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. If you do not wish to receive these newsletters in the future, please unsubscribe from this list. Read the Roadmap on Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies.
1. Participation and the 2030 Agenda
The Czech government underlined its commitment to participation and inclusion as it hosted an ECOSOC special meeting in Prague.
- The goal: to identify pathways for increasing participation and stakeholder engagement in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.
- The cast list: the Czech Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Colombia’s Minister of Planning, the Presidents of the General Assembly and ECOSOC, the UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed, and others.
Coming next, a high-level meeting in New York (23 May 2018), where Ambassador Marie Chatardová will deliver a legacy from her ECOSOC presidency: a renewed commitment to the 2030 Agenda as a platform for social, economic, and political inclusion.
2. Rebuilding trust — the Czech model
For Prime Minister Babiš, Czech leadership on inclusion and participation resonates as his country celebrates the centenary of its foundation as an independent state:
- Global threats are growing — from conflict, oppression, inequality, and the abuse of human rights. “Finding the right answers at a time of profound change and global insecurity is not easy. But giving up is not an option.”
- An institutional renewal is needed to underpin a collective response to these threats — but this will only be possible if people’s trust in their societies is rebuilt. This lesson was learned after the collapse of totalitarianism when trust was at rock bottom.
- “Participation in public affairs and civic discussion proved among the most effective tools to achieve this goal. After many years people were given the chance to express their views on a number of issues and to actively change their neighborhoods and their communities.”
3. Inclusion in action
The Prague meeting showcased the work of those on the frontline of promoting social, economic, and political inclusion, with panels chaired by David Steven for the Pathfinders, and Bonian Golmohammadi for the 16+ Forum.
- From Australia, ChangeCamp — an unconference to encourage “active citizenship, community-driven social change and effective participation in communities across Sydney” — and the Code for Australia Academy — a 6-week program bringing together the public and private sector to address challenges such as how to support refugees to find services and settle in their communities.
- School participatory budgeting in India and Zambia, helping children understand democratic decision making, as they develop proposals, campaign for support, and implement projects to improve their schools.
- Revitalizing public housing in Canada, building a model for urban living by “undoing past mistakes and creating a vibrant community that mixes uses and social strata.”
- Estonia’s Citizen Initiative Portal: “a participatory website that allows ordinary people to participate in state government.”
- Improving women’s resilience in Tunisia.
Read our six priorities for increasing inclusion and participation.
4. Looking back at the launch of the Task Force on Justice
Germán Carlos Garavano, Minister of Justice and Human Rights in Argentina, looks back on the first meeting of the Task Force on Justice (also in Spanish), which is taking forward the first of the ‘grand challenges’ from the Roadmap for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies.
His three takeaways:
- We can only defeat poverty if we defeat injustice. Justice is the missing link in every effort we make to defeat poverty and to deliver the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development.
- The justice gap is huge, but we have the leadership and expertise to close it.
- The Task Force is at the heart of a growing movement that is working for justice for all.
5. Access to justice for women and girls
- Ministers and other justice leaders will meet in The Hague on 28 and 29 May to develop concrete recommendations on filling the unmet need for justice for women and girls.
- A report will propose concrete recommendations for the Task Force to take forward. UN Women and IDLO plan a special launch during the 60th session of the Commission on the Status of Women in 2019.
Get in touch if you are interested in contributing to this work.
6. Toolkit on women’s access to justice
At this year’s Commission on the Status of Women, Karina Gerlach represented the Pathfinders as UN Women, UNDP, UNODC, and OHCHR launched a Practitioner’s Toolkit on Women’s Access to Justice Programming.
- A guide for UN staff, and for governments and civil society.
- A common operational model for the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of women’s access to justice programs in all country contexts.
- Five modules: the theory and practice of women’s access to justice; marriage, family and property rights; ending violence against women; women in conflict with the law; programming at the country level.
At the launch, Alejandro Alvarez — who leads on rule of law for the Secretary-General and is a member of the Task Force on Justice — reflected on progress on justice for women in Somaliland, Sierra Leone and Guatemala.
- Progress takes decades of enlightenment and empowerment, he argued. A long mobilization that pays off in strengthened rule of law and improved protection for women’s rights.
7. Spotlight on violence against women
- A multi-partner trust fund, kick-started by the European Union with €500 million, which will invest in innovative, large-scale and high-impact national programs in Asia, Africa, Latin America, the Pacific, and the Caribbean.
- The Deputy Secretary-General: Spotlight marks the end of business-as-usual, through “the ideal global platform” to coordinate action to end violence against women and girls.
- The focus is on prevention. The first wave of national programs will soon be launched in Argentina, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico, tackling femicide and impunity.
8. Global Forum on Violence Prevention
SDG16.1 — significantly reduce all forms of violence everywhere — is a growing focus for the Pathfinders for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies.
Following roundtables in Geneva and at the Fragility Forum in Washington DC, we were delighted to contribute to the Global Forum on Violence Prevention at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.
- The Forum works to “reduce violence worldwide by promoting the conversation on risk and protective factors, and encouraging evidence-based prevention efforts.”
- Read briefings on prevention and the 2030 Agenda, the role played by social and cultural norms, public policy approaches to prevention, and many others.
