Sept. SDG #16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions.
This month’s Sustainable Development Goal the Local Peace Economy is working on is # 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions. What’s the goal here? Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
The United Nations is the one main institution that needs to be strengthen, because it remains the only place on Earth where all the world’s nations can gather together, discuss common problems, and find shared solutions that benefit all of humanity. The mandate of the United Nations is to maintain international peace and security, and to that end: to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace, and to bring about by peaceful means, and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations which might lead to a breach of the peace; without using force.
In order to maintain the peace without using force requires cooperation among nations and for all nations to abide by the UN charter and not use the excuse of national security, states’ rights, to violate international law to commit an act of aggression and breach the peace by invading a country: Russian Ukraine; United States Iraq, Afghanistan. These wars were not about advancing democracy or promoting social justice and a better standard of living in a larger life of freedom, but empire and revenge. As a result, Iraq and Afghanistan are in shambles and Russia will be as well. They can’t win this war, just as America could not win, after 20 years and trillions of dollars, nobody wins unjustified wars. Democracy will in the long prevail as it continues to grow around the world. Democracy is another institution that’s needs to strengthen especially in countries like Iraq, Afghanistan and Russia needs to become democratic again after it is forced to withdrawal from Ukraine. The condition of a peace is Russia returns to a democracy.
Around the world every day, 100 civilians-including women and children-are killed in armed conflicts despite protection under international law. The number of people fleeing war, persecution and conflict exceeded 70 million in 2018, the highest level recorded by the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) in almost 70 years. From 2015 to 2019, the United Nations recorded at least 1,940 killings and 106 enforced disappearances of human rights defenders, journalists and trade unionists across 81 countries, with over half of killings occurring in Latin America and the Caribbean
Armed violence and insecurity have a destructive impact on a country’s development, affecting economic growth and often resulting in long-standing grievances among communities. Violence affects children’s health, development and well-being, and their ability to thrive. It causes trauma and weakens social inclusion. Lack of access to justice means that conflicts remain unresolved, and people cannot obtain protection and redress. This describes life in Iraq and Afghanistan and another three dozen countries currently with ongoing wars or minor conflicts most of them in the Middle East, Northwest Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, and a major ongoing drug-war in Mexico. Wikipedia lists around 40 ongoing wars and conflicts with over 100 combat deaths in 2020 or 2021.
How do we address this? It will take individuals in leadership positions to restrain themselves and not resort to military solutions and violate international law to solve disputes between countries. Take the dispute to the UN and work out an agreement that everyone can live by. It will take support of citizens of countries for the demilitarized of policy and working with the UN to fulfill its mandate to maintain international peace and security.
Governments, civil society and communities must work together to implement lasting solutions to reduce violence, deliver justice, combat corruption and ensure inclusive participation at all times. Freedom to express views, in private and in public, must be guaranteed.
We can do this. Exercise your right to promote democratic inclusion and respect towards people of different ethnic origins, religions, gender, sexual orientations or different opinions. Share your opinion with your elected representatives and hold them to account. Together, we can build peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.
So, join the Local Peace Economy and work for SDG# 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions.
The Local Peace Economy joins the United Nations in its call for a Decade of Action to transform the world by 2030. The 2030 Agenda for 17 Sustainable Development goals, adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015, provides a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. The spirit of human endeavor has demonstrated our shared ability to deliver the extraordinary. The Global Goals are our best hope-for people, for planet, for prosperity, for peace and for partnerships.
The Local Peace Economy calls on everyone everywhere to join us and the UN and pledge: “We are resolved to a Decade of Action to free the human race from the tyranny of poverty and want and to heal and secure our planet. We are determined to take the bold and transformative steps which are necessary. As we embark on this collective journey, we pledge that no one will be left behind.”
Please join us as we pledge to work urgently to shift the world onto a sustainable and resilient path of peace, that leaves no one behind.
To find out more about Goal #16 and other Sustainable Development Goals, visit: http://www.un.org/ sustainabledevelopment