April 2019 Newsletter


Welcome to your monthly roundup of 16+ news and views from the Pathfinders for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies.

If you find this newsletter useful, please pass it on to others working on the SDG16+ targets for peace, justice and inclusion. Subscribe or unsubscribe here — and check out the sdg16.plus website.

1. Reporting back from the “The Big Call”

More that 140 representatives of partners from across the world joined the virtual call co-organized by the Pathfinders for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies together with the International Peace Institute (IPI). The call was an opportunity to share the latest plans ahead of the SDG16 Conference in Rome, the High-level Political Forum in July and the SDG Summit in September.

Presentations were made by UN DESA, 16+Forum, Global Alliance for Reporting Progress on Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies, TAP Network and Saferworld, to brief on their work related to SDG16+. This included a joint umbrella event during the HLPF, campaigns to spotlight the voices of SDG16+ community, and the UNDP / Global Alliance report on the implementation of SDG16+. The Big Call was also an opportunity for David Steven to show the latest addition to the Pathfinders’ office: the countdown clock to HLPF in July. The full recording of the call is available online here.

2. PR Breakfast Meeting to Discuss HLPF 2019

Following up on a successful initial high-level breakfast briefing in January 2019, the Government of Argentina brought together member states in New York to discuss the latest progress in the lead up towards the High-level Political Forum and the SDG Summit. H.E. Mr. Martin García Moritán chaired the meeting, with briefings from:

  • H.E. Amb. Rubén Armando Escalante Hasbun, Permanent Representative of El Salvador to the UN, on the facilitation of activities of the SDG Summit in September,
  • H.E. Amb. Sheila Carey Permanent Representative of Bahamas to the UN, on the political declaration resulting from the two meetings of the HLPF,
  • H.E. Amb. Lise Gregoire-van Haaren, Deputy Permanent Representative of The Kingdom of the Netherlands to the UN, on the Pathfinders’ Taskforce on Justice report, and
  • Mr. Jean-Luc Lemahieu, Director for Policy Analysis and Public Affairs, UNODC, on the UNDP / Global Alliance SDG16+ report.

At the briefing, representatives reiterated their support for the ongoing processes, shared their plans for the HLPF, and expressed interest in taking forward the idea of a Pathfinders’ joint statement on SDG16+.

3. Coming up: Launch of the Task Force on Justice Report

After three gatherings of justice leaders in Buenos Aires, Freetown and The Hague since February 2018, the Task Force on Justice is excited to announce the completion of the Task Force on Justice report.

The report will be presented in The Hague on 29 April at the World Justice Forum, and in Buenos Aires, the following week, hosted by the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights of Argentina.

Subsequent launches are planned around the following key justice moments:

  • Open Government Partnership Summit in Ottawa, Canada from 29–31 May
  • G7+ Ministerial meeting will be hosted in The Hague, from 19–20 June
  • HLPF in New York from 9–18 July

These launches will continue through the rest of 2019, capitalizing on the momentum of the year of justice and work of the Task Force on Justice report. For a full list of various justice related events, check out our calendar.

4. Reducing Inequalities: SDG 10 Progress and Prospects

On April 2–3 Sarah Cliffe, NYU CIC’s director, participated in the event Reducing Inequalities: SDG 10 Progress and Prospects, organized in Geneva by the UN and the World Bank. The event hosted a diverse group of country representatives, scholars, and civil society actors and was part of the preparatory process toward the UN High-Level Political Forum in July. The participants took stock of preliminary findings of the research on policies in the area of equality and inclusion, sharing success stories and good practice cases. The aim was to identify solution-focused recommendations for the national governments to accelerate the delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals Agenda. The topics that were analyzed in-depth by the participants included the urban-rural divide, political space for fiscal compromises, social protection systems, and working toward political inclusion. See here for more insights.

5. Voices of SDG16+ — Submit your Stories

“Are you working to build peaceful, just and inclusive societies? Have you been working to promote women’s political participation? Have you been supporting local-level work to improve access to justice?”

The International Peace Institute (IPI), Saferworld and TAP Network are looking for stories about how you are taking part in the global movement working to build peaceful, just and inclusive societies. The organizations are seeking short video submissions by 6:00PM EST, May 15th, 2019. The best videos will be showcased at an event during the United Nations High-Level Political Forum in July, with selected candidates sponsored to attend in person.

Ready to submit your video? Do so, here.

Watch IPI’s Jimena Leiva Roesch explain more about the ‘Voices of SDG16+’ project and how you can participate:

6. Committee of Experts on Public Administration Discusses SDG16

The annual gathering of the Committee of Experts on Public Administration (CEPA) convened in New York in early April. High on the agenda list was the stocktaking of institutional aspects of SDG16 with specific focus on effectiveness, accountability, and inclusiveness. Harshani Dharamdasa, Pathfinders’ Deputy Associate Director, spoke on a panel moderated by Geraldine Moleketi, CEPA’s Chair and alongside Gowher Rizwi, international affairs adviser to the prime minister of Bangladesh. She addressed the questions of inclusive institutions at national and subnational levels in the context of the SDG16+ targets.

7. Pathfinders Briefs ECOSOC Partnership Forum

The 2019 ECOSOC Partnership Forum took place at UN Headquarters in New York on 11 April. Every year, the Forum engages high-profile representatives from governments and non-state actors for dynamic discussions on how to define and promote effective partnerships and how partnerships can best advance the sustainable development agenda. This year, participants gathered for a discussion on ‘Partnerships Driving Inclusive Implementation of the SDGs’.

CIC’s Karina Gerlach participated on a panel during the Forum’s afternoon session showcasing how innovative and effective inclusive multi-stakeholder partnerships are supporting the implementation of the SDGs, explaining how Pathfinders approaches this challenge with regard to Goal 16.

