Civil society representatives convened on 26 May, 2019, the eve of the Global Conference on SDG 16, to discuss their contribution to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16, and its aspirations of promoting peaceful and inclusive societies, providing access to justice for all, and building effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.
Hosted by IDLO, the Civil Society Day was organized together with the TAP Network to encourage dialogue and collect input from various representatives, and ensure the perspective of civil society is fed into SDG 16 discussions throughout the course of the Conference.
The Conference, co-organized by IDLO and the United Nations Department of Social and Economic Affairs with the Government of Italy, will take stock of SDG 16 progress ahead of the official review at the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) in July in New York.
While a multi-stakeholder approach is required to achieve the entire 2030 Agenda, civil society input into SDG 16 is particularly relevant.
Kicking off the discussions, IDLO Director-General Irene Khan stated, “I think it’s extremely important that we talk to each other. We all know that the current environment for SDG 16 – for inclusion, for access to justice, for transparent institutions – is a tough one.”
Civil society organizations are often on the frontlines of defense when it comes to protecting the most vulnerable and mobilizing change from the grassroots level. They can serve as a bridge between the lofty aspirations of access to justice for all and the realities on the ground, linking the voices of justice seekers to the institutions meant to serve them.
Throughout the day, participants are providing their unique perspectives and recommendations on civil society’s contribution to SDG 16, culminating in the “Rome Civil Society Declaration on SDG16+”. The Declaration will be presented during the Conference and seek to influence discussions at HLPF.