Accelerating Local Humanitarian Development Peace in Asia-Pacific Region through Official Development Assistance and Learning

17 December 2021 | Gyeonggi-do Province, one of UCLG ASPAC active members, established the Humanitarian Development Peace (HDP) Nexus Committee in June 2021 within the context of the Organisation. The establishment is a response towards humanitarian conditions impacted by conflict, violence, and disasters that continue to uproot millions of people from their homes every year. According to a report published by Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, the new displacements in 2020 took place in the Asia and Pacific region. Typhoons, floods, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions triggered 12.1 million new displacements and it is worsened by the global pandemic COVID-19. Based on the latest analysis, relative to a no-COVID-19 baseline, losses for developing Asia amounting to 6.0%–9.5% of regional GDP and 3.6%–6.3% of regional GDP in 2020 and 2021, respectively. Amidst this condition, the establishment of the HDP Nexus Committee would like to, among many, utilise the opportunity to adapt to COVID-19 responses in various areas to bring peace and sustainable development in this region.

A briefing session was then held in August 2021 to promote and register UCLG ASPAC’s HDP Nexus Committee. The First Committee Meeting was held in September 2021 to gauge the sustainable interest of member groups. Building upon those foundations, the UCLG ASPAC ‘HDP Nexus Committee’ session was held at the Annual Conference of Korea Association of International Development and Cooperation (KAIDEC) on 17 December 2021. The main objective of this session is to actively encourage Committee activities and gather the idea of preparing the Committee Workplan in 2022. Thus, the Symposium highlighted how the development cooperation of Asian countries contributes to bringing peace and sustainable development in post-COVID-19. It was also highlighted how the Nexus could increase the ODAs and their effectiveness and raise members’ capacities through learning.

On this occasion, UCLG ASPAC Secretary General Dr. Bernadia Irawati Tjandradewi and Dr. Sung Gyu Kim (President, Korea Association of International Development and Cooperation/KAIDEC) delivered their welcoming remarks during the event organised in hybrid mode. The international speakers were joined through zoom connection and local participants joined offline at the JW Marriott Dongdaemun Seoul City. Dr. Bernadia emphasised that the HDP Nexus committee chaired by Gyeonggi Province has been quite active in promoting peace and collaboration among local governments in the ASPAC region and that HDP Nexus Committee will be a strategic platform to share knowledge and experiences for the HDP Nexus approach in the Asia-Pacific region with UCLG ASPAC members as they can learn how to operate Community-Driven Development projects and set up an action plan for community development needs. Dr. Bernadia believes that the HDP Nexus committee will help members to understand the importance of building local peace, become aware of the potential risks, learn to operate Community-Driven Development projects, and set up an action plan for community development needs for peacebuilding issue in the region.

The perspective of the Civil Society Organisation (CSO) on HDP Nexus was presented by Dr. Anselmo (Sung-Hoon) Lee (Korea International Cooperation Agency/KOICA) that emphasised the link between global agenda 2030 such as SDGs, and the Paris Climate agreement that needs to be mainstreamed at the local level. The role of CSO is important to facilitate the learning and peer-to-peer exchange on build back better and the spirit of no one left behind. The international and regional platform could be a place for monitoring and evaluation process and promoting the voluntary Local Review (VLR) on human rights and peace Nexus as well. Discussants, Dr. Sanjaya Bhatia (UNDRR GETI Incheon Office), Prof. Kyung-Ryul Park (Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology/KAIST), and Dr. Marina Caparini (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute/SIPRI) also emphasised the importance of dialogue amongst cities and national governments and awareness raising from political leaders on building local peace nexus.