SDG 16 is considered as an enabler and accelerator of all the SDGs and one of the important pillers of “Peaceful Just and Inclusive Societies” for the 2030 Agenda. The concept of SDG 16+ grew out of the recognition by many stakeholders of the important and wide-ranging interlinkages of SDG 16 with many other SDGs. The SDG 16+ (36 targets from SDG 16 & 7 other goals) framework provides countries with a rights-based approach to tackling the drivers of suffering that affords dignity and agency to those left behind. It addresses patterns of exclusion, structural and institutional constraints and unequal power relations that produce and reproduce patterns of exclusion, marginalization, inequality and suffering over generations. SDG 16+ requires countries to support legal, policy, institutional and other measures to dismantle harmful gender and other stereotypes and to promote equality and non-discrimination. SDG 16+ has led to the area of governance receiving much greater attention where official UN statistics are concerned. The reality is that there are a limited number of existing international standards defining the measurement of governance. 

Civil society must be proactive in advocating for adequate civic space at multiple levels to allow it to play its part in realizing the 2030 Agenda’s positive vision of multi-stakeholder participation. SDG 16+ of the 2030 Agenda can provide important leverage for civil society everywhere in its efforts to create and defend civic space, and to be more effective in monitoring and implementing the agenda. Using SDG16+ as a road map, we can build more resilient societies that are better prepared to confront the existential global challenges. SDG16+ targets address critically important issues – such as violence, insecurity, conflict, injustice, exclusion, inequality, discrimination, weak institutions and poor governance – that negatively affect the daily lives of people around the world and undermine their ability to achieve sustainable development. 

An all-encompassing approach, SDG 16+ is the base for all the other goals, and to fulfill this objective of peace, inclusivity, and accountability enshrined in SDG 16+ needs the renewal of institutions, for which the gap between the governed and the government must reduce to the maximum limit possible. And here comes the importance of civil society as an enabler of inclusion and empowerment of all. The trust deficit which creates in gap inside a society and among different societies can be addressed smoothly by civil society organizations especially in the times when people’s demands as a whole are moving towards a more egalitarian viewpoint.

India Coordinator: Amit Tuteja, Connecting Dreams Foundation India ([email protected]); Neha Chauhan, India ([email protected]); Sanjay Chaturvedi, Divya Prem Sewa Mission, India ([email protected])

International Coordinators: Jyotsna Mohan, ADA, Cambodia ([email protected]) ; John Romano, Tap Network, USA ([email protected])