THEME 1 - PROMOTING THE UNITED NATIONS’ NEW AGENDA FOR PEACE
Violent conflicts – on the increase since 2010– have become one of the most significant challenges to sustainable development, with the war in Ukraine and its global ramifications being the latest and most stark reminder. The UN’s New Agenda for Peace seeks to “reshape responses to all forms of violence”4 and boost investment in prevention and peacebuilding by addressing the root causes of conflict, many of which are linked to injustice, inequalities, and exclusion. Effective and inclusive institutions and the rule of law can be key to preventing disputes and grievances from escalating into conflicts, and laying the foundations for peace, reconciliation, and sustainable development.
- Effective responses and managing risks
- Using the rule of law and human rights to prevent violent conflicts
- Advancing the women, peace, and security agenda
THEME 2 – RESTORING TRUST IN PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS
Across the world, public institutions are facing a crisis of confidence at a time they are most needed to tackle our common challenges and build more peaceful, just and inclusive societies. Shared societal, people-centered values and principles should be reflected in greater transparency, accountability, and inclusion, reduced corruption, participatory policymaking, and innovations in service delivery. Such measures can help rebuild public confidence and promote the “whole of society” approaches needed to achieve the transformative vision of the 2030 Agenda.
- Strengthening accountability and transparency and tackling corruption
- Promoting gender equality, inclusion and participation
- Leveraging digital government to navigate intersecting crises and build resilience
THEME 3 – PROMOTING PARTICIPATORY DECISION-MAKING TO ACCELERATE TRANSFORMATIVE ACTION: FOOD SYSTEMS AND CLIMATE CHANGE
Governments should engage with people as partners in the shared challenge of building more peaceful, just, and inclusive societies. Empowering people and communities to claim their rights and participate in policymaking is not only a core principle of good governance; it can help build resilience, safeguard development gains and catalyse transformative action to achieve the 2030 Agenda. It is especially important in the face of global crises that demand “whole of society” solutions. Through the lens of food systems and climate change, this theme will examine how inclusive and participatory governance can help address global crises and accelerate progress towards sustainable development.
- Effective and inclusive governance for food systems transformation
- Equitable and inclusive land governance
- Participation and engagement for inclusive climate action
DAY 1 - 30 MAY 2023
10:00 – 11:30 CEST | PLENARY SESSION 1 – STOCKTAKING OF PROGRESS ON SDG 16
Halfway through the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, the world is falling short of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Progress on SDG 16 has been particularly negatively impacted by the pandemic and its aftermath as well as the current intersecting crises. Social contracts have become strained, in no small part due to declining trust in public institutions, which in turn can be related to challenges related to conflicts, rule of law and access to justice, transparent and accountable institutions, corruption, and inclusio n. Yet, it is well understood that SDG 16 is a key lever and accelerator of progress on all the other SDGs. At mid-point in the implem entation of the 2030 Agenda, it is thus important to take stock of progress made since 2015 on all the components of SDG 16.
This session will be the first plenary session of the Conference, coming immediately after the opening. It will aim to brush a picture of where we stand in terms of progress made on SDG 16, including negative trends, challenges but also positive developments observed in the past few years.
- 1. At mid-point in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, what has been the progress made in the different target areas of SDG 16? Which areas have seen the most progress, the most significant setbacks?
- 2. How has SDG 16 been impacted by the multiple, intersecting crises that the world is currently facing?
- 3. What measures have been taken to promote effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels and combat corruption?
- 4. What have the pandemic and subsequent crises told us about how to make societies and institutions at all levels more resilient?
- 5. What have been successes and shortcomings of actions by local, national, regional and global actors implemented to prevent conflict and reduce violence, including by addressing their root causes?
- 6. What efforts have been made to ensure access to justice for all and to promote the rule of law?
- 7. What are challenges and obstacles to participation and inclusion, and how have they affected social contracts between people and governments?
- 8. What wider implications do the challenges in the implementation of SDG 16 have for the 2030 Agenda, and how can its role as an enabler and accelerator of the SDGs be further promoted?
- 9. How should the developments witnessed since 2015 inform collective thinking and action in the remaining 7 years till 2030?
