SDG16+ — July 2018


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 website.

1. Stand up for SDG16+

Today — 16 July 2018 — we mark the start of the mobilization for the High-level Political Forums in 2019 — a unique opportunity for partners from across the world to come together to stand up for SDG16+:

  • The Pathfinders, Global Alliance, and 16+ Forum are hosting a side event to unite member states and key stakeholders behind the SDG16+ targets for achieving peaceful, just and inclusive societies.
  • Speakers include Achim Steiner from UNDP; Nabeela Tunis, Sierra Leone’s new Minister for Planning and Economic Development, and chair of the g7+; and Marta Santos Pais, SRSG for violence against children and board member for the Global Partnership to End Violence against Children.
  • Member states — including Switzerland, Brazil, the Netherlands, Guatemala, Timor-Leste, Qatar, and Cabo Verde — will be represented at a senior level, while Rukshana Nanayakkar will speak for the TAP network of civil society organizations, and Anne Gadegaard for civil society.

If you’re in New York and you’re ready to stand up for SDG16+, join us at 6.30pm at the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Korea for a dynamic and interactive event (and for drinks and hors d’oeuvres).

But sign up to tell us you’re arriving and come early, as we’re expecting a crowd. (And see our full calendar for other events and email us to add your event.)

2. Why 2019 is so important for SDG16+

The Stand Up for SDG16+ event is part of this year’s High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development:

  • The HLPF is charged with keeping the 2030 Agenda “relevant and ambitious” by assessing progress, achievements and challenges, and new and emerging issues.
  • It meets each year at ministerial level (under the auspices of ECOSOC), with countries reporting on their progress (through voluntary national reviews) and for a thematic review of a selection of the 17 SDGs.
  • In July 2019, SDG16 comes up for review (alongside the closely linked SDG10 on inequality). The theme: “empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality.”

But there’s more:

  • Every four years, there’s another forum (this time as part of the high-level week of the UN General Assembly) — think of it as the Olympics of the SDGs.
  • In September 2019, President and Prime Ministers will meet to review progress and set a future direction. They are asked to “mobilize further actions to accelerate implementation.”

3. The Path to the 2019 HLPFs

In last month’s newsletter, we reviewed a draft challenge paper setting out plans for how SDG16+ partners can work together to make the most of the 2019 HLPFs. Since then, plans have been discussed at a high-level dinner, day-long workshop, and webinar, and the paper has been finalized. Read it here.

The paper sets out four objectives:

  • Demonstrate progress and results — through quality reporting that celebrates success and identifies what has been achieved.
  • Mobilize actions to accelerate implementation — through new commitments to implement and finance policies and programs at scale.
  • Build a movement for peaceful, just and inclusive societies — drawing on the strengths of governments, the private sector, civil society, international organizations and other partners.
  • Consolidate links to all 17 SDGs — reflecting the two-way links between peace and sustainable development.

The need for a powerful campaign is especially important. As we wrote in a recent blog:

  • “SDG16+ acts as a counter-narrative and a practical focus for action, but only if we’re prepared to work relentlessly to support and promote it.”
  • We need to highlight solutions to the problems people care about most.
  • Global asks will rally the SDG16+ community, backed up by new national commitments to accelerate implementation.

4. HLPF 2018 — Highlights from Week 1

While the primary focus of this year’s HLPF was on sustainability and resilience, side events have kept the focus on SDG16:

  • Pathways to Peace in the City — an expert roundtable hosted by DCAFand NYU CIC, with Ambassador Thomas Guerber in the chair and contributions from Achim Wennmann, Sarah Cliffe, Rachel Locke, and others.
  • A highlight: former Secretary of Security, Coexistence and Justice, Daniel Mejia Londoño, on how Bogotá dramatically reduced its murder rate, triggering a debate on how important cities are to delivering the promise of SDG16.1 to significantly reduce all forms of violence everywhere. (See also: to end the murder epidemic, give mayors more power.)
  • Sustaining Peace and the SDGs — hosted by the Republic of Korea’s Ambassador Cho, and with a keynote from Jeff Sachs (“the SDGs are an agenda for peace”), and speakers from the Asia Development Alliance, Pathfinders, Civicus, UN Women, Global Alliance, SDG Action Campaign, and Seoul National University.
  • A highlight: Mi Kyung Lee, the new President of the Korea International Cooperation Agency (Koica) setting out her vision for how Korea will work for peace, democracy, human rights, and gender equality, based on the RoK’s emergence from conflict in the 20th century and its fervent desire for peace with DPRK in the 21st. She promised to turn Koica’s commitment for peace into a “specific distinctive concept” that will help build a wave of peace across the world. Read the whole speech.
  • How the SDGs are supporting peace, justice and inclusionco-hostedby IPI and Saferworld to explore how the SDG16+ concept is helping local actors build more peaceful, just and inclusive societies.
  • A highlight: hearing concrete examples of SDG16+ implementation from national civil society actors. “As a country we seem to be democratic on paper,” said Elizabeth Ampairwe from Uganda’s Forum for Women in Democracy. “But what happens is there is a shrinking space for civil society and abuse for human and democratic rights.”

