The following speech was delivered at the 72nd United Nations General Assembly by IIX founder Durreen Shahnaz to launch the Innovative Finance for Sustainable Peace Initiative. The 5-year initiative leverages the power of financial markets to unlock $1 billion to drive forward sustainable peacebuilding efforts across the globe by creating systemic social-economic resilience.
“It’s not just another coffee. It’s just coffee. What that means is we are paying people the right price for the right amount of labor. This goes into improving their livelihoods and economic status,” Joji Felicitas Pantoja said with piercing verve, before sipping a cup of fresh brew made by one of the coffee farmers she’s trained and now buys coffee from at fair-trade price.
For centuries, Asia has been fragmented by conflict over divided beliefs (religious violence), divided borders (wars over territories), divided power (battles for resources). Governments, politicians and donor agencies often have peacebuilding as their number one agenda, taking a top-down approach and repeatedly asking: ‘How can we resolve conflict? How can we accelerate recovery? How can we avoid the next World War?’