11:45 – 13:00 CEST | PLENARY SESSION 2 – PROMOTING THE UNITED NATIONS’ NEW AGENDA FOR PEACE
Violent conflicts, dramatically on the increase since 2010, have become one of the most significant challenges to sustainable development, with the war in Ukraine and the recurrence of violence in Sudan together with their regional and global ramifications providing yet more stark reminders. The current multilateral architecture, with the UN Security Council at the helm of maintaining peace and security, has struggled to reverse this upward trend.
The UN’s New Agenda for Peace seeks to “ reshape responses to all forms of violence ” and boost investment in prevention and peacebuilding by addressing the root causes and drivers of violent conflicts, many of which are linked to injustice, inequalities and exclusion – many of them in areas that the SDGs are focused on. This presents a critical opportunity to develop a roadmap that centers the 2030 Agenda as a tool that can guide and inform initiatives at the sub-national, national, regional and international levels that can prevent or stem the tide of violence in all its forms, in all countries. In this regard, the rule of law, effective, accountable and inclusive institutions and women’s engagement are key elements that can prevent disputes and grievances from escalating into violent conflicts, and laying the foundations for peace, justice and sustainable development.
This plenary session will address how the New Agenda for Peace, working in tandem with the 2030 Agenda, can be utilised universally as a conflict prevention measure, drawing upon lessons learned and good practices at the international, regional, national and sub-national levels in terms of conflict prevention, cessation and recurrence.
- 1. What does a people-centered approach to the New Agenda for Peace look like?
- 2. How can the 2030 Agenda be used universally as a prevention framework?
- 3. What is the impact of rule of law-based solutions – solutions that strengthen effective institutions, inclusive governance, just and equitable laws, abolish discriminatory laws, and ensure legal empowerment and access to justice – on conflict prevention and peacebuilding?
- 4. How can the unmet justice needs of people be a driver of violent conflicts or aggravate grievances that the 2030 Agenda can address? How can customary and informal justice systems support formal justice systems in conflict prevention and recurrence?
- 5. What have been the barriers to meaningful inclusion of women and young people in the design and implementation of conflict prevention, peacebuilding and development measures? How can these be addressed and overcome through the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and reflected in the New Agenda for Peace?
- 6. How can data collection and analysis inform and strengthen solutions?
14:30 – 16:00 CEST | PARALLEL SESSION 1.1 – EFFECTIVE RESPONSES AND MANAGING RISKS
Over the last few decades, and especially more recently, threats are cascading and intersecting with each other. These include violent conflicts, criminal violence, terrorism, climate change, water and land scarcity, food insecurity, health emergencies and large inequalities. Our knowledge of how to address these threats has increased, but the global response has not kept up with the pace of change, especially their multiple impacts. Come countries, including at the local level, have made progress in identifying threats early and preventing escalation. Yet, many barriers remain.
Though there has been increased research and knowledge about warning signs and early indicators of conflict, translating early warning, strategic foresight and analysis into early actions, policies and legal frameworks has been difficult. Addressing these challenges requires strengthened mechanisms in the United Nations to translate these tools into policies, as well as political will from Member States to prioritize conflict prevention in policies and legal frameworks.
In the myriad of global crises that the world has or will face globally, women and youth are shown to be adversely affected. Despite acknowledgment that the inclusion of marginalized groups, including women and youth, are key factors in conflict prevention and in responses to other global shocks, progress on meaningful participation of women, and young women and men has been very slow and, in several cases, have regressed. Early warning and strategic foresight should actively integrate women and youth and other groups in the decision-making processes in conflict prevention.
Effective conflict prevention and the use of strategic foresight requires sufficient and consistent funding. Financing of prevention of violence and peacebuilding has been limited. Within the United Nations system, sufficient funding is needed for mechanisms addressing these issues, such as the Peacebuilding Fund and the SG’s proposed Emergency Platform. Member States need to translate political support for conflict prevention to adequate funding both nationally and through foreign aid.
This session will discuss effectively managing and responding to the risks the world is facing; how countries have addressed them; what work; and what are the barriers.
- 1. What are the main challenges, key areas of progress, and areas of potential rapid acceleration?
- 2. How can we enhance data-driven monitoring and reporting processes to support evidence-based action?
- 3. What key interventions and policies can help us ensure that no one is left behind?
- 4. How can we best harness existing tools and mechanisms related to early warning and strategic foresight to strengthen the prevention of violence and conflict?
- 5. How can we best ensure that women and youth are integrated into data collection for early warning, as well as policy and legal frameworks to translate early warning into action?
