What is the Declaration?

The Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development is a diplomatic initiative aimed at addressing the interrelations between armed violence and development.

Although the incidence of armed conflict has declined in recent years, the number of people killed by armed violence has not. More than 740,000 men, women, and children die each year as a result of armed violence. The majority of these deaths—490,000—occur in countries that are not affected by armed conflicts. Armed violence affects all societies, all countries and people of all walks of lives.


The Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development represents a high-level diplomatic initiative designed to support states and civil society actors to achieve measurable reductions in the global burden of armed violence in conflict and non-conflict settings by 2015 (and beyond).

The Geneva Declaration was first adopted by 42 states on 7 June 2006 during a Ministerial Summit in Geneva, to which the Swiss government and UNDP invited high-level representatives from ministries of foreign affairs and development agencies. The Ministerial Summit reflected a strong common political will by both representatives of the donor community and from countries directly affected by armed violence to address the challenge of developing measures to reduce political and criminal armed violence in order to enhance sustainable development at the global, regional, and national level.

The Geneva Declaration is now endorsed by over 100 states.

Understanding that the fight against the global scourge of armed violence and the prospects for sustainable development are closely linked, the signatories recognize that armed violence constitutes a major obstacle to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. They agree to strengthen their efforts to integrate armed violence reduction and conflict prevention programmes into national, regional, and multilateral development frameworks and strategies. The Geneva Declaration is the strongest political statement to date that addresses the impact of armed violence within a development context.