange ideas and serves as a bridge between China and the world.

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