- 6. What is needed to ensure that conflict prevention is prioritized through adequate and consistent funding?
14:30 – 16:00 CEST | PARALLEL SESSION 2.1 – STRENGTHENING ACCOUNTABILITY AND TRANSPARENCY AND TACKLING CORRUPTION
Limited accountability and transparency have come under increased scrutiny amid recent cascading crises, as well as the consequent loss of public trust in leaders and institutions. Transparency and accountability are among the essential principles of good governance for sustainable development and for the full realization of human rights. They have proved critical in the context of heightened risks of fraud and corruption during the pandemic. Not only does the mismanagement of public funds and corruption erode trust in government, but it also hinders progress toward achieving the SDGs and negatively impacts the enjoyment of human rights. Lobbying and conflicts of interest in public institutions, including parliaments, has come to the fore in some countries and highlighted the need for integrity and transparency among all branches of government. Ensuring judicial independence, integrity and accountability is critical to preventing and prosecuting corruption. The UN Convention against Corruption, as the only legally binding universal anti-corruption instrument, requires coherent and coordinated action within and among government institutions, and preventive measures and checks and balances that enhance government oversight and promote accountability. The Convention also focuses on criminalization and law enforcement measures, as well as international cooperation and asset recovery, which are important for to curbing illicit financial flows.
This session will focus on strategies to strengthen transparency, accountability and integrity and combat corruption while taking advantage of the synergies between different actors and tools, including the effective use of data, and effectively using international standards.
- 1. What tools and instruments, including the production and use of data, have been effective in preventing, detecting and prosecuting corruption at the national level during the pandemic?
- 2. What concrete steps have countries taken to foster collaboration among all the major components of national accountability and integrity systems, including parliaments, supreme audit institutions, anticorruption agencies and the judiciary?
- 3. What measures have proven effective in supporting enhanced integrity in public administration and effective oversight of public resources, for instance in public procurement and in the delivery of public services?
- 4. What role have various stakeholders, such as civil society, the private sector and the media, played in enhancing transparency and accountability and combating corruption?
- 5. How can existing standards and instruments be better enforced and used?
14:30 – 16:00 CEST | PARALLEL SESSION 3.1 – EFFECTIVE AND INCLUSIVE GOVERNANCE FOR FOOD SYSTEMS TRANSFORMATION
The food system ‘embraces the entire range of actors and their interlinked value-adding activities involved in the production, aggregation, processing, distribution, consumption, and disposal of food products that originate from agriculture, forestry or fisheries, and food industries, and the broader economic, societal, and natural environments in which they are embedded.’
Food systems are increasingly interconnected globally, playing a key role in realizing progress across the Sustainable Development Goals. However, current ways to produce, process, transport and consume food are having detrimental and unequal impacts on the planet and human health and undermine the prospects of ensuring affordable, safe and nutritious food for all. Women and girls, youth, people with disabilities, smallholder farmers and indigenous peoples are among the most vulnerable when it comes to lack of access to food and increasing levels of malnutrition. In addition, food systems account for more than one-third of global emissions and the largest contributions come from agriculture and land-use. Most countries recognize the potential that transforming food systems can have in helping them fulfil mitigation and adaptation goals.
Sustainable transformation of food systems has a critical role to play in accelerating the achievement of the sustainable development goals set forth in the 2030 Agenda.
There is an increased recognition that food is not a sectoral issue and requires whole-of-government and whole-of-society approaches that prioritize gender and social inclusion. Therefore, inclusive governance is to enable a more sustainable, and effective transformation of food systems, that is based on diversified and resilient agroecological systems which work simultaneously on achieving economic, environmental and social outcomes. Social and economic inequalities of global food systems are rooted in the lack of fair and just policy and legal frameworks and accountable and transparent institutions. This is manifest in the wide-spread lack of secure land titles, unequal participation in food markets, poor legislation and governance mechanisms relating to food systems, weak justice sector institutions, and the exclusion of the poor and marginalized from decision-making in relation to food systems.
In light of the 2023 Food Systems Stocktaking moment which will be held in Rome in July, the session will facilitate the discussion on the challenges, constraints and opportunities in achieving cross-sectoral policy and legal coherence and in recognizing the rights of food systems actors, in particular women, smallholder farmers and marginalized groups. Taking a holistic approach to food systems, the session will examine how legal, policy and fiscal policy incentives can enable empowerment and enhance agency of food systems actors to claim for their rights and make institutions accountable. Access to justice, redress mechanisms and remedies will be also discussed through the identification of best practices and recommendations.
