Monitoring peace, evaluating institutions, building capacity: A data-driven conversation on SDG 16 and its upcoming 2019 review

The meeting aimed to explore current capacity building progress in achieving SDG 16, “Peace, justice and strong institutions”, from a data-driven perspective. It is commenced by an opening remark delivered by Mr Seth who highlighted that not only it is pivotal to preserve the essence of SDG, but it is also critical to leverage on partnerships to analyse integration between various issues so as to foster people’s engagement towards SDGs.

The representative from the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, Mr Tommasoli, described SDG 16 as the “enabler, or accelerator” to realize all other SDGs. The use of data is indispensable in an evidence-based analysis as well as complementing national databases. Ms Knuden-Latta then shared her experience on tracking progress towards SDG 16 through global comparable data in order to map a holistic view of the goal. She believed that it is important to identify gaps among official key performance indicators in countries. Moreover, she stated that the understanding of justice and inclusive societies are insufficient in general for nations to conduct appropriate analysis.

Followed by Ms Knuden-Latta’s presentation, Mr Murgatroyd explained the role of trust, partnerships and linkages in capturing progress by data analysis. He mentioned that data should be utilized to a larger extent when it comes to formulating policy or legal frameworks. The senior advisor of the Asia Development Alliance pointed out that little attention has been given to SDG 16 and this goal should be linked with other SDGs at a local, national and global level. Ms Lamarre illustrated a few projects underpinned by the principle of SDG 16 and financed by the UN Development Fund to empower civil societies, promote human rights, and encourage all groups to participate in democratic progress.

Meeting: High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development 2018 – Monitoring peace, evaluating institutions, building capacity: A data-driven conversation on SDG 16 and its upcoming 2019 review

Date/Location: Conference Room 5, UNHQ NYC; 0930-11:30; July 9th 2018

Speakers: Mr. Nikhil Seth (United Nations Assistant Secretary-General, Executive Director, UNITAR), Mr. Massimo Tommasoli (Permanent Observer to the UN, International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance), Ms. Ursala Knuden-Latta (Research and Policy Officer, Saferworld), Mr. Chris Murgatroyd (Policy Advisor, BPPS/ UNDP), Mr. Anselmo Lee (Senior Advisor, Asia Development Alliance), Ms Christian Lamarre (Senior Programme Officer, United Nations Democracy Fund)

Written By: WIT representative, Rosalind Cheung

A “Human Rights For All” Approach to the Post-2015 Development Agenda

Assembling UN agencies and member states working on criminal justice reform and human rights promotion, the panel on “human rights for all” share their best practices and views on the way forward in propelling reform in post-2015 international development. Ambassador Al-thani opened the panel by restating the intertwined relations between the rule of law and sustainable development, and stated that Qatari commitment to promote criminal justice is exemplified by her hosting of the 13th UN Crime Congress in 2015.images

Likewise, H.R.H. Princess Bajrakitiyabha highlighted that women and children are often victims of ineffective justice system, and brought the audience’s attention to the work Thailand has done in facilitating the Bangkok Dialogue on the Rule of Law and Rules on Women Offenders and Prisoners. The Italian cooperation with Central American states was also mentioned by Ambassador Cardi, who called for more strenuous international cooperation in instituting rule of law and criminal justice reform.

On the issue of international cooperation, Mr. Eliasson suggested the fact that rule of law issue is domestic in nature should not be an excuse of rejecting international cooperation. He believed that now that the community has a consensus on the importance of the rule of law, focus should be put on identifying measurable benchmarks to evaluate the positive social and economic impacts in establishing trusted institutions of justice. Ms. Mohamed pointed out the inseparable link between addressing the underlying issues of poverty and crime prevention, a point which was reiterated by Mr. Shimonovich. He added while disputes remain as to whether access to justice is an enabler of other rights or a right in itself, it is undisputable that it is an element of both the freedom from fear and freedom from want originally enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Meeting Title : High-level event on “The Rule of Law, Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice in the United Nations Development Agenda Beyond 2015: Engendering a ‘Human Rights for all’ approach”
Speakers: H.E . Mr. Jan Eliasson, Deputy Secretary-General of the UN, H .E. Ms. Amina J. Mohammed, UN Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Post-2015 Development Planning, H.E. Ms. Alya Ahmed Saif Al-Thani, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the State of Qatar to the UN, H.R.H. Princess Bajrakitiyabha Mahidol, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Thailand to the UN in Vienna, H.E. Mr. Sebastiano Cardi, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Italy to the UN, H.E. Mr. Ivan Simonovic, UN Assistant Secretary General, Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights and Ms. Simone Monasebian, Director, UN Office on Drugs and Crime, New York Office.
Date: June 9th, 2014
Location: Conference Room 2, United Nations Headquarters
Summary Written By WIT Representative: Harrison Chung