International Development Law Organization

Assembly 2019 | Thematic Discussion

As part of IDLO’s response to the resolution of the Assembly of the Parties calling on it to maximize its contribution, within its mandate, to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development, a thematic discussion will be organized on the occasion of the 2019 Annual Meeting of the Assembly on:

Accelerating action to achieve the 2030 Agenda: Leveraging the rule of law to build peace and sustainable development


Goal 16 is integral to the transformative change that the 2030 Agenda is seeking to achieve.

The three pillars of Goal 16 - peaceful, just and inclusive societies, access to justice, and effective, accountable institutions - are critical links in the sustainable development chain. They are also at the core of IDLO’s mission, goals and objectives.

IDLO has long championed the rule of law and access to justice as enablers and outcomes of development. Ensuring access to justice by empowering people, especially women and marginalized people, to claim their rights, promoting fair laws and building effective, accountable institutions are the main goals of IDLO’s Strategic Plan 2017 – 2020.

While recent international discussions on Goal 16 have underlined its fundamental role in delivering the 2030 Agenda, there has also been acknowledgement that progress is slow and uneven.

The SDG 16 Conference, co-organized by IDLO and UN DESA in Rome in May 2019 with the government of Italy, highlighted the urgent need to accelerate implementation by breaking the nexus between insecurity, injustice and inequality, broadening the pathways to resolving disputes and upholding rights, and fighting corruption to restore people’s trust in institutions, such trust being a pre-condition for sustaining peace and development. These findings were reiterated at the UN High Level Political Forum in July 2019.

Noting that progress is slow, the Political Declaration, adopted by the SDG Summit in September 2019, acknowledges “the urgent need to accelerate action on all levels and by all stakeholders in order to fulfil the visions and goals of the 2030 Agenda”.

Thematic Discussion

Against this background, and building on the international calls for accelerating action and engaging all actors, the thematic discussion will explore the opportunities for doing so, examine the obstacles and challenges that stand in the way, and consider how best to overcome them. It will look at emerging good practices and ways to leverage the multidimensional value of the rule of law in enhancing positive outcomes across all Goals of the 2030 Agenda.

The thematic discussion will also prepare the ground for a conference to be held in Rome in 2020, following up the 2019 UN DESA/IDLO Conference, and providing a multistakeholder forum as a space for mutual learning, leveraging progress at all levels, and complementing and supporting other platforms in the overall effort to accelerate SDG16 implementation and enhance its contribution to the 2030 Agenda as a whole.

Special guests and distinguished speakers at the thematic discussion will share, from national, global and regional perspectives, their experiences and lessons learned in advancing social inclusion, pursuing legal reforms and strengthening institutions to prevent conflict, embed peace and promote sustainable development.

The discussion will focus on:

  • People centered access to justice through formal and informal pathways
  • Closing the justice gap for women, children and those most at risk of being left behind
  • The role of effective, accessible and accountable institutions in building and sustaining peace
  • Advancing inclusive, sustainable economic development through the rule of law

The following questions will frame the discussion:

  • What are the main obstacles to progress on SDG 16?
  • What is needed to accelerate action on SDG 16?
  • What are the good practices and positive results that show the way forward?
  • What are the opportunities for innovation and partnerships to accelerate action?



The thematic discussion will be launched with a keynote address, followed by presentations from panelists and an interactive dialogue with Member Parties, other government representatives and partners.