November 2020 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. Visit our website: and follow us on Twitter at: @SDG16Plus.

1. High-level event launches two pioneering calls to action on SDG16+ amidst COVID-19

Leaders across the SDG16+ community gathered on 18 November for a virtual discussion on “Peace, justice and inclusion at the heart of the COVID-19 pandemic response and recovery.” The event launched two parallel calls to action: a Pathfinders Member States’ statement and “Act Now for SDG16+”, on behalf of over 100 organizations across the SDG16+ community. Both statements outline a shared commitment to work together to make peace, justice, and inclusion the foundation for reset and recovery from COVID-19.

Highlights from the event’s high-level speakers:

  • H.E. Maritza Chan, Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative of Costa Rica to the United Nations, said that, “at this critical juncture, the SDG16+ agenda remains the common pathway to a recovery with equality and sustainability.”
  • H.E. Yoka Brandt, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Netherlands to the United Nations, emphasized the need for collaboration and coordination to make progress, especially in the area of justice: “We need to realize that the pandemic can be a disruptor that forges new opportunities to push collective action, and we need to use this moment to transform justice systems to address people’s needs.”
  • H.E. Hasina Safi, Minister of Women’s Affairs in Afghanistan, brought attention to the pandemic’s outsized effect on women and girls the world over: “Women all over the world are facing challenges during this time, the only difference is the shape of these challenges.”
  • H.E. Magnus Lennartsson, Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative of Sweden to the United Nations, highlighted the current moment’s opportunity to address systemic inequalities, which have been put into such sharp relief by the pandemic. “This is a time for collaboration,” he added.
  • Mr. Nicholas Astier-Ibrahim, on behalf of the World Federation of United Nations Associations, called attention to the role of civil society in advancing SDG16+: “A whole-of-government approach is not sufficient anymore…, we need a whole-of-society approach to implementing the SDG16+ agenda.”
  • Ms. Lysa John, Secretary General of CIVICUS, drew attention to the crucial opportunity to enhance citizen participation in governance in this, “age of people power,” calling on governments to adopt a “co-creation model” with citizens.
  • Ms. Wevyn Muganda, youth human rights activist and coordinator for Mutual Aid Kenya, emphasized the role that young people are playing in the response to and recovery from COVID-19 around the world. Youth, “are at the frontlines addressing community needs,” she said.
  • Ms. Celia Ouellette, founder and Chief Executive of Responsible Business Initiative for Justice, spoke about the role of businesses as potentially powerful allies in realizing efforts to build more peaceful, just and inclusive societies: “It is now critical that businesses take a stand and be on the right side of change, and it is expected of them to do so.”
  • Ms. Yasmin Sooka, Chair of the Commission on Human Rights for South Sudan, drew attention to the, “inevitable increase in the demand for justice,” as a result of the pandemic, and the importance of seizing this moment to innovate people-centered justice solutions.
  • Ms. Liv Tørres, Pathfinders’ Director, concluded: “37 governments and more than a hundred organizations have come together to issue this call for action: a call to focus on peaceful, just and inclusive societies, and for an united response. We need to start rebuilding and responding through the lens of SDG16+.”

Read further highlights and takeaways from the event in a blog by Pathfinders’ Maaike de Langen, and watch a recording of the discussion on YouTube.

2. Mind the Gap: Understanding Urban Inequality and Exclusion

On 12 November, the Pathfinders co-hosted a webinar with the World Bank showcasing our latest partnership initiative to monitor and analyze spatial inequality, under the Pathfinders’ Grand Challenge on Inequality and Exclusion. The Mind the Gap (MTG) Index is a tool meant to capture key aspects of urban spatial inequality by measuring disparities between neighborhoods or other units within a given city, drawing on existing neighborhood and sub-district data.

