On May 4, 2021, Tarja Halonen, former President of Finland and Chair of the Lancet-SIGHT Commission on Peaceful Societies through Health and Gender Equality, participated in a live studio session titled “Bridging health, peace and security: The role of trust and community engagement” at the 2021 Stockholm Forum on Peace and Development. The theme of the Forum for 2021 was ‘Promoting Peace in the Age of Compound Risk’, which focused on exploring the novel approaches and solutions to promoting peace in the age of compound political, social, economic and environmental risks reinforced by Covid-19.
The “Bridging health, peace and security” session was co-hosted by SIPRI, Interpeace, and the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
The session was moderated by Scott Weber, President of Interpeace. President Halonen was joined by:
- Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO);
- Per Olsson Fridh, the Minister for International Development Cooperation, Sweden;
- Wahid Majrooh, Minister for Public Health, Afghanistan;
- Svitlana Shatalova, Deputy Minister of Health, Ukraine; and
- Karin Landgren, Executive Director, Security Council Report.
The speakers discussed the importance of trust and community engagement in the fight against the pandemic in conflict-affected settings. They discussed strategies for the public health response to build greater confidence in community cooperation and governance systems and to improve integration with peacebuilding efforts on the ground. Dr. Tedros highlighted the problem of inequitable access to COVID-19 vaccines and warned that this could contribute to instability in counties.
Watch the recording of the session on Youtube.
For more information on the 2021 Stockholm Forum on Peace and Development, please visit SIPRI’s web page.