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HLPF – Intervento della Vice Ministra Del Re al segmento sull’SDG16 (pace, giustizia e istituzioni solide)

Intervento della Vice Ministra degli Affari Esteri e della Cooperazione Internazionale, On. Emanuela Del Re, al Forum Politico di Alto Livello sullo Sviluppo Sostenibile (HLPF), segmento dedicato all’SDG16 (pace, giustizia e istituzioni solide) —


Dear Moderator, Excellences, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am particularly pleased to address the review of SDG 16 here at the HLPF and to report on the outcomes of the SDG 16 preparatory Conference, which Italy hosted last May in Rome. The Conference was organized in partnership with DESA and the International Development Law Organization (IDLO), a key partner in the field of the rule of law which we proudly host in our capital, Rome.

Italy, as a strong advocate of SDG 16, has been particularly keen to host the Preparatory Meeting. Since the early negotiations of the 2030 Agenda, we have been committed to support the need to bridge peace and development through the pillars of justice, good governance, respect for fundamental freedoms and human rights and the rule of law.

We live in a world where too many people are still living in areas affected by violence, conflict, insecurity, injustice, and exclusion, especially in politically instable, conflict-affected or particularly fragile countries. Against this background, renewed efforts are essential to move towards the achievement of SDG16 by 2030.

The Rome Conference has been particularly effective in fostering an honest, inclusive and deep discussion on the state of implementation of SDG 16, in preparation of the review at the High-level Political Forum. I would really encourage everyone to read the collection of key messages and recommendations that resulted from the very broad range of multi-stakeholders’ participation that has not been confined to the margins of an intergovernmental meeting.

Italy’s vision is based on a holistic approach.

As highlighted in the latest Secretary General’s Report on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, progress in ending violence, promoting the rule of law, strengthening institutions and increasing access to justice is uneven and continue to deprive millions of people of security, rights and opportunities. Structural challenges undermine the delivery of public services and broader economic development while attacks on civil society are also holding back development progress.

In this framework, I would like to propose some of the key findings of the Conference.
One the of the main messages resulting from the Rome Conference is that SDG 16 is not just a goal in itself, but it represents a necessary enabler towards the implementation of the whole 2030 Agenda, in line with the wider “SDG16+” approach. Peaceful societies, good governance and justice are already relevant goals in themselves, but they also represent catalysts for achieving many other targets: they are the basis for other SDGS and, at the same time, they are fed by progress on the whole Agenda. This is why SDG 16 is pivotal to advancing peace and sustainable development as mutually reinforcing processes.

In order to achieve SDG 16 and to foster the 2030 Agenda implementation, we need to break the vicious cycle between insecurity, injustice and inequality. To this end, it is necessary to increase the quality and consistency of our policies and programs to build and sustain peace, as well as to tackle the root cause of fragility, remove the obstacles to development and unlock the potential of each society.

A second concrete recommendation is to establish mechanisms for cross-sectoral coordination and addressing the interdependence between SDG 16+ components, creating opportunities for integrated outcomes promoting peace, justice and inclusion, from the grassroots initiatives which help marginalized women to access justice to increasing capacities of local and national institutions to deliver quality public services.

We need to ensure that peace-building and sustainable development programs are aligned, interrelated, and integrated, starting especially with the most vulnerable and fragile societies and the most vulnerable groups and individuals. In this light, SDG 16 is fundamental to achieving the three essential elements of peaceful and prosperous societies: 1. Access to justice and effective rule of law; 2. Transparent, representative and effective institutions; and 3. Full respect of fundamental freedoms and human rights.
These three elements together will foster social cohesion and revamp trust between people and institutions and the social contract at the heart of our societies.

The holistic approach I have described demands sufficient investments into capacity building at the national and sub-national levels, in alignment with the 2030 Agenda as a whole.

We need to acknowledge, of course, the role of women and youth, and to have more elements of inclusiveness. This is why the Rome Conference was such an important moment for creating a proper structure to create the proper strategy for the future.

I would like to conclude my speech by saying how happy I am to have seen Charles, one of youths who participated in the Rome Conference, and Ahona, since they play such a fundamental role in making us aware that we need to demand more of ourselves for the future generations. Let me conclude by leaving you with a quote from Toni Morrison, which speaks to finding a direction toward the future: “Please don’t settle for happiness. It is not good enough. Of course, you deserve it, but if that’s all you have in mind, happiness, I want to suggest to you that personal success devoid of meaningfulness – free of a steady commitment to social justice – that’s more than a barren life; it’s a trivial one.” Which is not, therefore, what we want: we want to promise Charles and Ahona that we are ready to shoulder our responsibility and change the world, especially through SDG16.

Thank you.