In a discussion moderated by Louise Cord, the World Bank Global Director for Social Sustainability and Inclusion, Dr. Jeni Klugman (Managing Director, Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security) presented the key findings from the MTG’s pilot application in three large cities (Addis Ababa, Jakarta and in Mexico). Comments by CIC Director, Sarah Cliffe, Dr. Diani Sadia Wati (Expert Staff to the Minister of National Development Planning for Institutional Interrelations, Government of Indonesia), and Maitreyi Das (Practice Manager, Urban, Disaster Risk Management, Resilience and Land Global Practice at the World Bank) highlighted the importance of granular and up-to-date data, as well as efforts to improve the outcomes of urbanization and leave no one behind, to help cities realize their potential and expand opportunities for all. Moving forward, Pathfinders aims to work with national and local governments to improve the tool and support its application in other cities.

3. Launch of the SDG16 Data Initiative 2020 Global Report

On 12 November, the Pathfinders also participated in the launch of the SDG16 Data Initiative Global Report 2020, a resource for governments, UN officials, and civil society stakeholders to understand progress made on the SDG16 targets and to identify outstanding data gaps in both the implementation and monitoring of SDG. This year’s report focuses on “Monitoring progress on SDG16 at the time of pandemic”.

“Knowledge is power and it is probably the most powerful weapon to deliver the 2030 Agenda.” In her remarks at the event, Pathfinders’ Director, Liv Tørres, stressed that data collection is essential to assessing whether the SDG16+ community and the world are moving in the right direction to achieve peace, justice, and inclusion.

The event also featured interventions by John Romano, TAP Network coordinator; Annika Silva Leander, head of the Democracy Assessment Unit of International IDEA; Bill Orme, on behalf of Global Forum for Media Development; and Anne-Séverine Fabre, data expert of Small Arms Survey. Massimo Tommasoli, Permanent Observer for International IDEA to the United Nations, moderated the discussion.

4. Global Week for Justice

The week of October 19–24 was the Global Week for Justice, hosted by Justice Canada alongside OECD, OGP and the Pathfinders. It kicked off with the Global Dialogue of Justice Leaders on Justice for All in a Global Emergency, that brought together justice ministers from 22 countries.

Other events as part of the Global Week for Justice included the Launch of the OGP Justice Coalition, Investing in and Financing Justice, Justice Data Priorities and the Pandemic, Enhancing Access to Justice for Women in the Context of Religious and Customary Laws, Justice for Children in the Pandemic: Actions to support policy and practice, and Justice for Women and Girls: Moving from Commitment to Action Amidst COVID-19.

On 20 October, Justice Canada chaired the Global Dialogue of Justice Leaders on Justice for All in a Global Emergency.

  • “We have come together because we believe that an alternative vision of justice, where no one is left,” remarked Nathalie G. Drouin, Ad. E. Deputy Minister of Justice and Deputy Attorney General of Canada, who chaired the meeting. (Read the full Chair’s Statement in English and French)
  • “This international collaboration has never been more urgent than now… an excellent first step to bring leaders together to help shape the international agenda and pave the way for smarter strategies.” Read more about what this gathering means in Maaike de Langen and Trevor Farrow’s blog.

5. People-Centered Justice in Ukraine

On 17 November, the Pathfinders, alongside the Ukrainian Access to Justice School of Practice, the USAID Ukraine New Justice Program, and the Legal Development Network held a consultation on People-centered Justice in Ukraine, the first such national consultation in the world .

This national consultation featured high-level remarks from by Denis Malyuska, the Minister of Justice of Ukraine and Bohdan Monich, the Chairperson of the Council of Judges. Opening remarks were made on behalf of USAID by James Hope, David Vaughn, and Andrew Solomon. H.E. Allyson Maynard-Gibson, Former Attorney-General and Minister for Legal Affairs of the Bahamas, and a Member of the Task Force on Justice, delivered the keynote address, followed by a presentation of the Justice for All report by Pathfinders’ Maaike de Langen.

A recording of the event can be found here in English. Please visit the USAID Ukraine New Justice Facebook page for recordings of opening and high-level remarks and keynote remarks in Ukrainian.

The consultation will lead to a roadmap on people-centered justice policy in Ukraine and the creation of a national Task Force is being considered. Visit our webpage for more information .