In addition, the session will look at how policy and regulatory measures in response to emergencies, including climate driven extreme events or health emergencies affecting food security can be put in place to enhance resilience and to ensure that emergency laws are aligned with international human rights standards and norms and arrive to the most vulnerable, while strengthening the emergency-development nexus.
- 1. What are the main challenges in promoting and enforcing non-discriminatory food systems laws and policies, in line with SDG 16.b? What are key areas of progress, and areas of potential rapid acceleration to enhance governance across food systems? What are the examples of successful policy and regulatory measures for empowerment of local small-holders and food actors?
- 2. How can responsive, inclusive, participatory, and representative decision-making (in line with SDG 16.7) enhance policies and laws that contribute to food system transformation to leave no one behind?
- 3. How can we enhance data-driven monitoring and reporting processes to support evidence-based action to develop effective, accountable, and transparent institutions (SDG 16.6) at all levels of the territorial landscape of food systems?
DAY 2 - 31 MAY 2023
09:30 – 11:00 CEST | PLENARY SESSION 3 – PROMOTING PARTICIPATORY DECISION-MAKING TO ACCELERATE TRANSFORMATIVE ACTION: FOOD SYSTEMS AND CLIMATE CHANGE
Through the lens of inclusive and participatory governance and ‘whole of society’ solutions, this session will look at how food systems transformation and action to tackle the climate crisis can accelerate progress towards sustainable development. It will specifically address:
- Effective and inclusive people-centred governance for food systems transformation
- Equitable and inclusive land governance and tenure for those people and communities most vulnerable to the adverse effects of food insecurity and climate change
- Participation and engagement in inclusive climate action
To ensure no one is left behind in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, the session will have a particular focus on advancing the rights of the most excluded and marginalized constituencies, especially women and girls, as they affect food systems transformation and climate action. An intersectional lens will be applied to the challenges faced by youth, Indigenous Peoples, people living in poverty, migrants, and pastoralist communities, among others.
- 1. What measures and mechanisms at local, national, and global levels are most effective in ensuring that policymaking processes related to food systems transformation and climate action incorporate the voices, needs, and priorities of the people and communities most at-risk of food insecurity and the adverse effects of climate change?
- 2. What does the application of a feminist and intersectional approach to food systems transformation and climate action entail in practice?
- 3. What is the role of legal empowerment of the people and communities most at-risk of being left behind in relation to the governance of food systems and climate adaptation and mitigation policies?
- 4. What is the role of protection of civic space, civil society movements for food security and climate action, and women's and environmental human rights defenders in achieving more inclusive governance?
- 5. How can land governance and administration systems and policies better enforce the rights and integrate the voices, needs, and priorities of the people and communities most at-risk of food insecurity and the adverse effects of climate change, and account for the predominance of diverse land tenure and customary and informal management of land disputes in many contexts?
11:15 – 12:45 CEST | PARALLEL SESSION 1.2 – USING THE RULE OF LAW AND HUMAN RIGHTS TO PREVENT VIOLENT CONFLICTS
The root causes or drivers of violent conflict often have their origins in actual or perceived injustices ‒ be they discriminatory, political, security-related, social, economic, or environmental ‒ conditions that often work in tandem with devastating effects and which the Sustainable Development Goals are intended to mitigate. Indeed, the 2030 Agenda should be regarded as a prevention framework that builds on Member States’ affirmation that “there can be no sustainable development without peace and no peace without sustainable development” (A/Res/70/1, Preamble).
A breakdown in the rule of law, absence of effective safeguards and lack of access to justice often accelerates conflict or can aggravate the risk of recurrence. Conversely, developing fair and effective processes and mechanisms that are people-centered, gender-responsive and grounded in human rights principles, such as inclusivity, equality and non-discrimination, is critical to addressing the root causes and drivers of conflict and mitigating the risk of disputes and grievances descending into violence. Where prevention fails and to prevent recurrence, there must be support and investment in processes and mechanisms that facilitate truth, justice, and reparation for victims and affected communities, and due process and fair trial rights for alleged perpetrators.
Drawing on lessons learned and good practices, this session will examine how people-centered justice and rule of law-based systems and processes can contribute to conflict prevention and support mitigation, resolution and recovery; It will also explore how SDG16 can be used as leverage in this regard.
