Global SDG16+ Community Partners Issue Joint Call to Action on Implementing Sustainable Development Goal 16+ in Light of COVID-19

July 20, 2020
The global SDG16+ Community partners issued a joint call to action amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, social and political unrest, and a growing economic crisis.

Act Now for #SDG16Plus – Peace, Justice, Inclusion and Strong Institutions in a Pandemic

The global SDG16+ Community partners issued a joint call to action amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, social and political unrest, and a growing economic crisis. The call to action reinforces the commitment to implementing the 2030 Agenda’s Sustainable Development goals, with SDG 16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions) as the keystone, and offers an actionable framework for building more peaceful, just, and inclusive societies for all.

The UN Secretary-General has stressed the imperative of “building back better”, guided by the principle of universality and the commitment to “leave no one behind” as enshrined in the Sustainable Development Goals.

The Call to Action promotes three commitments:

1. We commit to ACT on reducing all forms of violence

Early and targeted responses at all levels are critical to addressing shifting patterns of violence arising from the pandemic. We call for urgent action to dedicate targeted spending on ‘what works;’ embrace a fragility, conflict and violence lens across strategies; prioritize gender-based prevention strategies; protect people from all forms of violence; and engage local governments, youth, and partners on the front-line. 

2. We commit to ACT on people-centered justice for all

People-centered justice approaches are needed more than ever and will help societies manage the institutional, social, and economic fallout from the pandemic. We call for urgent action to enforce emergency measures in a fair, just and proportionate manner; make people your partners; protect the justice workforce; focus on preventing injustices; and incorporate justice as a central component to building back better and sustainably.

3. We commit to ACT on building more equal and inclusive societies

The pandemic presents an opportunity to tackle systemic inequalities, both longstanding and new, and achieve the central promise of the 2030 Agenda to leave no one behind. We call for urgent action to forge a new social contract; adopt an inclusive, whole-of-society approach; design accountable and transparent fiscal and social policies; invest in intersectional and gender-disaggregated data; and ramp up global solidarity efforts and collaboration mechanisms.

Read the full call to action here.

You can support this effort—and we call on leaders across all sectors to take these actions and increase their commitment, investment and resources to make SDG16+ the foundation for reset and recovery efforts. Together with our partners in civil society, business, government and the UN system, we stand ready to rise to the challenge.

Take #SDG16Plus action and demonstrate your commitment by completing this form and signing on to the call to action. 

This call to action was launched at a side-event held during the United Nations Economic and Social Council’s (UN ECOSOC) High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) 2020 on July 14th. The side-event, entitled “Accelerating SDG16+ Action to Restore Human Wellbeing & Build Back Better” was co-hosted by the 16+ Forum (World Federation of United Nations Associations, WFUNA); the Transparency, Accountability and Participation Network (TAP Network); the Global Alliance for Reporting Progress on Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies; the Civil Society Platform for Peacebuilding and Statebuilding (CSPPS); and the Pathfinders for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies.

The event highlighted the nexus between SDG 16+ and the COVID-19 recovery process, inclusive of both the challenges and opportunities to ensure protection, voice, agency and accountability for those most marginalized before, during and in the aftermath of the crisis. Panelists shared concrete actions, solutions and recommendations to ensure the Decade of Action for Sustainable Development is grounded in promoting peaceful, just, and inclusive societies where no one is left behind.

Speakers included: Mr. Omar Castañeda Solares, Deputy Permanent Representative of Guatemala to the United Nations; Mr. Amin Ben Khaled, Advisor, Permanent Mission of Tunisia to the United Nations; Ms. Judith Kaulem, TAP Network Co-Chair and representative of Poverty Reduction Forum Trust-Zimbabwe; Michelle Breslauer, Senior Manager on Governance & Peace, UN Global Compact; and was moderated by Sarah Lister, Head of Governance, Bureau of Policy and Programme Support, UNDP. Additional contributions provided by: H.E. Ambassador Rodrigo A. Carazo, Permanent Representative of Costa Rica to the United Nations; Dr. Djordie Djordjevic, Deputy Permanent Observer of the International Law Development Organization to the United Nations; and Mr. Habib Ur Rehman Mayar, Deputy Secretary-General, g7+ Secretariat.

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