5. SDG16+ in Somaliland

One of the best HLPF 2018 events was a briefing on SDG16+ implementation hosted by the Permanent Mission of the Netherlands to the UN. In a small group, we had the chance to explore in-depth case studies from Sudan, Uganda, and Somaliland.

The work from Somaliland offers important lessons for other countries:

  • The Somaliland Non-State Actors Forum (SONSAF), with support from Saferworld, has used the SDG16+ framework that proposes priorities for implementation from the new National Development Plan. Each priority is backed up by proposed actions from government, civil society, and the international community.
  • Short term priorities (2018–2020): increase the proportion of women in public sector leadership positions to 20%, reduce FGM by 10%, and increase access to justice by 70%.
  • Longer-term priorities (2020–2030): zero tolerance for corruption, strengthen the freedom of the press and access to information, develop an accountable, effective and transparent police force.
  • Early successes: 20% quota for women in the next parliament (from just 1 woman MP today), approval from religious leaders for legislation to end FGM, approval of a sexual offenses bill, and partnership with the Chief Justice in creating a strategy for increasing the contribution of civil society to justice.

Read the full briefing on Somaliland’s priorities for action.

6. The OGP Global Summit 2018

The OGP Global Summit runs from 17–19 July in Tbilisi:

  • It’s a critical year for the Open Government Partnership. And with 75 national and 15 subnational members, OGP is an indispensable part of the SDG16+ landscape.
  • Most OGP participants are either renewing their action plans or will do so next year — an opportunity for governments and civil society to join in making transformational commitments to “promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption, and harness new technologies to strengthen governance.”
  • The 2019 OGP summit will be held in Canada next Spring — a launch pad for the HLPF in 2019 (see our calendar for other important events over the next year).

OGP understands the importance of standing up for peaceful, just and inclusive societies:

  • Joe Powell, setting the scene for the summit, says that democracy is under threat. “Human rights abuses, challenges to the basic rule of law and long-standing institutions, and declining civic space have become the norm in many countries.”
  • Leaders must speak out and join forces. “For too long, a strong coalition of leaders and ministers promoting the values of democracy and citizen-centric governance have been missing from the world stage.”

The summit’s focus aligns with key SDG16+ priorities:

  • Civic engagement — with a new guide on how OGP can win the fight for civic space.
  • The fight against corruption — check out Tuesday’s panel on how global anti-corruption efforts can support national implementation.
  • Inclusive public service delivery — as OGP explores ways of “bringing (back) citizens into the design, implementation and monitoring of government.

Are you an open government skeptic? Read the evidence on what open government delivers. And finally, a message from the organizers:

7. OGP and Justice

Justice will feature prominently at the Open Government Partnership Summit in Tbilisi this coming week. Follow the event on twitter with #OGPGeorgia

  • Ministers of Justice attending the summit will come together to Stand up for Justice!
  • Minister of Justice Tsulukiani of Georgia, co-chair of OGP and host country of the Summit, and Argentine Minister of Justice Garavano, chair of the Task Force on Justice, will co-host the meeting, jointly organized with OGP, OSJI, Namati and the Task Force on Justice.
  • Open Society Justice Initiative will hold a full day workshop on country experiences with justice commitments in OGP National Action Plans.
  • The Ministry of Justice of Georgia, OECD and OSJI are holding a high-level panel on how the OGP can strengthen links between access to civil justice, legal empowerment and open government.

