SDG16+ — November 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. Justice 2030 — time for action

The opening of the UN General Assembly saw another busy week for the Pathfinders — as senior leaders gathered to make a new commitment to delivering the SDG targets for justice for all.

A call to action from Mary Robinson:

“I am asking you to push real progress on human rights and justice by 2030. I am asking you to make the policy and financial commitments to offer every person equality under the law and before the law.

With the Elders, we travelled the world and walked together for justice. In February, we were able to meet in Argentina, to see access to justice centers. The communities suffered many indignities and injustices simply because they are poor. But they aren’t helpless. They have gathered together in an extraordinary way to make justice happen.

It’s clear that something is changing. We’re beginning to realize that this is the vital, vital goal and that access to justice is fundamental to all other rights. So, let’s work together and be innovative together and fight together for access to justice for all.”

2. Disarmament that saves lives

Also during UNGA, Lee Mikyung, the President of the Korea International Cooperation Agency hosted a meeting to explore the role that disarmament plays in building more peaceful societies.

Daniël Prins, from the UN Office of Disarmament Affairs, presented the Secretary-General’s disarmament agenda, which aims to “put people at the center of our disarmament efforts, and ensure disarmament that saves lives today and tomorrow.”

Key points from the Pathfinders’ presentation:

  • Take SDG16.1 seriously. The 2030 Agenda promises to “significantly reduce all forms of violence everywhere” but deaths from violence are currently projected to rise by 2030.
  • Profound impact on development. Five million children in Africa have diedfrom preventable diseases over the last 20 years because armed conflict deprived them of access to basic healthcare or clean water.
  • Weapons are an accelerator of violence. In war zones. In cities. In the home. From large scale conflict to street-level crime, we cannot deliver the SDGs unless we take disarmament seriously.

In February 2019, Korea will host the PyeongChang Global Peace Forumand launch a new Global Agenda for Peace. This is a chance to unite the world’s peacemakers behind SDG16.1 — and to make sure disarmament plays a full role in violence prevention.

3. Building more inclusive societies

During UNGA, ministers met for a Pathfinders’ dinner to explore new ways to combat inequality and exclusion. This was followed by a retreat that opened a new grand challenge that bridges SDG16 (peace, justice and inclusion) and SDG10 (inequality within and between countries).

Get in touch if you’re interested in contributing to a fast-developing program of work for 2019.

4. Stand up for SDG16+

UNGA closed with partners uniting to stand up for SDG16+ — in an event co-hosted with Sierra Leone, the Global Alliance, and the 16+ Forum.

  • The clock is ticking. As we press publish on this newsletter, next July’s ministerial High-level Political Forum is only 230 days away. Two months later, presidents and prime ministers meet for the first check-in of the 2030 Agenda — the SDGs Summit.
  • A year for ambition. Leaders are asked to “mobilize further actions to accelerate implementation.” These should be our watchwords — actionsnot words, acceleration not business-as-usual, an unprecedented mobilization for peace, justice and inclusion.
  • We’re standing up. This was the message from ministers and high-level speakers from Sierra Leone, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Timor-Leste, IDLO, OECD, UN DESA, Namati, the TAP Network, and PriceWaterhouseCoopers.

Please join the growing and inclusive SDG16+ coalition to maximize impact at the HLPFs in 2019. Our challenge paper sets out a plan for the HLPFs in 2019.

5. 17 Rooms at Rockefeller

The Pathfinders are working hard to join up the SDG16+ conversation with the wider debate on all 17 SDGs.

  • The Rockefeller Foundation brought together leading thinkers in 17 rooms — one for each of the Sustainable Development Goals.
  • The SDG16 discussion was convened by the Pathfinders, with Elizabeth Andersen, World Justice Project; Kerry Kennedy, RFK Human Rights; Neal Keny-Guyer, Mercy Corps; Sarah Mendelson, Carnegie Mellon University; Joe Powell, Open Government Partnership; Salil Shetty, Harvard Kennedy School; Howard Taylor, Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children; and Sam Worthington, InterAction, CEO.
  • Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever, popped in to ask “can we find a campaigning theme for SDG16+ as potent as plastics has proved for oceans?”

Some headlines from the discussions:

  • In the face of adverse trends on violence, populism and authoritarianism, SDG16+ offers a new hope and direction for humanity.
  • We must tackle fatalism through stories and evidence of successes that show change is possible.
  • It’s time to build a more united partnership — and to reach out to communities who know they cannot deliver ‘their’ SDG without greater peace, justice and inclusion.

6. SDG16+ week in Sierra Leone

In the second week of October, the government of Sierra Leone — including the Foreign Minister, Alie Kabba — hosted a week of SDG16+ activities in Freetown.

First up was the second annual showcase of the 16+ Forum, which has become an essential gathering for those working on the SDG targets for peace, justice, and inclusion.

  • A day in the field — stand by for a report from Karina Gerlach on how Sierra Leone’s vibrant civil society is working to deliver the promise of SDG16+ in a country hit hard by conflict, epidemic, and natural disasters.
  • Plenary discussions and workshops on what we have learned during the first three years of implementation and how we can step up ambition in 2019.
  • A Czech commitment to host the next forum in Spring 2019 as a major stop on the road to next year’s HLPFs.

