Laura Buzzoni currently serves as Associate Policy Officer with the Peacebuilding Support Office (UN DPPA), working on conflict prevention through the Sustainable Development Goals and other issues related to the Humanitarian-Development-Peace nexus. Before joining PBSO Laura Buzzoni worked as Coordination Associate at the United Nations Support Mission in Libya for three years. Throughout her career she focused on sustainable development, peace and democratic transition with a particular interest in the MENA region. She previously held different positions with UNDP, the European Union and NGOs in Jordan, Belgium and Morocco. Laura has two Master’s degrees in International Affairs and Diplomacy and Development Economics.
Henk-Jan Brinkman is Chief of the Peacebuilding Strategy and Partnerships Branch of the Peace-building Support Office in the UN Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs. Previously, he worked in the World Food Programme, the office of the UN Secretary-General and the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs. He has published on such topics as peace and justice in the post-2015 development agenda, socio-economic factors behind violent conflicts, the impact of high food prices, structural adjustment in Africa and human stature. Henk-Jan Brinkman holds a Master’s in economics from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands and a PhD in economics from the New School for Social Research in New York City.
Violence and conflict are the most important obstacles to sustainable development. Nearly half of all people living in extreme poverty reside in countries affected by conflict. Fifty percent of the lowest ranking countries in the 2018 Human Development Index Report are affected by violent conflict.¹ Peace and development mutually reinforce each other; violence and conflict can reverse development gains, by causing death, disease, deprivation, displacement, destruction, damage as well as leading to a decline in public services and limited access to resources, which in turn can provoke grievances resulting in mistrust and conflict. On the other hand, peace can sustain development gains. Because of this interdependence, the UN system is working closely together to ensure progress on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.