- 1. What examples/evidence can be drawn upon that illustrate how rule of law and people-centred justice systems, actors and policies help mitigate the risk of violent conflict, or conversely, how have their absence created or exacerbated the conditions for violent conflict?
- 2. What are the lessons learned and good practices from these examples that should be considered in designing and implementing national development, rule of law and/or conflict prevention and peacebuilding strategies.
- 3. How can the 2030 Agenda and SDG16 in particular, be leveraged to initiate and/or shape justice and rule of law policies and programmes in ways that help address the root causes of violent conflict, or prevent its recurrence?
- 4. How can data collection and analysis on the interlinkages between the rule of law, SDG16+ and conflict prevention be utilized and support in this regard?
- 5. What are the lessons learned and good practices from the present discourse that should be reflected in the NA4P?
11:15 – 12:45 CEST | PARALLEL SESSION 2.2 – PROMOTING GENDER EQUALITY, INCLUSION, AND PARTICIPATION
Women remain below parity in positions of power and decision-making and current rates of progress indicate that it will take up to 286 years to close gaps in legal protection and remove discriminatory laws and at least 40 years to achieve equal representation in national parliaments. Violence against women remains high, and gender disinformation threatens democratic integrity and decades of gender gains across societies. In an era of compounding crises, from the impacts of the ongoing pandemic and the rise in cost of living, to food insecurity and the energy crisis, increasing conflict and displacement, and the climate emergency, inequalities, both within and between countries are on the rise and progress towards gender equality, specifically, is stalling or reversing in many places.
Against this backdrop, it is imperative that patterns of exclusion, structural barriers, stereotypes, and unequal power relations and norms be addressed. Gender equality translates into broader social and economic benefits for communities and societies, while reducing discrimination and violence. Inclusive and participatory decision-making are integral to equitable and resilient societies, to building trust, and to facilitating decision-making that contributes to sustainable development and peace. Civil society inclusion, meaningful protection of civic space and addressing impunity for violations of human rights are also critical components of inclusive governance. To this end, governments can increase participation by setting up direct, accessible consultative, dialogue and grievance mechanisms to engage populations, especially vulnerable and marginalized groups.
- 1. How do crises – from pandemics to extreme weather events, food insecurity, the energy crisis, increasing instability and debt distress – shape women’s access to decision-making, public life and political engagement/power?
- 2. What concrete laws, policy measures, tools and instruments have proven effective in promoting gender equality and increasing inclusion participation in decision-making, more generally? How can existing standards, instruments, laws and/or policies be better sequenced, enforced and used and how have challenges been overcome?
- 3. What have we learned on policy making and responses to gender equality and the importance of intersectionality? Where does this leave us in terms of approaches going forward amidst overarching and increasing inequality and exclusion?
- 4. How do you build trust in public institutions from a gender-transformative and intersectional perspective?
- 5. What role have various stakeholders, such as civil society, the private sector and other stakeholders, played in enhancing gender-responsive policy making? What are the checks and balances to progressive policies that can be enhanced through a multi-stakeholder approach to support implementation and concrete actions?
- 6. At the midpoint of the 2030 Agenda, what new commitments must be implemented to promote gender equality, inclusion and participation at the midpoint review?
11:15 – 12:45 CEST | PARALLEL SESSION 3.2 – EQUITABLE AND INCLUSIVE LAND GOVERNANCE
Equitable and inclusive land governance is crucial for securing the rights of the most vulnerable and to ensuring food security, mitigating the impacts of climate change, and preventing conflict. In many parts of the world, Indigenous Peoples have struggled to have their rights to land and natural resources upheld and enforced. This is despite their effectively managing 20-25 per cent of the earth’s land surface, which contains 80 per cent of the planet’s biodiversity. Women have also often been denied rights to access, manage, inherit and benefit from land even in the contexts where the legal frameworks are in place to protect them. Equitable and inclusive access to land requires providing and enforcing adequate legal protection and putting in place effective mechanisms for preventing and resolving land conflicts. These mechanisms should include clear rules and regulations and well-functioning dispute resolution systems supported by empowered community-level organizations. This session will discuss approaches to land governance that enforce the rule of law and successfully prevent and resolve land conflicts, including through valuing customary and informal systems. It will examine ways to safeguard women’s land rights and Indigenous Peoples’ access to land and natural resources and will also examine strategies for promoting the identification, recognition and protection of legitimate tenure rights of the most vulnerable. It will highlight the importance of taking action as well as in private land and communal land rights to ensure the livelihoods of marginalized groups.