8. Children Cradled by Conflict

MOGADISHU, SOMALIA: A child formerly associated with Al-Shabaab is handed over to UNICEF after being captured by AMISOM forces. UN Photo/Tobin Jones (on page 218 of the report)

SDG16.2 — which promises to end violence against children — is a critical target for all countries, but is especially urgent for children who are directly involved in conflicts:

  • The annual report from the Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict was published in June. It found growing numbers of ‘unspeakable violations’, with surges of violence in many countries, but with new action plans in CAR, Mali and Nigeria, and the full implementation of Sudan’s plan.
  • The SRSG for Children and Armed Conflict, Virginia Gamba: “the report details the unspeakable violence children have been faced with, and shows how in too many conflict situations, parties to conflict have an utter disregard for any measures that could contribute to shielding the most vulnerable from the impact of war.”
  • Also new this month, Cradled by Conflict, a collection of essays from the UN University on children’s involvement with armed groups.
  • In their conclusion, Siobhan O’Neil and Kato Van Broeckhoven are critical of the current state of knowledge of how to prevent and respond to the challenge as the nature of conflict changes. Many programs are “ineffective or, worse, counterproductive” and they find insufficient evidence to endorse any approach.
  • Next from UNU: “a technical note that will serve as a reference for policymakers, donors, and practitioners working on the prevention and response to child recruitment by armed groups.”

9. How to Implement INSPIRE

INSPIRE — the seven strategies for ending violence against children — was a breakthrough for those working to implement SDG16.2 (for background, see our challenge paper and report from the Solutions Summit).

  • Now published, the INSPIRE Handbook which “explains in detail how to choose and implement interventions that will fit your needs and context [and] provides everyone committed to ending violence against children with the best possible information on how to implement INSPIRE.”
  • Also, the INSPIRE Indicator Guidance and Results Framework, which proposes a set of core indicators for INSPIRE’s implementation.
  • And apply for funding, to promote INSPIRE.

Our view:

  • The success of INSPIRE is an essential foundation for the delivery of SDG16.2. These new resources demonstrate ongoing commitment from the international community.
  • The Global Partnership to End Violence against Children’s pathfinder countries can use the HLPF to make concrete commitments to implement INSPIRE.
  • We must now get serious about financing INSPIRE, building on this new discussion paper that proposes a strategy for financing SDG16.2.

10. OECD Roundtable on Justice

“From here, we will take it to the political level in New York. Next year, we will deliver a compact on delivering justice for all.”

  • So said Angel Gurría, the Secretary-General of the OECD as he gave the keynote at the high-level session of the Policy Roundtable on Equal Access to Justice (watch his speech) in Latvia earlier this month.
  • The Roundtable was organized by the OECD Public Governance Committee, hosted by the government of Latvia, and run in collaboration with the Pathfinders’ Task Force on Justice.
  • Gurría gave a passionate address as he described justice as a foundation to sustainable development, as important as food or health, and explained why OECD’s policy framework on inclusive growth has justice at its heart.
  • “A lack of justice perpetuates a cycle of decline,” he said, “where a trivial legal matter can make impossible the lives of an individual or family.”
  • The OECD will accelerate work to build a business case for justice, while the World Bank spoke of its plans to work with the OECD and Task Force on Justice on a flagship report on the case for investment in justice.
  • On the high-level panel: ministers and deputy ministers from Latvia, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, and Ukraine, along with senior representatives from the Netherlands, EU and the Council of Europe, and the Director-General of IDLO.
  • Gurría concluded: “let’s not lose the momentum here. We have generated a sense of urgency, a sense of emergency.”

11. 2019: A Year of Justice for All

The OECD Roundtable started with a panel on implementing SDG16.3 and other targets for justice for all, grounded in national experiences from Canada, the Netherlands, and Colombia.

Chairing the session on behalf of the Task Force, David Steven closed with four challenges for OECD member states and partners as they ‘stand up for justice’ in the run up to the High-level Political Forum in 2019.

  • Ground SDG implementation in innovative national models that take justice to the people, drawing on data that identifies their most urgent legal needs and draws on evidence of what works to provide just outcomes.
  • Ask international partners to mobilize to make 2019 a year of justice, supporting the OECD, World Bank and UN, and other justice partners as they work with the Task Force to develop the analysis and strategies that will underpin more ambitious implementation.
  • Mobilize political leaders, asking ministers, justice leaders and other champions to make the case for justice as a cross-cutting priority for all those serious about implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
  • Seize political moments throughout the next year, using major events as a platform to energize the global, regional, national, and local movement for justice for all.

