How to Achieve Sustainable Peace
The Radical Potential of Implementing UN Sustainable Development Goal 16
Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung | 2016
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular SDG 16, offer a set of potentially radical solutions to billions of people’s fears and insecurities by articulating a people-centered agenda for sustainable peace. Achieving them, however, will require a significant change in mind-sets and approaches along with global and local action. SDG 16 will only be achieved with political leadership from governments and societies. It cannot be relegated to technical development projects. At the universal level, the UN can identify norm and implementation entrepreneurs who have devised solutions for achieving SDG 16 and related goals. The UN can also instigate government-to-government and society-to-society cooperation, convene global partnerships for SDG 16, and fill crucial gaps in partnerships to address the dark side of globalization. To make the UN fit for peace, institutional reform must take priority, as must upstream analysis and prevention, and greater investment in the resilience of communities.
Leaving no-one behind will require the international community to keep to its commitments to the poorest and most conflict-affected countries. The g7+ and other Least Developed Countries should be in the driver’s seat, leading a revamped and more inclusive global partnership for leaving no country behind under SDG 17.
This perspective piece offers ideas on a roadmap for implementing SDG 16 that could be discussed by the UN High-Level Political Forum and the Economic and Social Council in 2016, and revisited in 2019.