8. DFID Conflict Advisors Conference

Pathfinders’ David Steven participated in the UK Department of International Development’s Conflict Cadre Professional Development conference in March in London. This was an opportunity to acquaint the department’s conflict advisors with the Pathfinders’ work on halving global violence by 2030, provide the latest developments on SDG16+ efforts on the international level, and discuss what a campaign on reducing violence could mean for DFID.

9. Expert Group Meeting on SDG17

In the lead up to HLPF an increasing number of Expert-Group meetings are taking place to prepare the discussions for July. One such meeting took place in early April in New York to discuss SDG17 and the importance of partnerships for the delivery of the 2030 Agenda as a whole. David Steven participated in the informal discussions together with 20 other representatives. He spoke about Pathfinders’ work and highlighted that despite it being a member-state driven initiative, partnerships with an array of diverse partners are essential to delivery of SDG16+.

10. Celebrating “Peacebuilding” in the Dictionary

Six months ago, the +Peace Coalition campaigned to see the overdue inclusion of “peacebuilding” into the world’s English-language dictionaries. They won! So, last month, they celebrated by launching a Living Dictionary of Peacebuilding and phase II of its campaign.

Theorist Johan Galtung first coined the term “peacebuilding” in 1975, in his work “Three Approaches to Peace: Peacekeeping, Peacemaking, and Peacebuilding.” In the decades since, “peacekeeping” and “peacemaking” have become well understood in the public imagination and enjoyed investment by politicians and policymakers alike. Peacebuilding, on the other hand, has not been as widely understood.

The Living Dictionary of Peacebuilding is the start of +Peace Coalition’s new campaign to establish “peacebuilding” in the public arena as an effective method for addressing today’s crises of violence.

Pathfinders is proud to be a formal partner of the +Peace Coalition. To learn more about this exciting new coalition, visit their website, sign up for future campaign updates, or contact its director Madeline Rose, at madeline@allianceforpeacebuilding.org.

11. UNDP Regional Technical Consultation Explores SDG16 in Latin America

Panama was a good choice for UNDP to host its latest SDG16 Regional Technical Workshop. Not only is the canal a feat of human engineering, (as are the SDGs), Panama, by adopting the SDGs in parallel to its national development plan, has been forward leaning in socializing priorities and action plans, including on issues of safety and justice.

Over the course of two days, participants shared knowledge on trends, progress and challenges in advancing SDG16 ambitions across the Latin America and Caribbean region.

In Costa Rica a national strategy for social peace enables synergy across different areas, including self-inflicted harm, societal violence and family violence. Innovatively, Costa Rica has also included those in detention, appreciating that those held within prisons are just as important to protect from violence as those not under state supervision. This expands the discussion from one of capacity to include institutional responsibility.

Pathfinders Head of Research for Grand Challenge 16.1, Rachel Locke, moderated the session on Partnerships, which included Presentations by Open Government Partnership and Social Progress Imperative. True progress, it was acknowledged, can only come with meaningful, strategic partnerships that enable prioritization, resourcing, practical action, and measurement.

12. Coming soon: How the Foreign Policy Community Can Advance SDG16+

“The foreign policy community faces a choice. It can continue to allow unacceptable levels of violence and conflict to undermine individual countries and the global order. Or it can build a new consensus that violence is a preventable epidemic, taking seriously a growing body of evidence showing what is most likely to work to steer the world back toward global peace, resilient societies, and more sustainable prosperity.”

Thus begins an essay, to be published in the forthcoming compendium, Driving Transformative Change: Foreign Affairs and the 2030 Agenda, to be launched April 30 in Berlin. In the essay, co-authors David Steven and Rachel Locke of Pathfinders, together with Lukas Rüttinger of adelphi describe the essential role of the foreign policy community in advancing our ambition of significantly reducing all forms of violence everywhere.
Offices of Foreign Affairs can increase political will, accelerate the use of evidence-based strategies, strengthen partnerships, and promote investment in prevention.

The work has been supported by the German Federal Foreign Office and will be published by adelphi, a German think tank.

13. Building a Movement on Justice — Communications Workshop

At a workshop co-organized by the UN Foundation and Pathfinders last week, communications professionals with expertise in movement-building and targeted social impact campaigns joined together for a discussion on strategies to accelerate action on justice — as part of a broader mobilization on SDG16+ — in the lead-up to the HLPF and SDG Summit this year. During the discussion, participants focused on how to mobilize leaders and champions around the world, and how to maximize impact at key moments, to ultimately ensure that governments ‘stand up for justice and SDG16+’ in 2019 and beyond.

14. Upcoming Events

Some of the upcoming events on our radar include:

  • Investing in Governance: Accelerating Progress Towards Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies,” 18 April: The Permanent Mission of France to the UN, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung New York Office (FES New York), One Earth Future Research, and the Pathfinders are convening a discussion to strengthen the empirical foundations for the role of development finance institutions in delivering the 2030 Agenda commitment to good governance at all levels and to transparent, effective and accountable institutions. Find out more here.
  • Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development 2019 (16–18 April): The fifth session of the Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD) will take place on the theme, ‘Empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality’. The Forum is convened by the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) in collaboration with regional organizations and the UN System. The Forum seeks to advance implementation of both the SDGs and Africa’s Agenda 2063. Find out more here.
  • World Justice Forum (29 April — 2 May): The World Justice Forum, taking place in The Hague, is the premier international event for the rule of law. Join global and community leaders — from an array of sectors and interests — as they share insights, explore strategies, and develop solutions for advancing peace, equity, and opportunity. Find out more here.

Get in touch!

Have an event, report or activity related to SDG16+ coming up that you would like to see featured in this newsletter? Contact: pathfinders@sdg16.plus