SDG16+ August 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.

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1. Stand up for SDG16+: the countdown begins

More than 80 people gathered on July 16 to Stand Up for SDG16+ at a side-event to the 2018 High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development. Launched by the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Korea, the Pathfinders, Global Alliance, and 16+ Forum, the event brought together a growing coalition of member states and other champions to make tangible commitments to achieving peace, justice and inclusion.

  • Champions for SDG16+ officially kickstarted the countdown to the HLPFs in 2019, which provide an immense opportunity for all stakeholders to work collaboratively across sectors and thematic areas, forging genuine partnerships for supporting implementation of the SDG16+ targets.
  • A challenge paper was launched, setting out priorities for action in the year ahead. It sets out a clear path for action for the global community to make tangible commitments to achieving peaceful, just and inclusive societies.

2. SDG16+ champions lead by example

On July 16, we witnessed growing global interest and country ownership of SDG16+, initiated by SDG16+ champions signing a board marking their commitment.

  • Marta Santos Pais, Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence Against Children: “We need to seize the opportunity to the lead up for HLPF 2019. I commit to coordinating with partners to produce a thematic report of violence against children to ensure that SDG16+ remains at the center of the agenda.”
  • H.E. Chull-Joo Park, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Republic of Korea to the UN: “Cross-sector collaboration is essential to accelerate the implementation of SDG16+ targets. Education, good governance, and strong institutions are needed to attain economic development and lasting peace.”
  • H.E. Nabeela Tunis, Minister of Planning and Economic Development, Sierra Leone: “Sierra Leone is ready to take on a leading role in SDG16+ implementation, with a special focus on securing access to justice for all, including the most vulnerable people. We intend to publish a voluntary country implementation report.”
  • Ernesto Soria Morales, OECD: “We are committed to working on the business case for SDG16+ which includes more and better measures for access to justice; deeper understanding of the intangible impact of access to justice on communities; and effective policies that support families and promote people-centered justice.”
  • Larry Attree, Saferworld: “We are using the Roadmap to translate SDG16+ into action. In Somaliland we’ve seen civil society recognize the value of SDG16+ as part of their change agenda. We critically need a movement and action that comes from the people.“
  • Laura Garr, White & Case: “We are committed to working with Pathfinders, 16+ Forum, and the Global Alliance to improve access to justice, promote poverty alleviation, and advance the rule of law.”

3. Global Disability Summit

Photo: Penny Mordaunt signing the introduction to her speech. Michael Hughes/DFID

On July 23–24, the UK Government, International Disability Alliance, and the Government of Kenya co-hosted the Global Disability Summit in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London. The aim: to “move from rhetoric to action” and tackle discrimination against disabled people.

Inclusion is central to SDG16+. This summit illuminated the struggles faced by one billion people with a disability, and the obstacles to them playing a full role in their society.

4. OGP Summit highlights

The 5th Open Government Partnership (OGP) summit took place in Tbilisi, Georgia from July 17–19. This brought together 76 nations with the goal of “putting people first.” 2,240 people attended with 2,600 commitments reviewed over 81 different sessions.

  • “If we are to make the most of empowering our citizens through open government, it means continually learning from best practices and principles, and sharing our own experiences with others.” Canadian President of the Treasury Board, The Honourable Scott Brison.
  • Three priorities were clear: focus on anti-corruption, civic engagement, and public service delivery.
  • CitizEngage “Our strength lies in our connections — to each other, our communities, our government — and to our shared belief that change is possible.” This new initiative enables the chance for all people to share their stories, ideas and experiences. Read about it here.
  • The next OGP event is the Asia Pacific Regional Meeting held in Seoul, Korea from November 5–6, 2018. The next global summit will take place in Ottawa, Canada from May 29–31, 2019 — the three themes for this event will be participation, inclusion, and impact.

5. OGP Summit: Corruption

“Politicians understand the meaning of corruption, but do they understand the meaning of commitment? We have to work together to go beyond words and create more open and accountable government for all.” Delia Ferreira Rubio, Chair Transparency International, OGP Steering Committee member.

Anti-corruption was one of 3 main tracks at the OGP summit, with 19 sessions across the 3 days targeting anti-corruption as an issue. Tackling corruption is vital to achieving SDG16.5:

  • “Empowering citizens must also enable them to monitor and curb corruption to ensure government is serving them rather than itself.” Open Government Partnership CEO, Sanjay Pradhan, at the Opening Plenary.
  • The summit provided a great chance for governments to receive guidance on battling corruption with Transparency International publishing three policy briefs to help this agenda. The three policy briefs focussed on beneficial ownership transparency, lobbying and open contracting.
  • On the last day of the summit, the UK Government announced a new aid package of £12 million in support for other OGP countries in developing countries to “stamp out corruption and improve accountability.”

6. Justice at the OGP Summit in Tbilisi

Access to justice and legal empowerment are vital to open governments and open societies, with justice recognized as a new priority for the Open Government Partnership at the summit held in Tbilisi, Georgia in July.