Also in Latvia: progress was made on the workstreams for the Task Force on Justice at the technical workshop. A selection of the world’s experts debated emerging ideas and took forward research into the justice gap and the case for investment in justice.

12. UNDP Annual Rule of Law and Human Rights Meeting

19–22 June saw UNDP’s annual meeting to explore “global efforts to uphold the rule of law and respect human rights.”

  • On the high-level panel, Achim Steiner promised to increase UNDP’s commitment to rule of law as part of its focus on peace, justice and inclusion. He said that he is exploring the potential for Rule of Law Advisers to support the UN’s newly empowered Resident Coordinators.
  • The 2017 Annual Rule of Law and Human Rights Report was launched.
  • Early results were shared from the independent review of the Global Focal Point for Police, Justice and Corrections (led by Paige Arthur from NYU CIC).

13. Justice for All Through the SDGs

At the annual rule of law meeting, UNDP and the Task Force on Justice held a panel on achieving access to justice for all through the SDGs, moderated by UNDP’s Katy Thompson and Maaike de Langen from the Pathfinders’ secretariat.

  • Henry Mbawa, Sierra Leone’s Sherpa on the Task Force spoke about the new government’s commitment to justice and its work on a new plan for the sector: “We must work together to develop a compelling agenda for action for SDG16+ and a credible path towards 2030.”
  • Marianne Peters of the Netherlands’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs: “Victimization and legal needs surveys show high unmet needs for justice. When they are victims of violence, or involved in a dispute, too many people either have no access or are failed by justice institutions.”
  • Task Force member, Alejandro Alvarez of the UN EOSG: “The SDGs are a shared agenda in a polarizing world. To make progress on justice, we need to invest in better data, analysis and implementation.”

14. Views from the Legal Empowerment Grassroots

The annual survey of members from the Global Legal Empowerment Network:

  • The movement is growing — with 1,370 organizations and 5,102 individuals now part of the network. Members work to help people know, use and shape the law.
  • Funding is tight — around a third of organizations may not have the money to operate next year, and another third plan cuts.
  • Grassroots activists are at risk — 68% have been threatened for their legal empowerment work.

The network backs the Justice for All campaign which sets three priorities:

  • Stand up to those who oppress justice defenders by documenting, exposing, and speaking out against oppression.
  • Achieve public funding for access to justice and legal empowerment at all levels.
  • Improve partnership and coordination among governments, donors, and civil society to better utilize existing financing, fill gaps, and utilize learning.

15. Report from the 16+ Forum in Georgia

The report from the 16+ Forum annual showcase is out:

  • Representatives from 25 countries came to Georgia in Autumn 2017 to showcase solutions, successes and challenges in advancing peaceful, just and inclusive societies.
  • Key takeaways: “The need for inclusion in process, policy and practice; the importance of national and local ownership; a call to identify what already works and increase coordination across ministries and stakeholders; the critical value of partnerships and meaningful engagement with all segments of society, particularly with civil society and data as a means of measuring and driving progress.”

16. SDG16+ round up

  • At the biggest ever global meeting on child marriage, civil society calls for renewed action to end the practice by 2030.
  • SDG tracker launched — see the results for SDG16.
  • 4 early lessons on how member states at the UN have tracked progress on the SDGs through Voluntary National Reviews.
  • A new resource hub from World Justice Project.
  • The Paris Declaration on Justice for Children.
  • Apply to be a Policy Advisor for the Elders’ new Access to Justice Initiative.
  • Bernard Van Leer’s support for children in cities and parenting support in Brazil.
  • Grants for research into how WhatsApp drives misinformation (and what to do about it).
  • HiiL’s Innovating Justice Challenge Finalists.
  • A new guide to fiscal transparency and public participation norms and instruments.

Plus 16 things we’re reading

Increase in both violence and spending on public safety in Brazil ▪ What works in preventing VAWG ▪ Documenting citizenship and legal identity ▪ Citizen security in Latin America ▪ Overhaul of UN peacekeeping ▪ How police brutality drives cities into debt ▪ New and improved SDG Tracker ▪ Final draft of the UN Global Compact on Refugees ▪ The UK’s SDG performance ▪ ODI’s analyses of VNRs ▪ UN Climate Change Annual Report 2017 ▪ Coherent policies needed for SDG implementation in North Africa ▪ Working towards universal prohibition of corporal punishmentWorld Cities SummitPositive impacts of increasing interactions between rich and poor students ▪ Give refugees a voice to shape our futures