When implementing the UN 2030 agenda, the construction of perceptions and its builders, especially in the media, must be considered. This is what second-order Cindynics suggest. This approach shares several concepts with sustainable development, and offers an operational method allowing operational efficiency gains to actors pursuing the sustainable development goals (SDG) of the 2030 agenda.
Four of the five pillars of this agenda are shared: the population and planet pillars correspond to the prevention of human and environmental risks and the reduction of vulnerabilities, the prosperity pillar corresponds to the reduction of friction and conflict, which concerns both efficiency of prevention and efficiency of development, and the peace pillar corresponds to the reduction of conflicts and divergences
Schematically, the cindynical method initially aims to reduce vulnerabilities, i.e. to forge resilience by reducing the deficits and dissonances of actors. Then second-order Cindynics specifically considered the conflictualities of situations, through two conceptual evolutions: the relativisation of situations, of their perceptions and estimates of their necessary evolutions, and the generalisation of the notion of transformation. This generalisation therefore enables to consider the transformations necessary for risk prevention, development, and prevention or reduction of conflicts.
Second-order models have led to the emergence of the notion of conflictuality, which is seen as a continuum, and turns out to be a central concept: it is in fact responsible both for conflicts in the classical sense, and for friction phenomena which undermine the efficiency of development actions and prevention actions.
The United Nations practically came to the same conclusion in the 2018 report on the Sustainable Development Goals, which mentioned that conflicts called into question efforts to achieve the SDGs. And specifically, SDG 16 targets conflict reduction, as well as access to justice and institution building. Surprisingly, however, this objective almost did not become part of the 2030 agenda: there was no consensus between actors on the specific consideration of peace, security and governance1 , and the Rio summit +20 is also sometimes considered a failure2 .
The cindynical approach to risk-conflict-development complexes and to the 2030 agenda is largely based on conflictuality reduction. Conflictuality depends on prospective divergences and perception disparities between actors. Knowing that most of the time the majority of the divergences between actors are initially based on their disparities in perception of reality, and that these perceptions are most often indirect, and are based on representations, for example in the media, the role of the builders of these representations is therefore critical.
This suggests that these actors, whether they are writers, journalists, citizen journalists, bloggers, have an important role to play in conflictuality reduction. And this in two ways: on the one hand in a defensive way, by taking care to fight against constructions that create conflicts. Examples: radio mille collines in 1994, or, at the same time, CNN publications opposing a UN intervention in Rwanda. More recently, the interventions of Vincent Duclert in the press, extolling armed groups by claiming the political legitimacy of the RPF, while Paul Kagame is the first to recognise that he could never have taken power in Rwanda through elections. On the other hand in a positive way, by massively promoting the dissemination of a deconflictualisation culture.
But these efforts by content creators will also require minimising the risk they face. On the one hand the risk related to confidentiality, threatening the right to pseudonymity or the secrecy of sources and telephone communications. And on the other hand the risk related to freedom of speech, which is notably threatened by the absence of prohibition of Big Tech censorship and by the concept of self-regulation, or even by the chilling effect induced by policies prohibiting pseudonymity. For example that which AFNIL imposes on French-speaking authors, or the real name policy imposed by Facebook.
BLIND, Peride K. A post-SDG Summit governance primer: interlinking the institutional, peace and justice dimensions of SDG16 (2016–2019). United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 18 mai 2020.
DE ANDRADE CORREA, Fabiano. The Rio+20 Conference and International Law: towards a multi-layered multilateralism? Archiv des Völkerrechts. 2012, Vol. 50, no 4, p. 500. DOI 10.1628/000389212805292072