  • At the summit, the first ever side meeting of ministers of justice at the OGP was hosted by Tea Tsulukiani, Minister of Justice of Georgia, and Germán Garavano, Argentina’s Minister of Justice and Task Force on Justice co-chair. Ministers from Armenia, Albania, and Macedonia also took part.
  • To support the development of justice commitments, a collaborative guide was developed on Opening Justice. In 2018 and 2019, most of OGP’s countries and sub-national partners will renew their National Action Plans — a real opportunity to include commitments on justice ahead of the 2019 HLPFs.
  • Work to shape justice commitments accelerated during the OGP summit, as justice leaders from Argentina, Indonesia, Macedonia, Moldova, Mongolia, Nepal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, and Ukraine came together for a workshop organized by the Open Society Justice Initiative.
  • We expect that Canada will keep up the pressure as it takes over from Georgia as lead government chair. The next OGP summit will be in Ottawa from May 29–31, 2019.

7. Role of ODA for Sustaining Peace and SDGs

This side event aimed to link ODA to peacebuilding and sustaining peace as a way to preventing violent conflicts, which is a necessary precondition for full achievement of the SDGs.

  • Mi Kyung Lee, the new President of the Korea International Cooperation Agency (Koica) shared their commitment “towards genuine prosperity and building a peaceful regime on the Korean peninsula” that could encourage others in the world to do the same. Read the whole speech.
  • In his presentation, Anselmo Lee, Senior Adviser to Asia Development Alliance (ADA), highlighted the nexus approach between peace, SDGs and ODA and underlined the need to maximize ODA for policy and actions on the ground to build peaceful, just and inclusive societies.
  • On the panel were those working on SDG16+: Mandeep Tiwana, Chief Programmes Officer CIVICUS; Paivi Kannisto, UN-Women; Chris Murgatroyd, Policy Advisor UNDP & Global Alliance for Reporting Progress on Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies; Mitchell Toomey, Director, UN SDG Action Campaign; and Taekyoon Kim, Associate Professor of International Development Graduate School of International Studies, Seoul National University.

8. DCAF Experts’ Roundtable Meeting

Pathways to Peace in the City explored the nexus between SDG5, SDG11, and SDG16+ to build concrete solutions and interventions to build safer and resilient cities.

  • Ambassador Thomas Guerber, Director of the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces opened the meeting, highlighting the importance of development approach toward urban safety. “We need new interventions, development strategies and methodological approaches targeted for urban spaces,” he said.
  • Sarah Cliffe, CIC Director, and Achim Wennmann, Executive Coordinator, Geneva Peacebuilding Platform agreed on bringing together different communities working on prevention, peacebuilding, urban safety and governance to draw on their comparative advantages.
  • Solutions to violence are possible and cities are vital to delivering the promise of SDG16.1 (significantly reduce all forms of violence everywhere). Inclusion and participatory approaches, multi-sectoral strategies, and sharing lessons learned are key to success. Involving city actors such as mayors at the local level is crucial, while looking at risk factors from a national or global level.

A report from the meeting will be available shortly.

9. 2018 Voluntary National Reviews

90% of countries submitting VNRs this year mentioned SDG16 in one way or another. Here are some Pathfinder country VNRs that caught our eye:

  • Canada — Underlines its credentials as a staunch supporter of SDG16 and highlights the work of the Action Committee on Access to Justice in Civil and Family Matters.
  • Colombia — “Resources for the implementation of peace, reparations to the victims of the conflict and institutional strengthening concentrate a significant proportion of investments on SDG16.”
  • Mexico — “faces many challenges arising from its institutional weakness and the presence of criminal organizations which condition the implementation of [SDG16].”
  • Sri Lanka — “The 4R policy is to address the causes of the protracted conflict, promoting a peaceful and inclusive society, setting up accountable institutions and ensuring a free and just society.”

Our colleagues from the Global Alliance will soon have a more detailed report on SDG16+ and the VNRs, which we will cover in a future issue.

10. States of Fragility Launch

On July 17, at the Irish Permanent Mission in New York, the OECD released its 2018 States of Fragility Report.

  • At the heart of the report, new analysis showing that very little ODA is being deployed directly to support peace.
  • In 2016, just 2% of ODA was spent on conflict prevention and only another 10% on peacebuilding.
  • The conclusion? Despite greater focus on prevention, the conversation “remains at the policy level and has yet to be translated into reality for national governments and the practitioners who are tasked with implementation.”
  • The report calls for a greater clarity on how we can invest in peace. “The onus is now on the still relatively small community of practice to push out these ideas so that they are accessible and actionable for a wider audience and to pitch the importance of focusing on fragility.”

11. Task Force on Justice making progress

The Task Force on Justice is making rapid progress: data partners have begun to investigate the scale and nature of the justice gap, as we develop new insights into why people seek justice and the extent to which their needs are met. We are developing the case for investment in justice and a series of groups are exploring what works to deliver access to justice for all.

