Message From the UN Secretary General

The broad range of topics examined by the International Commission on Peace and Food demonstrates the interrelated nature of the challenges of peace and development. Your collective endeavour illustrates the fact that no longer can global peace and security remain the preserve of political and military specialists. Without an adequate development effort, there can be no lasting peace and security. Conflicts over resources, ultra-nationalism exacerbated by the tensions of unemployment, poverty and despair at home will inevitably lead to resentment, and resentment turns only too easily into armed conflict. The establishment of secure foundations for peace will be aided by development and post-conflict peace building.

Yet if there is a growing international consensus on the peace operations undertaken by the United Nations, there is no such consensus on its developmental work. Indeed, this lack of a consensus reflects a worldwide crisis in the field of development economics. As development becomes imperative, as we approach the turn of this century, we are faced with the necessity of giving new meaning to the word. Reflecting on development is thus, in my opinion, the most important intellectual challenge of the coming years.

Already, it seems clear that macro-economic growth can no longer be deemed sufficient for development purposes. Countries pursuing macro-economic growth paths have the necessary foundations for development, but that is only the first part. There can be no lasting development with the exclusion of social groups from the fruits of growth. Nor can there be long-term prospects for development when the environment is pillaged and the rights of future generations ignored. Finally, growth which is not accompanied by the improve ment of the social fabric of society will be only a hollow shell. For economic and social development to take place, it is important to promote the expansion of employment opportunities, the improvement of educational and health networks, support for the role of women in development and the pursuit of equality between the sexes.

A hitherto ignored dimension of the development challenge is democratization: what I have chosen to call political development. There have been cases where development was accompanied by an authoritarian political system. But we have invariably seen that if the participation in the market place is not accompanied by political participation, development efforts are brought to naught by social and political instability. Political, economic and social development must be closely related, mutually supportive, deriving sustenance from one another. Once again, therefore, we see the inescapable relations governing the goals of peace, development and democratization these are the goals of the United Nations.

The United Nations has, over the years, devoted great time and attention to the issues before the Commission on Peace and Food. In the research, analysis, debate, consensus-building and actual operational activities of the United Nations System, the issues of peace, develop ment and democratization have been at the forefront. The Members of the International Commission on Peace and Food have interacted closely with the United Nations Funds, Programmes and Specialized Agencies. This report brings together many of the issues which are central to the reflection on development which the United Nations is trying to encourage, leading to the World Summit on Social Development to be held in 1995.

Boutros Boutros-Ghali
Secretary General
United Nations