The post-millennium development goals agenda: include 'end to all wars' as a public health goal!

Glob Health Promot. 2014 Sep;21(3):29-32. doi: 10.1177/1757975914528251. Epub 2014 Mar 18.


The process of identifying global post-millennium development goals (post-MDGs) has begun in earnest. Consensus is emerging in certain areas (e.g. eliminating poverty) and conflicts and violence are recognized as key factors that retard human development. However, current discussions focus on tackling intra-state conflicts and individual-based violence and hardly mention eliminating wars as a goal. Wars create public health catastrophes. They kill, maim, displace and affect millions. Inter-state wars fuel intra-state conflicts and violence. The peace agenda should not be the monopoly of the UN Security Council, and the current consensus-building process setting the post-MDG agenda is a rallying point for the global community. The human rights approach will not suffice to eliminate wars, because few are fought to protect human rights. The development agenda should therefore commit to eliminating all wars by 2030. Targets to reduce tensions and discourage wars should be included. We should act now.

Keywords: development; peace; public health.

MeSH terms

  • Global Health / standards*
  • Health Priorities / standards*
  • Healthy People Programs / standards*
  • Humans
  • International Cooperation
  • Organizational Objectives
  • Public Health / methods
  • Public Health / standards*
  • United Nations / standards*
  • Warfare*