  • It is exciting to see partners mobilize around a common agenda and determination to make 2019 a year of justice, including at the OECD Policy Roundtable and the OGP Summit. Maaike de Langen gives a full update on the Growing Momentum on Justice for All in her recent blog.
  • The new government has reaffirmed Sierra Leone’s commitment to the Pathfinders and Sierra Leone’s Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Dr. Priscilla Schwartz, will be co-chair of the Task Force on Justice.
  • Sierra Leone will host the next meeting of the Task Force on Justice from October 10–12 in Freetown. The meeting will be organized, alongside the 2nd Annual Showcase of the 16+ Forum.
  • The final meeting of the Task Force on Justice will be held in on February 6–8 2019 in The Hague, alongside a Justice Leaders Forum as well as other justice related events.

12. High-level Panel on Digital Cooperation

The Secretary-General has launched a new High-level Panel on Digital Cooperation. Speaking at the launch, António Guterres said:

“The scale, spread and speed of change made possible by digital technologies is unprecedented, but the current means and levels of international cooperation are unequal to the challenge.”

The panel has 20 members, with Melinda Gates and Jack Ma as co-chairs, and will produce a report contributing to the broader public debate on digital cooperation. Its remit: “to strengthen cooperation in the digital space among Governments, the private sector, civil society, international organizations, the technical and academic communities and all other relevant stakeholders.”

The High-level report is expected to:

  • Raise awareness about the transformative impact of digital technologies across society and the economy.
  • Identify policy, research and information gaps as well as ways to improve interdisciplinary action on digital technologies.
  • Present concrete proposals to strengthen cooperation in the digital space in an effective and inclusive manner.

“If all people, especially the poorest and most vulnerable, have equal access to digital technology, they will use it to improve life for themselves and their families and raise their voices in conversations about what the future holds. Enabling this widescale empowerment is what this panel is about,” said Melinda Gates.

The report is due by June 2019 — updates can be found here.

13. Grand challenge on inequality and exclusion

The Pathfinders has started building political momentum aimed at tackling one of the three grand challenges identified in the Roadmap — inequality and exclusion.

  • Patterns of exclusion, and the grievances they feed, undermine societies and may lead to insecurity and violence. Levels of inequality are high across the world and rising in most countries, undermining the vision of the 2030 Agenda that all people should fulfill their potential in dignity and equality. It creates urgency to address the issue.
  • The grand challenge bridges SDG10 (inequality between countries) and SDG16 (peace, justice, and inclusion). It is also tightly connected to SDG5 (achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls).
  • High-level meetings with representatives from an array of countries and distinguished thought leaders were held in July, to kick-start work on identifying the best policies to address the challenge. The Swedish minister, Annika Söder, chaired the meetings.
  • More events strengthening the political coalition around the grand challenge will take place as a build-up toward the High-level Political Forum in 2019.

14. Building the Pathfinders team

Following on from Harshani joining us in June, Rachel Locke will shortly be starting work on the SDG16.1 Violence Grand Challenge. She will be looking at scoping work to “bring together all disciplines and sectors to explore how this grand challenge can be delivered and financed, creating an agenda for action for policymakers from all countries.”

We also have Paul Von Chamier on the team, working on the Grand Challenge for inequality and exclusion, where we recently held side events at HLPF 2018 to scope out work for a retreat to provide inputs to the HLPFs in 2019, and to mobilize over the longer term on the inclusion program. See all of the team here.

If you’re interested in working for the Pathfinders, we are hiring for a Communications Officer and Program Assistant.

15. For your diaries in the next month

Sep 2–5: ISPCAN XXII International Congress, Prague

Sep 10–28: Human Rights Council 39 Session, Geneva

Sep 12–13: Rising Global Peace Forum, Coventry

Sep 13: Knowledge Platform Security & Rule of Law Annual Conference, The Hague

Sep 18–30: 73 Session of the UN General Assembly, New York

Sep 19–21: Third Conference of the Law and Development Research Network, Leiden

Sep 21: Partners Global Alliance for Peacebuilding, New York

Sep 24–25: Sustainable Development Impact Summit, New York

Sep 24: UN Private Sector Forum, New York

Sep 25: OSF and Pathfinders High-level Event on Justice 2030, New York

16. SDG16+ roundup

  • Our breakfast event on inequality with Sweden
  • Embed the essence of the 2030 Agenda into everything
  • Sign the Justice 2030 petition for access to justice
  • Online consultation for the 2020 Global Education Monitoring report
  • Saferworld and SDG16+ in action
  • Apply for the Legal Empowerment Leadership Course 2018
  • Read our article about the FriEnt Peacebuilding Forum
  • Apply for a fellowship to specialise in injury prevention journalism
  • Read about the RISING Global Peace Forum

Plus 16 things we’re reading

Access to justice: lessons from global funds ▪ Manipulation of customary power in DRC ▪ Addressing business needs in reporting on the SDGs ▪ Impact of violence on individual risk preferences ▪ American democracy in crisis ▪ How is OGP delivering for civil society? ▪ State Fragility as a global challenge ▪ Can gender equality prevent violent conflict? ▪ The start-up that wants to sell you civilized debate ▪ A look at income inequality around the world ▪ Expectations for justice in The Gambia ▪ Next generation of governance mechanisms ▪ Uganda’s Violence against Children survey report ▪ Building inclusive cities ▪ Case studies on children’s rights cases ▪ Lessons from multi-stakeholder initiatives