7. Justice leaders dialogue

On the final morning of the 16+ Forum Annual Showcase, ministers and other justice leaders joined a panel on justice for all. They then met for a peer-to-peer discussion on justice leadership in West Africa, while partners broke out into groups to discuss opening justice, accountability and anti-corruption; transitional justice and empowerment through reparations; justice innovation and the role of the private sector; and justice innovation in fragile contexts.

  • The justice leaders: ministers from Sierra Leone and Guinea, senior representatives from the Gambia and the Mano River Union, and Task Force members and Sherpas.
  • Discussion on the need for data, evidence and learning, as well as innovations and transformations at national or international level, led to discussions on partnerships and potential south-south cooperation.
  • A commitment to continued cooperation on justice between the Mano River and West African countries ahead of the HLPF in 2019.

8. Second Task Force on Justice meeting

The final event of the SDG16+ week in Sierra Leone was the second meeting of the Task Force on Justice held on October 11–12.

  • H.E. Dr Priscilla Schwartz, Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Sierra Leone, and co-chair of the Task Force on Justice, hosted and opened the meeting, challenging those working to expand and strengthen justice systems to broaden their conception of justice.
  • Task Force members reviewed progress so far, including emerging findings from the Task Force workstreams, and themes from research being undertaken.
  • The meeting finished with a discussion of the outline of the Task Force on Justice report, which will be launched after the third and final Task Force meeting in The Hague on February 6–8, 2019.

If you have any input you would like to be included in the Task Force report, do get in touch.

9. The power of collective action

In October, the Alliance for Peacebuilding held its annual conference in Washington, DC.

  • The conference brought together funders, policymakers, diplomats, members of the military, academics, non-governmental organizations, and other peacebuilding professionals
  • They discussed and debated topics ranging from the roles of the private sector and of new technologies in building peace, to the future of peacebuilding and the threats to peace posed by climate change.
  • At the opening session, on Global Policy Frameworks on Sustaining Peace: A Call for Collaborative and Collective Action, David Steven spoke about the opportunities presented by SDG16+ and by the 2019 HLPF, to bring together a diverse range of activist groups, whose work is currently fragmented, to advocate for and implement steps towards the reduction in violence called for in SDG16.1.

10. Inclusion in focus

Inclusion remains a key challenge within the SDG space. The insights below point to the complexity of subject:

“In the popular imagination, identity politics is the stuff of queer-studies seminars and Hillary Clinton rallies. (…) Rather less attention has been paid to the appetite for a different kind of identity politics — one centred around whiteness”

These are the opening words of a new article in The Economist on exclusion in the developed world. The article frames the current backlash against globalization in Europe and the US as a right-wing version of identity politics.

The gig economy is taking up an ever-larger share of the workforce — around 11% in the US according to the Bureau of Labor statistics. Those working in it are excluded from traditional employee benefits such as arranged healthcare or a pension scheme.

The New York Times recently floated the idea of a workers’ union for gig economy workers. Such a co-operative would offer a flexible, cross-industry membership and a modicum of collective bargaining power. The developing world is already leading the way in this area. An ongoing strike of Uber and Ola drivers in Mumbai forced the two ride-hailing companies to offer an insurance scheme for its drivers against volatile fuel prices.

11. Big Think on Justice

The Big Think on Justice was held in the Hague on November 15. The event brought together justice experts from civil society and justice institutions to provide input to the report of the Task Force on Justice. It also aimed to generate interest in the findings and recommendations of the Task Force report, and to build momentum towards The Hague meeting on Delivering Justice for All on February 6–8, 2019.

  • Parallel workshops were organized by justice partners around the following themes: Justice for Women (UN Women, IDLO), Innovating and Investing in Justice (HiiL), Transitional Justice (ICTJ) and Justice as Prevention (NYU-CIC, UNDP, and ILAC).
  • The Big Think on Justice was hosted by the Knowledge Platform Security and Rule of Law and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Department for Stabilization and Humanitarian Aid, in association with the Task Force on Justice.
  • A related innovation-focused event was held last month in Ottawa by the Task Force on Justice’s Innovation Working Group. Organized by HiiL and hosted by the Canadian Ministry of Justice, the meeting brought together thought leaders on justice innovation to assess and review the latest innovations in the justice field.

Both meetings have produced inputs which will be used in the Task Force on Justice report.

12. Twice the peace by 2030

Co-hosted with the International Peace Institute, the Pathfinders’ panel “Twice the Peace by 2030: Linking Knowledge to Practice”, at Geneva Peace Week made a call to encourage the vision of halving violence by 2030. The event showcased emerging data and evidence about “what works” in reducing violence across Latin America, providing an example of the private sector investing in peace in northern Mexico.