- 1. How have women’s and Indigenous Peoples’ voices in decision-making been fostered and made meaningful for more inclusive and equitable land governance?
- 2. Successful approaches to / examples of securing land rights, and their contexts; What are strategies that have worked to enhance respect for land rights - and their enforcement? What barriers have been faced, and how have they been overcome; what are some enabling factors? How have different social groups experienced progress and setbacks differently (also by income, age, ability, etc.)? Where is greater support needed?
- 3. How has progress towards equitable and inclusive land governance also served to: tackle discrimination in other areas (links between land and other rights), promote and sustain peace, strengthen trust in institutions (through, for example, greater accountability and less corruption), and otherwise supported progress in other areas of SDG 16 - and other Goals? Impacts on climate change and the sustainability of food systems (multiplier effects)
14:00 – 15:30 CEST | PLENARY SESSION 4 – RESTORING TRUST IN PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS
Across the world, public institutions are facing a crisis of confidence at a time they are most needed to tackle our common challenges and build more peaceful, just and inclusive societies. Shared societal, people-centered values and principles should be reflected in greater transparency, accountability, and inclusion, reduced corruption, participatory policymaking, and innovations in service delivery. Such measures can help rebuild public confidence and promote the “whole of society” approaches needed to achieve the transformative vision of the 2030 Agenda. Restoring trust between people and their institutions will require multi-pronged efforts. It will require commitments from governments to promote inclusion and increase the space for participation in decision-making. At a time when governments face stringent limitations on their fiscal space, it is critical to redouble efforts to fight corruption at all levels, as the misuse of resources deprives societies from scarce resources that could be invested in the Sustainable Development Goals. Restoring trust in public institutions will also require action from governments to mobilize the potential of digital government, while mitigating the risks and challenges created by accelerated digitalization in terms of inclusiveness, human rights, as well as misinformation and disinformation.
- 1. What measures can be taken to increase transparency, strengthen accountability and reduce corruption to rebuild public confidence?
- 2. How can whole of society approaches be utilized to achieve the transformative vision of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development?
- 3. What role can specialized bodies, including those in the justice sector, play in promoting integrity in the public sector and rebuilding trust?
- 4. How can institutions be further strengthened to promote gender equality and responsiveness?
- 5. What innovative strategies can be implemented to safeguard civic space and increase public participation in policymaking?
- 6. How can digital government be used to improve service delivery for all and increase the resilience of societies to shocks?
15:45 – 17:15 CEST | PARALLEL SESSION 1.3 – ADVANCING THE WOMEN, PEACE, AND SECURITY AGENDA
Women’s engagement is essential to sustainable peace, security and development. It breaks the cycles of violence that contribute to recurring conflict. It directly enables the inclusion of gender considerations in both peace agreements and security planning, including on conflict-related sexual and gender-based violence. Research found a 35 per cent increase in the probability of an agreement lasting at least 15 years when women were involved. However, despite many global commitments, the number of women included in formal peacemaking processes remains low; and many peace agreements do not include provisions that adequately address women’s security and peacebuilding needs.
Through the lens of the New Agenda for Peace and the Women, Peace and Security Agenda, the discussion will explore approaches to advancing women’s engagement in peace and security as well as their role in law enforcement organizations. This conversation is especially relevant as we prepare for the 25th anniversary of the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000) and assess our collective work since its historic adoption.
- 1. What are the main challenges, key areas of progress, and areas of potential rapid acceleration?
- 2. How can rule of law approaches support women’s leadership and participation in peace and security, ensuring that women, in all their diversity, are not left behind?
- 3. How can we put in place survivor-centered justice for conflict-related gender -based violence?
- 4. What is the role of feminist movements in peace and security, including in law enforcement and arms control efforts?
- 5. How can we enhance data-driven monitoring and reporting processes to support evidence-based action?
- 6. What key interventions and policies are needed to accelerate action and investment to advance the women, peace and security agenda?
