The COVID-19 pandemic and the responses to it have posed significant challenges to governance systems worldwide, presenting itself as an unprecedented "crisis of governance". Further assessment and analysis are needed in order to fully understand the current global and regional trends and their impact on achieving peace, justice, and inclusion. It is also important to gain a greater understanding of the specific impact of the pandemic on achieving SDG 16 and the role this Goal can play in enabling a more equitable recovery from COVID-19. These analyses need to consider the diverse realities and priorities across the Global South to ensure the recovery processes are tailored to different contexts.
UNDP Oslo Governance Center and Southern Voice launched a global initiative to take stock of emerging trends that facilitate or hinder the achievement of SDG 16 in the context of COVID-19. The initiative aims to amplify the voice of Southern actors in regional and global policy spaces on the thematic issues of peace, justice, and inclusion, leading up to the review of SDG 16 at the 2021 High-level Political Forum.
UNDP and Southern Voice have also supported a series of dialogues that can help better inform policy makers by drawing on research and analysis from leading think tanks, academics, and experts from the South.
These dialogues include:
Southern Voice and UNDP Regional Virtual Roundtables, which brought together experts, researchers, and academics from each region to reflect on and share their analysis on key issues, challenges, and policy priorities affecting their region in achieving peaceful, just, and inclusive societies, particularly in the context of the pandemic.
Global Online e-Discussions, organised in this space, provided a platform for a wider debate on specific thematic issues. Over the course of eight weeks, four discussions took place on this forum and built on each other to explore the multi-layered impact of COVID-19 on achieving different dimensions of peace, justice, and inclusion. The discussions were:
- Peace and security (3-17 May 2021)
- Accountability, rule of law and human rights (18-31 May 2021)
- Civic engagement and civic space (1-14 June 2021)
- Transparent, inclusive, and responsive public service delivery (15-30 June 2021)
Global Roundtable, being held on the margins of the 2021 High-level Political Forum. The key messages from these dialogues will be featured at the event.