Peace and strong institutions, SDG 16 is one of the main goals to take into account for a truly stable system. However, even if it sounds logical it’s a challenge for all, including those countries considered “peaceful” or “stable”. Democracies are meant to grow within peaceful societies by the contrary of authoritarian regimes that make of violence their driver for gaining power. However, with the pass of time, the own concept of peace has changed to the point that even “peaceful systems” are part of the conflictive scenario of political chaos in which institutions and leaders play a weak role in print with certainty citizen´s demands.
Our misconceptions of what means true peace add more confusion: we associate “peace” automatically with strong institutions, but is not necessary this way. Spain, for instance, is a country perceived as peaceful and safe for visiting, living or even for political management however, the Catalonia crisis exposed the weakness of their institutions and leaders and the beginning of a threaten path that is not finding their way within active negotiation and dialogue.
The conclusion that we get is that it doesn’t matter how safe a country seems to be in terms of no violent attacks, but of an atmosphere that allows the growing of a Nation in terms of cohesion and balance. Going to 2d elections is not surprising, is the sign of an apocalyptic political stage that is repeatedly claiming for a way out, instead it reinforces extremism and violent positions. The conclusion is simple: Spain is becoming a no peaceful society because their institutions are not working.
There is no need for an armed conflict to know that Peace its much more complex than just physical aggression, sometimes just the feeling of an underneath anger destroys all capacity to get into sustainability in political terms. No matter how much economic-financial growth, reduction of unemployment rates or future perspectives, if the institutions are weak –including the key pillar: Justice- they will not be peace.
Catalan leaders have reduced their message towards independence to a core reason: the relationship of the Monarchy with corruption, although, this is not exactly about Monarchy – in the end is a Parliamentary Monarchy- but a general national institutional chaos that blocks any attempt for further improvements on dialogue and peace.
The same is happening in the UK with Brexit, it the exposure that is not about leaving Europe or not but of the lack of strong transparency- accountability processes that is making of Brexit a biased process of irresponsible leadership and biased private interests. It seems that only the struggle of inefficient institutions and disempowered citizens are making the difference. Indeed, Monarchy, Parliament, Ireland, and thousands of citizens are turning a society traditionally considered peaceful into threatening, violent and aggressive.
In the context of a global world, and with the Sustainable Development Goals as a framework, we need national peace to make global peace. That s the reason why global institutions, although inefficient are paramount to make it possible. The last decisions from the US Administration of withdrawal are not in line with a coherent strategically plan for global peace as it is through the power and counterbalance of joint action that peace finally will be achieved. US Diplomatic efforts are worthless if there is not a steady action to reform, reshape and recreate a new global order, in which instability as in the UK becomes just periods of transition are not a permanent state of citizen´s anxiety. The latest is destroying a sense of empowerment and in the end, hope for peace. Not always peace is a tangible state of a Nation but is key for building an atmosphere that facilitates and makes of contradictory interests –as with Brexit- a negotiated process of dialogue. In the end, within a democracy, all ideological positions are allowed if there is a majority, harmonically discussion and a results-driven approach under a framework of transparency and accountability –mainly for their representatives. Any attempt for creating political leaders, super-powerful characters of a big political theatre is a threat to democratic guarantees and citizen´s rights. That is precisely what is currently happening in Britain and Spain and the result is evident: peaceful societies that are not in peace and are growing towards a general atmosphere of chaos directly connected with a feeling of disempowerment and fake political representation.
Peace and strong institutions: not without the correct flow of alliances, partnerships and strict fulfillment of citizen’s will and goals.
SDG 16 + 17= Sustainable Peace. The sunshine of a grey society of no democratic guarantees