15:45 – 17:15 CEST | PARALLEL SESSION 2.3 – LEVERAGING DIGITAL GOVERNMENT TO NAVIGATE INTERSECTING CRISES AND BUILD RESILIENCE
Digital government has increasingly gained traction as a means to navigate intersecting crises, build the resilience of public services and strengthen inclusion and participation. Governments with robust digital platforms and digital tools have been better equipped to sustain public service delivery during the pandemic and ensuing crises. Digital technologies have enabled governments to deploy crisis management initiatives and real-time support during emergencies. Digital solutions have also provided opportunities for governments to strengthen the resilience of their infrastructure and improve the breadth of delivery of public services. Digitalization of public goods and services can play a crucial role in advancing the achievement of SDG 16 by leveraging technology and digital products. Digital government can be leveraged to improve the flow of information between the government and the population while promoting inclusion and accountability. Yet, digital divides have been heightened in recent years as vulnerable and marginalized groups have not benefited equally from digital services. The use of digital technologies by governments has presented challenges, including risks of discrimination and surveillance. This session will focus on strengthening digital governance by promoting access to and responsiveness of digital services. It will share lessons on government strategies and public policies that promote digital inclusion and tailor digital solutions and services to people’s needs. The session will also discuss how to reduce digital inequalities and protect human rights in the digital sphere.
- 1. How can digitalization of public goods and services delivery fast track the achievement of SDG16 while leaving no one behind?
- 2. What are the “ingredients” of an effective and inclusive digital transformation of public goods and service delivery?
- 3. How can this transformation ensure resilience to shocks and crises of society as a whole?
- 4. What are the risks of deploying digital technologies (such as AI) in the delivery of public goods and services?
- 5. How to best ensure that the accelerated shift to digital government goes in tandem with a reduction in digital divides?
- 6. How can the governance of digitalization promote digital public goods and inclusive digital infrastructure?
- 7. What are concrete ways in which governments have successfully addressed misinformation and disinformation?
15:45 – 17:15 CEST | PARALLEL SESSION 3.3 – PARTICIPATION AND ENGAGEMENT FOR INCLUSIVE CLIMATE ACTION
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change found that inclusive governance leads to more effective and sustainable climate outcomes. With its emphasis on the rule of law as an enabler of peaceful, just and inclusive societies, SDG 16 can be a catalyst for transformative climate action, ensuring that people are at the centre of fair and effective responses to the climate crisis, enabling a just energy transition, and preventing the adverse effects of climate change from undermining security and increasing the risk of violent conflict and extremism.
Empowering the most affected people to claim their environmental rights and participate in climate decision-making is an integral component of climate justice. The voices of women, youth, Indigenous people, persons with disabilities, religious and ethnic minorities, and others who are often the most excluded – yet among the most impacted – must be incorporated into energy and climate decision-making processes.
This session will explore rule of law approaches to climate and energy action at the intersection of SDGs 13, 16 to promote fair and inclusive climate governance processes. Discussions will focus on practical initiatives to protect and promote the rights of historically marginalized groups, the role of various institutions, and highlight ways to enable the meaningful participation of all.
- 1. What are the main challenges, key areas of progress, and areas of potential rapid acceleration?
- 2. How can we shift the narratives to build an inclusive climate justice movement?
- 3. How can rule of law approaches to climate action concretely empower communities – especially the most affected people – to claim their rights in line with the objectives of the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda?
- 4. What key interventions and policies can promote participation and engagement in climate action to ensure that no one is left behind?
- 5. What role can customary and informal justice actors have in addressing climate issues and ensuring fair and inclusive participation in the management of natural resources at a local level?
- 6. How can a feminist approach to climate justice promote gender equality in climate action and empower women to claim their environmental rights and lead climate action efforts?
17:15 – 18:30 CEST | PLENARY SESSION 5 – LOOKING FORWARD TO THE SDG SUMMIT AND BEYOND
At a time when intersecting crises of conflict, climate, food insecurity and lack of trust have combined to pose a formidable challenge to peace and sustainable development, the importance of Sustainable Development Goal 16 in supporting the realization of the 2030 Agenda in its entirety has been increasingly emphasized, including in the Special Edition of the Sustainable Development Goals Progress Report launched by the United Nations Secretary-General on 25 April 2023. This year’s SDG Summit comes at a critical juncture in which governments and other stakeholders must come together to identify solutions that will enable the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to get back on track and accelerate progress in the seven years that remain until 2030.