Victor Dzau, President of the National Academy of Medicine, is leading a drive for greater investment in public health research on gun violence. “We need researchers from different disciplines, including public health, social and behavioral sciences, mental health, and law enforcement, to work together to tackle this problem.”
The Forum is developing a new strategy for the next phase of its work, and we hope to deepen the partnership between the Forum and the Pathfinders.
9. The politics of security in Somalia
Michael Keating, Special Representative of the Secretary-General: “Somalia is on a positive trajectory, with important progress on political and governance fronts. It has more effective institutions than it has had for decades. But these gains are reversible and must be protected.”
- Insecurity is a day-to-day reality for most Somalians, but international actors are often more focused on their own geopolitical ambitions.
- “International partners need to work in Somalia in a genuinely more coherent manner, despite the demands of their own domestic priorities.”
- The SDG targets for peaceful, just and inclusive societies can help guide a more comprehensive approach to security, emphasizing rule of law, strengthening governance at local levels, and addressing grievances and exclusion.
Last month, we reported from our event at the World Bank with Somalia’s Minister for Women and Human Rights Development.
10. The Transparency, Accountability & Participation Network
The TAP network — an important strategic partner for the Pathfinders — has a new steering committee:
- Over 300 civil society organizations working to ensure that open, inclusive, accountable, effective governance and peaceful societies are at the heart of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Join the network.
- The steering committee: Asia Development Alliance, Human Rights First Rwanda Association, Namati, SDG Kenya Forum, Transparency International.
- Read TAP’s strategic plan and use its advocacy toolkits for SDG16 and for justice and the SDGs.
11. Vision 2018 — Paraguay’s elections
- An interactive game for voters to match their views to those of the candidates.
- An open call for deeper analysis of major themes for the election.
12. SDG16+ roundup
- A social accountability tool in Vietnam which has collected the views of 100,000 citizens.
- The better arguments project — a US civic initiative to bridge ideological divides.
- Pakistan’s innovation challenge for SDG16 — a chance for young Pakistanis to submit creative ideas related to issues of peace, justice and accountability.
- Topic guides on corruption in education, health, and water and sanitation services.
- The Council of Europe highlights its support for SDG16.
- Expert reports on how institutions can deliver the SDGs, ahead of the 17th session of the Committee of Experts on Public Administration.
13. High-level Meeting on Sustaining Peace
New York is gearing up for the High-level Meeting on Sustaining Peace (24–25 April).
- The President of the General Assembly: “The 2030 Agenda is the paramount goal of the United Nations, and it also happens to be the best defence against the risks of violent conflict.”
- The Center on International Cooperation’s briefing on the links between prevention, the 2030 Agenda and Sustaining Peace.
- Eight recommendations for targeting prevention for countries and communities most at risk of being left behind from the Roadmap for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies.
14. Sustaining Peace in action
During the High-level Meeting on Sustaining Peace, the government of Switzerland, the g7+, the United Nations Peacebuilding Support Office and the Economic Community of West African States will host a side event exploring windows of opportunity to build more peaceful, just and inclusive societies.
- 25 April at 4.30–6.00pm, Conference Room 12 in UN Headquarters.
- Join to discuss the potential for the SDG16+ targets to guide actors as they seek windows of opportunity to sustain peace.
- National case studies will highlight examples from countries that are acting to address the factors that give rise to violence, insecurity, and injustice, and those that aim to make the transition from conflict, and those that have made further progress toward recovery.
Email Aamina Bawany immediately if you need a pass to attend the event — registration ends on Wednesday 18 April.
15. Also for your diaries in the next month
17–18 April: The Action Committee on Access to Justice in Civil and Family Matters conference in Ottawa
23–27 April: Seventeenth session of the Committee of Experts on Public Administration of ECOSOC
2 May: Bingham Centre Global Rule of Law Exchange 3rd Annual Conference in London
7–9 May: 2018 Stockholm Forum on Peace and Development
16. Coming up: SDG16+ Mid-Year Expo
On the sidelines of this year’s High-level Political Forum, the 16+ Forum will hold its second Mid-Year Expo:
- A chance to explore how governments, civil society, the private sector and other partners are implementing SDG16+.
- Will follow up on the 2017 Annual Showcase in Tbilisi, Georgia and highlight the work of a range of partnerships working on SDG16+ implementation.
Contact Margaret Williams if you’re interested in taking part in the Expo.
Plus 16 things we’re reading
How can evidence bolster citizen action ▪ Buzzfeed’s series on access to justice in the UK ▪ Humanitarian Ethics: a review of a new guide to the morality of aid in war and disaster ▪ Private banker to peacekeeper ▪ The economic cost of conflict ▪ What works to prevent gender-based violence in Afghanistan and Tajikistan ▪ Justice sensitivity in social conflicts ▪ Listening to the voice of young people in South Africa ▪ How will we know when we have equal access to civil justice for all? ▪ UNMIL shuts up shop ▪ Electronic voting in DRC ▪ Murder is set to soar in some developing cities ▪ The global gender gap report ▪ Africa’s seminal initiative on governance, peace and security statistics ▪ Yes, sexual violence is everywhere but we can change it ▪ Fiscal policy, state building and economic development