Expository Essay on Goal 16 of the Sustainable Development Goals

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Vanderbilt University
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We live in a society an increasingly multicultural and diverse society. However, there are still issues regarding discrimination in terms or race, ethnic background, sex, disability, and many other factors. It, therefore, becomes important to analyze Goal 16 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), on Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels. It envisions societies that are inclusive and peaceful regarding adequate governance in all areas, the rule of law, acknowledging the rights of each person in addition to credible, blatant and liable institutions. It is important to note that currently, there are nations experiencing conflict and turmoil. In 2015, the year the Sustainable Development Goals Agenda 2030 was adopted, the number of ongoing conflicts increased to 50 compared to 41 in 2014. Furthermore, most people are supported by institutions that are immensely weak and do not have access to basic freedoms, information, and justice.

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Transforming Our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

The adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) was among the primary outcomes of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) that took place in 2012. The involved nations agreed to negotiate the need for new goals of achieving sustainable development from a global perspective. According to the Rio+20 Outcome Document, the goals are characterized by being, action-oriented, concise and easy to communicate, limited in number, aspirational, global in nature and universally applicable to all countries, while taking into account different national realities, capacities and levels of development and respecting national policies and priorities such that they can realize sustainable development. The aspect of universality is emphasized by the UN charter which implies that all nations have the duty to bring about the changes to obtain sustainable development, with their respective strategies while putting into consideration the global good.

On 2015 September, heads of states made the agreement to structure the world such that sustainable development was achieved through the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. The 2030 Agenda put into perspective seventeen SDGs that focused on sustainable progress from economic, social and economic perspectives to be attained by 2030. The goals present an outline for collaborative efforts regarding development to be carried out by every country.

The goals contain one hundred and sixty-nine targets by which each target includes qualitative and quantitative objectives to be implemented by the year 2030. The targets put into consideration various capabilities, national actualities, sections requiring development, valuing federal laws in addition to being universally appropriate and global in features. The structures of the SDGs have been formulated in the sense that they are extensive when compared to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in addition to including every country, that for the first time also includes the so-called developed nations. The SDGs in this regard are more comprehensive and ambitious than the MDGs that were formulated in 2000 and focused on halving the poverty levels by 2015.

According to the article Getting to know the Sustainable Development Goals, The MDGs focused on the many dimensions of extreme poverty, including low incomes, chronic hunger, gender inequality, lack of schooling, lack of access to health care, and deprivation of clean water and sanitation, among others. They achieved some great successes, for example halving the likelihood of a child dying before their fifth birthday. However, by 2015, progress had not yet been achieved mainly on sustaining the environment and hence the need for applying more effort to reduce poverty. The MDGs in this case required to be extended such that they align with the issues that all nations face in an increasingly inter-connected and globalized world. It is important to highlight that more than seven hundred million people are currently below the poverty line while billions experience various forms of deprivations.

Also, inequality has been on the rise despite the presence of economic progress, the world is experiencing climatic problems and the disintegration of biodiversity in addition to perpetual conflict, corruption, and bad governance. Although the SDGs include both developed and developing countries, the nature of the challenges differ for every nation. The developed nations have the duty to support developing countries as they transform to sustainability. The support can take the form of technical cooperation, development of international policies and institutions and Official Development Assistance (ODA).

According to an analysis of the SDGs by Osborn et.al, a reason indicating high scores for the developed countries when it comes to achieving the goals when compared to the scores of developing countries, is that, when the developed countries meet the goals, a global impact will be felt by their countries as well as other countries. The authors assert, Developed countries have a particular responsibility to transform their own economies to a more sustainable pattern to reduce the pressure their demands make on limited or finite global resources and the load they impose on the world through waste production, pollution, greenhouse gas emissions as well as the outsourcing of unsustainable activities such as traditional production methods to developing countries.

Global pressures imposed on the developing nations make them vulnerable and that the developed nations may assist in reducing the pressures by decreasing the load put on earth and its properties. In implementing Agenda 2030, no nation can act singly as most of the changes that will take place in the production and consumption processes puts into perspective the global market, and that, collaboration will bring about significant impacts in moderating issues such as exhaustion of resources, disposal of wastes, various form of pollution in addition to effects presented by the greenhouse gases. If a country acted alone, it would be difficult for it to achieve any significant difference from a global viewpoint.