The SDG 16 Conference will serve as a dedicated forum to identify concrete measures for supporting peace, justice, (social) inclusion and effective institutions at all levels, and how these can inform multilateral processes and the actions of the international community in coming years. The Conference is a platform for the exchange of experiences and solutions and peer-learning to support course correction and advance progress, can play a key role in this regard.
Conceived as a dialogue among Conference participants and key actors involved in the ongoing intergovernmental processes that aim to pave the way forward, this session will highlight the importance of SDG 16 in all its dimensions for the success of these processes, and consider how the ideas discussed during the Conference could be reflected in their outcomes. Key events such as the 2023 SDG Summit, the Summit of the Future in 2024 and its preparatory ministerial meeting in 2023, as well as others such as the UN Food Systems Stocktaking Moment, will be discussed. In particular, this session will examine how key insights and concrete recommendations from the Conference could be reflected in several tracks that will culminate in 2024, including the Pact for the Future, the Global Digital Compact, the Declaration on Future Generations and the UN’s New Agenda for Peace. Based on the discussions at the Conference, this session may also consider suggestions for strengthening the follow-up and review of SDG 16 at the United Nations’ High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF).
- 1. How can the foundational and catalytic value of SDG 16 be better conveyed and communicated to inform efforts to accelerate SDG implementation and intergovernmental processes? How can the interlinkages between SDG 16 and other SDGs receive the attention that they require, given their importance for the success of the 2030 Agenda?
- 2. What dimensions of SDG 16 are particularly relevant to intergovernmental tracks culminating in 2024 at the Summit of the Future, such as the Pact for the Future, the Global Digital Compact, the Declaration on Future Generations and the New Agenda for Peace, and how could ideas emerging from the Conference support strong outcomes under those tracks?
- 3. How could the follow-up and review of SDG 16 at all levels, including the HLPF, be strengthened?
- 4. How can key ideas and concrete proposals emerging from the SDG 16 Conference inform the SDG Summit?
- 5. What data and sources of evidence can be used to better track progress on SDG 16, and how can data be used to support peer learning and strengthen SDG 16 implementation?
DAY 3 - 01 JUNE 2023
12:00 – 13:00 CEST | SPECIAL SESSION – SDG 16 AND THE CHALLENGES OF MISINFORMATION AND DISINFORMATION
Recent decades have been marked by rapid technological transformations that have upended the ways people interact, communicate and access information. During the COVID-19 pandemic, technology was key in enabling continued access to vital information about health, as well as to education, work, social connections, etc. Yet the dramatic push online has also had negative consequences, including the accelerated rate at which misinformation, disinformation, and hate speech spread. The pandemic brought this into sharp focus, as health measures were widely debated and dis- and misinformation made their implementation more difficult. But misinformation and disinformation are important factors in many other contexts that are critical to the social contract in any society, including with regard to electoral processes, armed conflicts, and the science-policy interface. They frequently infringe on the human rights of individuals, whole communities or groups in society. The increased visibility of the impacts of misinformation and disinformation in the past few years has made calls for appropriate action by governments and other actors more urgent. In this regard, media and technology companies are important actors and channels that shape the nature of information in our societies, and their role cannot be ignored. Nor can the role of civil society in responses to dis- and misinformation. Efforts are increasingly underway to address the spread of inaccurate information, such as through enhancing media literacy and disseminating the results of professional fact-checks.
This session will aim to identify critical areas where action is needed to combat misinformation and disinformation, as well as concrete responses by different actors [at the national and international levels] that can be undertaken to reduce their occurrence and their negative impacts on human rights.
- 1. In what domains of and to whom within societies have the impacts of disinformation and misinformation caused the most harm? Where is action by governments most urgent?
- 2. How can states protect freedom of expression, ensure access to accurate information and promote media pluralism?
- 3. How can governments design appropriate regulation to combat misinformation and disinformation, while avoiding infringements on basic human rights?
- 4. What kinds of interventions show promise in reducing misinformation and disinformation? (e.g. media literacy at all ages, fact-checking, etc.)
- 5. How are media and non-governmental organizations contributing to efforts to reduce misinformation and disinformation?
- 6. What are successful examples of partnerships between governments and non-governmental actors in countering disinformation?
- 7. How to ensure greater transparency and accountability from private technology companies on how their business models contribute to misinformation and disinformation, and what else should they do to prevent adverse human rights impacts stemming from misinformation relayed by their platforms?
- 8. In terms of international cooperation, what actions would be most urgent in order to reduce misinformation and disinformation?