  • Katherine Aguirre Tobón, Senior Researcher at the Igarapé Institute, gave examples of violence reduction efforts in Latin America, including strategies around police reform, investing in education, and focusing on hot spots and hot people. She cautioned against the increasing popularity of heavy-handed approaches.
  • Luis Valles, State Director of FICOSEC, described how business leaders came together in Mexico — which has the highest homicide rate in the world — to create a corporate tax that would invest funds directly into violence prevention.
  • Sara Sekkenes, Conflict Prevention Adviser at UNDP in Geneva, emphasised the relationship between the two presentations and governance, and highlighted the need to broaden the way we think about governance beyond the national level.
  • Rachel Locke, Lead Researcher on SDG16.1 for the Pathfinders, reinforced that these lessons from Latin America are highly relevant to other regional contexts, particularly in Africa which is experiencing exceptionally high rates of urbanization.

13. The lawyers who sold their car to buy a camera

The first article in our new series on Champions for Change is now on Medium. The series will shine a light on people around the world who are making change happen in the Access to Justice sphere.

  • Our first Champions are Roberto Hernandez and Layda Negrete, two Mexican lawyers who sold their car and bought a camera to expose the corruption, waste and unfairness prevalent in Mexico’s justice system. The two riveting films they produced — The Tunnel and Presumed Guilty — led to dramatic changes in Mexican justice.
  • Presumed Guilty — which tracks the rollercoaster justice journey of a young man wrongly convicted of homicide — became the most popular documentary in the history of Mexico. Its release, and the pressure exerted by the lawyers-turned-filmmakers on members of Mexico’s congress, was a major spur to the country’s justice reforms that have replaced the presumption of guilt with the presumption of innocence, and given all defendants the right to a public trial instead of being subject to unchallengeable paper-based judgements.

14. The case for justice

The Task Force on Justice was involved in two sessions during the World Bank Law Justice and Development week in Washington D.C.

A lively panel discussion on Justice for Women: Making the Case for Action, Investment and Change took place between:

Moderated by Maaike de Langen, Head of Research, Task Force on Justice, participants discussed the impact of investing in justice for women on broader development goals, gave examples of what works in the field, and considered strategies for mobilizing investment.

The Task Force on Justice also organized a session on The Case for Justice: Investing in Peace and Prosperity.

  • The economic case for investment was at the heart of a discussion between Koen Davidse, Executive Director at the World Bank Group, for Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Georgia, Israel, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, The Netherlands, Romania and Ukraine; Deborah Wetzel, Senior Director, Governance Global Practice, World Bank; and Martijn Quinn, Deputy Head, Directorate General for Justice, European Commission.
  • Participants agreed that there is growing momentum for investment in justice, and noted the importance of making the economic case for investment, which is a crucial means of persuading those in control of national budgets to loosen the purse strings.

15. For your diaries in the next month

Nov 20–21: IDLO Annual Meeting of Assembly of Parties, Rome

Nov 20: Stockholm Human Rights Award Ceremony, Stockholm

Nov 27–29: 6th OECD World Forum on “Statistics, Knowledge and Policy”: The Future of Well-being -Launch of Governance Guidance Paper, Incheon

Nov 29: 41ST KOICA International Development Forum, Seoul

Nov 30 — Dec 1: G20 Summit, Buenos Aires

Dec 4: Protection of Children at Risk of Irregular Migration, New York

Dec 5: Building Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies Amid a World on Fire, Washington DC — Pathfinders event co-hosted with USIP and Carnegie Mellon University Heinz College

Dec 6–7: 7th Anti-Corruption Compliance Asia Pacific Summit, Hong Kong

Dec 9: 10th International Anti-Corruption Day

16. SDG16+ round up

  • Watch the Democracy for All debate with an update from the V-Dem Institute
  • Explore HiiL’s Justice Dashboard
  • Apply for the Feminist Open Government Initiative call for research
  • Watch New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo call for equal justice
  • Learn about End Violence’s pathfinding countries
  • Watch interviews with David Steven and other attendees of the Stockholm Peace Forum
  • Join a Master Class for the Master of Advanced Studies in Children’s Rights
  • Watch When I Grow Up — highlighting the poverty and inequality millions of girls face
  • Apply for Harvard University’s Child Protection Executive Education Course
  • Explore V-Dem’s graphing tools for data visualizations

Plus 16 things we’re reading

SDSN Networks in Action 2018 report51 countries preparing to present VNRs at HLPF 2019 ▪ Launch of the SDG Center for Latin America and the Caribbean ▪ UNDP launches SDG impact for private sector ▪ UNFPA Progress Study on Youth, Peace and Security ▪ Africa SDG Index and Dashboard ▪ SG’s strategy for financing the 2030 Agenda ▪ United Nations’ Youth Strategy for 2030 Agenda ▪ Report on commitments to statistical capacity building ▪ New research on inequality and its impacts ▪ 2018 Update of World Governance Indicators ▪ Six Recommendations for Advocacy Justice for All ▪ Rwanda’s Violence Against Children and Youth Survey ▪ Latin America — the murder capital of the world ▪ Britain’s first safe house for trafficked children ▪ The 2018 Human Development Report