6. Asia-Pacific Meetings on Justice for All

The Asia-Pacific Regional Meetings on Justice for All concluded on October 28, 2020 with a final session on Resources and Partnerships for advancing justice for all in the region.

Over 10,000 justice actors from across the region attended or viewed all three sessions of the series virtually. The series provided a timely opportunity for key players to come together and align actions, creating future opportunities for collaboration. Key recommendations were shared on:

  • Elevating good practices in people-centered justice delivery.
  • Addressing Emerging challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Supporting innovating and technology for justice for all.
  • Sustainability and Financing Justice for All.

Recordings of the final event can be accessed in the following languages:

For more information and materials from the series please visit our landing page.

7. Coming up: No Justice, No Peace. Can people-centered justice help us meet the moment?

“No Justice, No Peace” has been a rallying cry of protests around the world, sparked by police violence in the US and calling for racial equality across the globe. These protests have unfolded against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has brought deep inequalities to the fore and has fed frustration about justice systems that fail to achieve fair outcomes for everyone.

This year at PeaceCon 2020, the Pathfinders and ODI will organize a panel discussion with national justice leaders, including from Kenya and Colombia. The panel will reflect on the links between justice and peace, and how these have developed over the course of 2020. They will discuss the challenges and opportunities that COVID-19 presents in their counties and globally to leverage law and justice in order to mitigate the impact of the global pandemic .

The panel discussion will take place Wednesday, 9 December at 2:00pm-3:30pm EST (7:00pm-8:30pm GMT). Register here.

8. Coming up: Business Leaders for Justice Coalition

Business Leaders for Justice is a growing movement of business leaders and justice experts committed to achieving a new norm in corporate leadership in which justice systems solve and prevent problems that matter most to people, rebuild trust and cohesion, and mitigate the intergenerational impacts of the pandemic.

The Pathfinders, National Legal Aid & Defender Association (NLADA), Responsible Business Initiative (RBIJ) and Global Citizen will organize a roundtable on 9 December, 10:00am — 11:00am EST to launch the initiative. The event will offer a unique opportunity to hear from leading businesses on the importance of addressing peoples’ justice problems, and what justice for all means. The event will also launch the Justice Imperative Principles and kickstart the Business Leaders for Justice Coalition.

Stay tuned for registration details!

9. In case you missed it…

A selection of new briefings, resources and commentaries from the Pathfinders and partners:

Plus 16 things we’re reading

  1. Report: Civil Justice for All (American Academy of Arts & Sciences)
  2. “We know what policies can fix the COVID-19 inequality emergency. But only people power can win them” by Ben Phillips (OECD Development Matters)
  3. “Justice is on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic” by Ban Ki-Moon (The Elders
  4. Joint statement: “€5 billion European ‘Peace’ Facility risks fuelling conflict and human rights violations around the world” (Saferworld and partners)
  5. “Despite Pandemic Lockdowns, Mass Shootings Are 35% Higher Than 2019 — and Year’s Not Even Over” (Newsweek)
  6. “Build back better by building back equally” by Hina Jilani (The Elders)
  7. “Reducing Violence Without the Police” (The Trace)
  8. “Effective global peacebuilding needs a united African voice” by Daniel Forti and Priyal Singh (ISS)
  9. “Opinion: Access to justice is more than legal representation or systems tinkering” by Chantelle Johnson (The Star Phoenix)
  10. “Gun stocks tumble after upbeat vaccine news, lack of civil unrest” by Noel Randewich (Reuters)
  11. “Peru: Amnesty International documents excessive use of force by National Police” (Amnesty International)
  12. “Ethiopia: Not too late to stop Tigray conflict from unravelling country” (The Africa Report)
  13. “Nigeria Goes on Offensive Against Youth Protesting Police Brutality” by Ruth Maclean (The New York Times)
  14. “Realising the promise of SDG 16 to promote and protect civic space” by Deirdre de Burca (OpenGlobalRights)
  15. Report: Key Voices for Lasting Change — Shaping the WPS agenda for the next 10 years (CSPPS)
  16. “10 ways you can help end violence against women, even during a pandemic” (UN Women)