Goal 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
On 8 July 2016, the Office of the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA) to the EU, the European Partnership for Democracy (EPD) and the European Network of Political Foundations (ENoP) endorsed the enclosed Statement on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In the Statement, the aforementioned partners advocate for an ambitious European Union (EU) implementation strategy to realize the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and made the following recommendations to the EU:
- Implement the EU commitment to increase policy coherence for sustainable development, in support of the attainment of the SDGs;
- Align the EU Global Strategy on Foreign and Security Policy with the SDGs, and in particular Goal 16;
- Ensure that democracy support and development policy frameworks and instruments are in support of the implementation of Goal16;
- Address the EU internal/external democracy challenge (in line with the universality of the 2030 Agenda);
- Reinforce the commitment to implementing Goal16 by ensuring EU democratic support is based on the following key principles:
- Fostering bottom-up empowerment;
- Supporting home-grown institutions and reformers;
- Develop real partnerships;
- Facilitating decentralization, where appropriate;
- Acknowledging the importance of implementation and monitoring at the country level and the need to adapt global goals to the local context;
- Harnessing the power of technology;
- Promoting gender equality;
- Ensuring inclusive and multi-stakeholder participatory approaches; and
- Improving transparency, monitoring, and accountability procedures and mechanisms.
- Support Member States with target setting and development of relevant indicators.
Following the Agenda 2030 advocacy efforts of the Office of International IDEA to the EU during 2016, the European External Action Service (EEAS) has now invited the Office to participate in an informal discussion with stakeholders contributing to reaching Sustainable Development Goal 16 (SDG 16). This discussion, convened by the EEAS, will take place in Brussels on Wednesday, 22 February 2017.
SDG 16 (“Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels”) captures the shared vision of the international community to foster peaceful, stable and just societies, and acknowledges the central role of effective, inclusive and accountable institutions in enabling sustainable development. There can be no sustainable development without democratic governance and respect for human rights, and SDG 16 is an entry point to work on democracy and governance, as well as an enabler for reaching other goals.
Given the strong development-security nexus focus of SDG16, participants at the EEAS convened discussions will examine how to address peace and security related challenges that influence sustainable development. Furthermore, participants will also reflect on the EU’s development-security policies and instruments, the need for increased internal EU cooperation and coordination to achieve the Goals, and discuss the opportunities, risks and challenges related to the implementation of SDG 16.
International IDEA is a strong advocate for the inclusion of democracy as a priority in the work of the EU. Its Office to the EU in Brussels is specifically tasked to liaise with EU institutions on these matters.