International Development Law Organization

SDG 16 Conference 2021 | Program

 

CONFERENCE THEMES

The Conference will address the following themes:

Theme 1: Our shared fragility: The impact of COVID-19 on SDG 16: This theme will generate a preliminary multi-stakeholder assessment of the pandemic's impact on SDG 16 with a focus on those most at risk of being left behind including women and girls, youth, people with disabilities and those who might be in marginalized and vulnerable situations. It will examine ways in which issues of peace, justice and inclusion have been both exacerbated and magnified by the impact of the pandemic. The session will explore how challenges related to transparency, accountability and institutional capacity have hampered effective crisis response at both national and international levels. The discussions will also examine how aspects of SDG 16 have been drawn upon by governments, national stakeholders as well as international institutions to orient response and recovery actions, focusing on measures to address inequality and vulnerability in societies and increase the resilience of national institutions.

Theme 2: Renewing the social contract to build trust between people and state: Rebuilding peoples’ confidence in government was highlighted as a major challenge by global leaders in the UN 75th Anniversary Declaration. Discussions under this theme will address some of the root causes of lack of trust in public institutions. They will encompass policies and measures at the national level, sustained by international cooperation, to ensure equity in distribution of public goods and delivery of services, with a focus on those most at risk of being left behind; to strengthen transparency, accountability and oversight; to open space for participation and stakeholder engagement; to support adherence to constitutional frameworks and the independence of judicial institutions; and to reinforce action to fight corruption. 

Theme 3: Turning challenges into opportunities: rethinking governance with SDG16 at its center: This workstream will build on discussions under Themes 1 and 2 and will address the governance, institutional and policy innovations at local, national, regional and international levels that can accelerate the implementation of SDG 16 and promote integrated,  “whole of society, whole of government” approaches needed to tackle complex, interrelated challenges such as entrenched conflict, increasing inequalities, gender inequality, social and economic insecurity, climate change and rapid technological disruption. Framing this discussion will be the transformative actions at all levels, rooted in multilateralism and global solidarity, that the COVID-19 crisis is compelling governments to take, and the opportunities they offer to bring about renewed, sustained progress in achieving the 2030 Agenda.

Parallel session descriptions coming soon

 

Day 1 - April 28 - Theme 1: Our shared fragility: The impact of COVID-19 on SDG16

  • 14:00 – 14:15 CEST  |  Opening

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  • 14:15 – 15:30 CEST  |  Plenary Session 1.1 - Peaceful, just and inclusive societies in the times of COVID-19 and beyond

    Despite consensus that the symbiotic relationship between peace, justice and good governance embodied in SDG 16 is essential for achieving sustainable development, progress across SDG 16’s various dimensions has been uneven since the 2030 Agenda was adopted. The COVID-19 crisis has exacerbated many of these negative trends and represents a profound challenge to humanity’s shared aspirations for a better future expressed in the Sustainable Development Goals. This session will attempt to provide a preliminary multi-stakeholder assessment of the pandemic's impact on progress on the three dimensions of SDG 16: peace and conflict, access to justice, and effective, accountable and transparent institutions. It will highlight the disproportionate impacts on those most at risk of being left behind who have borne the brunt of the crisis and will explore the implications of these trends for global progress towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

  • 15:50 – 17:20 CEST  |  Plenary Session 1.2 - Enhancing resilience to shocks and crises: lessons learned from the pandemic

    The pandemic has exposed structural weaknesses including lack of government preparedness to handle such society-wide shocks; it has also revealed fault lines and entrenched inequalities that have wider implications for the realization of the 2030 Agenda. The response to the crisis has illustrated how key principles of SDG 16 such as transparency, accountability, participation and engagement can strengthen the capacity of communities and societies to withstand shocks and recover. The session will explore how challenges related to good governance and institutional capacity have hampered effective crisis response at both national and international levels. The discussion will aim to distill lessons from innovative governance processes that have emerged during the pandemic in this regard, in order to inform reflections on how to address societal inequalities and vulnerabilities and enhance the resilience of societies to various shocks, as a key component of building back better and delivering the Sustainable Development Goals.

