Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels

SDG 16 promotes peaceful and inclusive societies, the provision of access to justice for all, and the building of effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.

In the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, Member States of the United Nations agree to “promote peaceful and inclusive societies,” with an emphasis on institutions as a means of implementation. This report covers both national level institution-building as well as efforts at the international level. Chapter II lays out steps for countries to develop and implement integrated national financing frameworks. Effective, accountable and transparent institutions are a key element of these frameworks. This includes institutional coordination mechanisms, such as national steering committees, which can provide leadership, facilitate a whole-of-government approach and policy coherence, and lead a consultative process that engages all relevant stakeholders, including parliament, civil society, the private sector and other non-state actors. Many examples are presented throughout the report, such as chapter III.A, which notes the importance of the consultative process to generate broad national agreement on medium-term revenue strategies so those strategies can extend across political cycles (section 2.4). At the international level, the role of global institutions is discussed throughout the report. To achieve the SDGs, international norms and institutions need to be fit for purpose. Rising global economic risks, the rapidly changing international landscape, and insufficient progress on some SDGs (such as combatting climate change) have sensitized more stakeholders to the need for reforms to the current multilateral system. This creates a window of opportunity for reform, which is discussed in relation to the multilateral trading system (chapter III.D section 3), tax (chapter III.A section 5), debt (chapter III.E section 5) and the international financial architecture (chapter III.F section 2). Chapter III.F further notes that the 2030 Agenda makes high demands to maximize synergies and break down silos. Coherence of financial and economic systems with sustainable development is critical (section 5). The deeper coordination that is now needed extends across policy areas and institutions including tax, investment, competition and non-economic issues–which have previously been excluded from the development discourse–such as climate change, disaster risk, human rights, gender and migration. SDG 16 also makes specific reference to reducing illicit financial flows (IFFs), which are discussed in chapter III.A. While there remains no universally agreed definition of what constitutes IFFs, the report highlights efforts to estimate the volume of different components of IFFs and the policy work needed to tackle money laundering, combat corruption and return stolen assets (section 6). Progress can be enhanced by both greater national enforcement and enhanced international cooperation across the channels and mechanisms that contribute to the problem.


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