Collaboration also allows collective monitoring such that follow-up is done to ensure that the strategies put in place in achieving the goals are functioning as expected. Problems such as poverty and healthcare are perceived to be universal in the sense that they are present in both developed and developing nations. The SDGs address the problems in their implementation strategies such that they are handled from a global angle.

Goal 16 plays a crucial role in the achievement of the other SDG goals. Sustainable development is impossible to achieve when the security and peace of people is at risk. The report by the Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform states, The new Agenda recognizes the need to build peaceful, just and inclusive societies that provide equal access to justice and that are based on respect for human rights (including the right to development), on effective rule of law and good governance at all levels and on transparent, effective and accountable institutions. Factors which give rise to violence, insecurity and injustice, such as inequality, corruption, poor governance and illicit financial and arms flows, are addressed in the Agenda. With Goal 16 put into perspective, factors that hinder social, and economic progress are dealt with and hence creating an environment where the other goals can be attained. Therefore, before analyzing Goal 16, it is important to understand what the other sixteen goals contain. They include:

Goal 1: Eliminating every form of poverty in all parts of the world

Goal 2: Eliminating hunger, improving nourishment, obtaining food security and maintaining agriculture that is sustainable

Goal 3: Making sure that people receive adequate health care improve the welfare of individuals from all ages

Goal 4: Making certain that there is equal, inclusive and quality education for all in addition to supporting lifetime education opportunities for each person

Goal 5: Obtaining gender equality and ensuring that women are empowered regardless of the age

Goal 6: Ensuring that clean water and sanitation are available and adequately managed for every person

Goal 7: Ensuring that there is reliable, maintainable, and inexpensive energy for each person

Goal 8: Supporting a sustained and inclusive economy development and decent work environments for each person

Goal 9: Developing robust infrastructure, promoting innovation and fostering an inclusive and viable industrialization

Goal 10: Decreasing inequality cases that are inside and outside a country

Goal 11: Ensuring that environments occupied by people are inclusive, viable, robust and safe

Goal 12: Making sure that there are viable frameworks regarding creation and consumption

Goal 13: Embarking immediately to curb issues regarding changes in climate and its effects

Goal 14: Protecting the utilization of the ocean and other water bodies in regards to sustainable Goal 15: Protecting and maintaining the telluric ecosystems, handling the forests sustainably, getting rid of desertification, stopping the loss of biodiversity in addition to stopping and reversing the degradation of land

Goal 17: Boosting the strategies for implementing and invigorating the international collaboration necessary lasting development.

The SDGs are associated with six basic elements that include; dignity, prosperity, justice, partnership, planet, and people. Dignity entails doing away with poverty and fighting inequality while prosperity entails developing a stable, all-encompassing and transformative economies. Justice includes developing a safe and secure environment for the citizens in addition to developing stable organizations; partnership includes supporting international solidarity regarding sustainable development; planet includes protecting the environment for the entire global community while people entails ensuring that the well-being of individuals is protected in addition to meeting the needs of both women and children .

The Centrality of Goal 16 in Agenda 2030

The purpose of Goal 16 in Agenda 2030 is to promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels According to the Sustainable Development Goals Report 2016, Between 2008 and 2014, the homicide rate in developing countries was twice that of developed countries. At the peak in 2011, 34 per cent of the victims of human trafficking at the global level were children, up from 13 per cent in 2004. Globally, 30 per cent of people held in detention over the period 2012-2014 had not been sentenced. The births of more than one in four children under age 5 worldwide go unrecorded. In the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), one in two children have not been registered by their fifth birthdays,.

From a general perspective, the issue of peace is relative because, while citizens in some nations live in peace, other countries are in constant turmoil and warfare. The chaos prevents progress and developments of the countries and hence an imbalance when it comes to global growth. Therefore, Goal 16 focuses on establishing peace and justice for every person. It focuses on decreasing various forms of violence and giving governments and the people the responsibility of finding long-term solutions to ending warfare. It entails eliminating the flow of illegal firearms, strengthening the rules...

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