  • 17:30 – 19:00 CEST  |  Parallel Session 1

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  • 17:30 – 19:00 CEST  |  Parallel Session 2

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  • 17:30 – 19:00 CEST  |  Parallel Session 3

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Day 2 - April 29 - Theme 2: Renewing the social contract to build trust between people and state

  • 14:00 – 15:30 CEST  |  Plenary Session 2.1 - Implications of the pandemic for the relationship between citizens and the state

    Rebuilding peoples’ confidence in government was highlighted as a major challenge by global leaders in the UN 75th Anniversary Declaration. Discussions in this session will address some of the root causes of lack of trust in public institutions. They will encompass policies and measures at the national level, sustained by international cooperation, to ensure equity in distribution of public goods and delivery of services, with a focus on those most at risk of being left behind; to open space for participation and stakeholder engagement; to support adherence to constitutional frameworks and independence of judicial institutions; and to reinforce action to fight corruption.

  • 15:50 – 17:20 CEST  |  Plenary Session 2.2 - Strengthening transparency, accountability and engagement during and beyond the pandemic

    Restrictions on movement and assembly around the world have limited access to the political space, working methods and processes of institutions such as parliaments and courts, potentially undermining legislative oversight and law-making. Public institutions have experimented with innovative methods to overcome these challenges. Research found that COVID-19 response plans have paid “little attention to governance- and corruption-related matters.” However, oversight bodies such as supreme audit institutions have innovated in order to increase the transparency and accountability of governmental emergency responses as well as of rescue and recovery packages, which can pose risks to integrity and create opportunities for fraud and corruption. Transparency at all levels, from the local to the national, has emerged as a critical condition for successful responses to the pandemic. The session will examine how national accountability systems in a post-pandemic world can benefit from insights gained during the pandemic in terms of changing dynamics among stakeholders and the opening of new opportunities for collaboration.

  • 17:30 – 19:00 CEST  |  Parallel Session 1

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  • 17:30 – 19:00 CEST  |  Parallel Session 2

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  • 17:30 – 19:00 CEST  |  Parallel Session 3

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Day 3 - April 30 - Theme 3: Turning challenges into opportunities: rethinking governance with SDG16 at its center

  • 14:00 – 15:30 CEST  |  Plenary Session 3.1 - Transforming govenance through inclusive processes and whole of society approaches

    This session will address how innovations in governance can be supported by “whole of government” and “whole of society” approaches. The discussion will review governance innovations that emerged during the pandemic that have the potential to support longer-term transformations. It will review strategies to ensure the preservation and expansion of civic space and to create an enabling environment for civil society to participate freely and safely in public governance and decision-making. It will highlight the importance of multi-stakeholder partnerships at local, national and international levels in enabling transformative governance to address complex, interrelated challenges such as entrenched conflict, increasing inequalities, gender inequality, social and economic insecurity, climate change and rapid technological disruption.

  • 15:50 – 17:05 CEST  |  Plenary Session 3.2 - SDG 16 as a framework for moving the 2030 Agenda forward: Key national and international actions needed to tackle global challenges

    This session will build on previous sessions and will aim to identify key areas for action in coming years to ensure progress on SDG 16, while using SDG 16 as a lever to speed up recovery from the pandemic and move the 2030 Agenda forward. With regard to the national level, the discussion will address the need for inclusive social protection schemes that are key to leaving no one behind. It will examine how digital governance, which has been critical during the pandemic, can be further put at the service of inclusive societies. The discussion will also address key areas for multilateral action on issues including public health law, conflict prevention and digital cooperation, to transform governance in support of sustainable development.
  • 17:05 – 17:20 CEST  |  Closing

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  • 17:30 – 19:00 CEST  |  Parallel Session 1

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  • 17:30 – 19:00 CEST  |  Parallel Session 2 

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  • 17:30 – 19:00 CEST  |  Parallel Session 3

    info coming soon