Sustainable Development Agenda and Prospects for a Safer World

Ahmet Barbak, Ph.D. Doctor of Philosophy, Department of Political Science and Public Administration /Izmir Katip Celebi University

Sustainable development thinking has touched many lives around the World since the 1990s providing opportunities for a safer and more prosperous future. The reference object of both development and security became human. Linking security and development, sustainable development pointed to the root causes of insecurity, from poverty and inequalities to climate change, environmental degradation, and socio-political exclusion. As the adverse effects of globalization have become increasingly visible, particularly the armed conflicts, organized crime and illicit cross-border flows, and terrorism, global sustainable development policy has embraced a more ambitious agenda. In this context, the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda set two specific goals relevant to building a safer world. The Goal No. 11 focused on making human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable while Goal No. 16 emphasized peaceful and inclusive societies, access to justice, and effective, accountable and inclusive institutions. The Agenda prioritized reaching out to the most vulnerable groups, mainly to the poor, women, children, and youth, adopting the motto “Leaving No One Behind”. Creating decent living conditions, including affordable housing, sustainable infrastructure, participatory urban planning, protection from disasters, have come to the forefront. It is now widely acknowledged that prospects of a safer world depend on international cooperation, policy coherence, and evidence-based policy making, mobilizing local resources, and building resilient cities. Understanding local needs and cooperation with local authorities have emerged as essential modes of human-centric security, which is sine non qua to create an environment conducive to investment. It is also inextricably linked to empowering people, eliminating fear of crime, encouraging dialogue, and building accountable and effective institutions. Finally, it should be noted that people’s trust in and legitimacy of institutions as well as a culture of peace lie at the very heart of stability and safety.