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Monitoring Progress on SDG 16: Understanding the Effects of the Pandemic to Rebuild and Move Towards the Achievement of Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies

10:00 – 11:30 EDT
Virtual Event

Mankind continues to face one of the deepest sanitary crises in its history, affecting the quality of democracies, economies and welfare worldwide. More than five years from the adoption of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals framework, we find ourselves at a point of setback, where the need to have strong and inclusive institutions, able to guarantee justice and peace, become instrumental to enable the achievement of the already ambitious SDGs.

Building on the outcomes of the first SDG 16 Conference in 2019, the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), the International Development Law Organization (IDLO) and the Government of Italy are organizing the SDG 16 Conference 2021. The conference will consider the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on achieving the Sustainable Development Goal 16 (SDG 16), as well as the transformative contribution SDG 16 can make in helping to safeguard and accelerate progress on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

International IDEA and SDG 16 Data Initiative will be hosting a side event under the ambit of the SDG 16 Conference to contribute to the conversation  and continue expanding on the findings of the SDG16 Data Initiative Global Report 2020, dedicated to providing governments, UN officials, civil society actors, the academia and other stakeholders with a resource to help understand progress on the SDG16 targets. It also provides an evidence base for identifying gaps in both the implementation and monitoring of SDG16, and for altering course to accelerate implementation where needed, and specifically in the current context.

Among the key issues analyzed in this edition of the Global Report, we highlight global violence and sex-disaggregated data; official and non-official data for conflict analysis; trade-related illicit financial flows; corruption; valid and viable measurement of SDG16 targets; access to information; and data gap on peace, justice and accountable institutions.

The purpose of this online event is to further discuss key issues related to the progress of SDG 16, and have a conversation on its key elements, while further discussing challenges and opportunities for the achievement of SDG16, with a special focus on:

  • The crucial role of civil society in supporting and complementing the work of governments in collecting, monitoring, and reporting on data for SDG16;
  • SDG16 as an enabler of the broader Sustainable Development Agenda; and the impact of the current pandemic and its intensifying effect on many pre-existing challenges to achieving peace, justice, and inclusion;
  • Positive developments that contribute to the Decade of Action and Accountability, building on highlights of the three previous SDG16DI Global Reports covering the availability of data on all 12 SDG16 targets (2017); the triune aims of SDG16 for peace, justice, and inclusion (2018); and the state of SDG16 globally according to nonofficial data for all 12 targets (2019); and
  • Reinforcement of the importance of non-official data in monitoring the governance, impact, and response to Covid-19.

The side event proposes a multi-stakeholder space to highlight trends and seeks to present an outlook for the next years, showcasing specific cases that would help identify challenges and opportunities on the creation of data that would contribute to the UN’s institutional frameworks to measure progress, and complement the work that National Statistical Offices, as presented through Voluntary National Reviews (VNR), as well as other resources developed by local, national, regional and global actors for this purpose.

The discussion will be moderated by Massimo Tommasoli, Permanent Observer for International IDEA to the United Nations; Coordinator of the SDG16 Data Initiative and will fit into the three broader themes of the SDG 16 Conference:

  1. Our shared fragility: The impact of Covid-19 on SDG 16;
  2. Renewing the social contract to build trust between people and state; and
  3. Turning challenges into opportunities: rethinking governance with SDG16 at its center.


Speakers will include:

  • Sarah Chamness Long, Director, Access to Justice Research, World Justice Project
  • Toby Mendel, Executive Director, Centre for Law and Democracy
  • Roberto Kukutschka, Research Coordinator, Transparency International
  • Alberto Fernandez Gibaja, Senior Programme Officer, International IDEA
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