Global SDG 16 Initiatives

Global SDG 16 Initiatives

On September 25, 2015, Member States of the United Nations adopted a set of 17 sustainable development goals to be reached by 2030, as part of the new sustainable development agenda. Directly building on the millennium development goals, these ambitious goals were developed to end poverty, protect the planet and enable the prosperity of all human beings. However, the 2030 Agenda broke new ground, incorporating a new goal – which in theory has existed throughout much of the history of the UN – but only tangibly emerged through Sustainable Development Goal 16. This goal is designed to ‘Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels’. This goal grew out of the recognition that sustainable development is not attainable without peace, justice, effective, accountable and inclusive institutions. Therefore, sustainable peace and development urgently rely upon one another for their success and realisation.

The 2030 Agenda was also groundbreaking in another sense, in that it recognised the importance of partnerships and multi-stakeholder support for its achievement. It recognised that Member States would not be able to realise the goals on their own and that partnerships were needed to ensure effectiveness and progress on development. The United Nations General Assembly was explicit in its desire to achieve the ambitious Sustainable Development Goals by stressing the need for “multi-stakeholder approaches”; “partnerships”; and “joint effort.” Member States are responsible for achieving the 2030 Agenda – but not alone. They need to engage and be supported by the resources – expertise, funds, data, tools, information, and other capacities – available to business, civil society, national academia, UN and other international entities. This goal represents an important change for the international system: to unite constituencies which typically do not work together. Through multi-stakeholder initiatives, stakeholders can combine complimentary capabilities, different incentives, and shared humanity to advance common objectives. There is a need for concrete institutional mechanisms to create those relationships and develop the shared objectives and join initiatives which will support their realisation.

The Global Alliance for Reporting Progress on Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies is a multi-stakeholder initiative and institutional innovation within the international system: it is a coordinating platform for Member States, private sector and civil society organisations (CSOs) to work together for peace, justice, and strong institutions. The Alliance is operated by 7 member states, 3 CSOs, and 3 businesses. Its work is supported by a Secretariat co-facilitated by UNDP, UNODC, UNESCO and UNHCR, a UN Advisory Group composed of 10 UN Agencies, and a large and growing number of partners from other governments, CSOs and businesses around the world. The Alliance uses the reporting framework of the 2030 Agenda as a ‘hook’ to drive the evidence-based and multi-stakeholder action necessary for progress on the SDGs. The data needed to report on progress on SDG 16 – the peace, justice and strong instiutitons that underpin all the SDGs – is located in the various parts of government, civil society, private sector and international institutions. The Alliance help governments to conduct the participatory planning, monitoring and reporting which pulls all of this data together – enabling the evidence-based policy, and the join action needed for transformative change. The UN General Assembly was explicit: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development can only be achieved if government, civil society and private sector unite, and are supported by a UN and international system that works together to help them to achieve the goals they set. The Global Alliance is the international system’s only multi-stakeholder platform for joint decision-making and action at the global and national level.

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