Peaceful, just and inclusive societies are necessary to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). To advance the SDGs in general, and SDG 16 - peace, justice and strong institutions more specifically - we need effective and inclusive public institutions. Governments, civil society and communities must work together to implement lasting solutions, and universities must take a leading role.
This international forum analysed this role that universities, besides their essential knowledge generation and educational activities, can and should play in support of justice, peace and human rights to promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development. Discussions took into account the universities' policies and their relationship with public entities, and collaboration and partnerships with other social agents. The event's approach involved universities, governments and non-governmental institutions.
Leaders and experts on these issues from higher education institutions and leading organisations shared research, ideas and solutions to address these pressing issues that impact the implementation and development of effective, accountable and fair institutions.
Speaker: Bianca Kopp, Coordinator of the tertiary component of E4J
The world faces myriad challenges as it strives to reach the Sustainable Development Goals, especially SDG 16 on peace, justice and strong institutions. Until now, universities, governments and international organisations have tended to address these issues separately, usually within their respective spheres of influence, but it is increasingly clear that the silo mentality of this conventional approach has not helped us reach our collective global goals. Peace, justice and effective, accountable and inclusive institutions - as well as quality education (SGD 4) - are at the core of sustainable development; in fact, both SDG 4 and 16 are in themselves enablers of all the other SDGs. The importance of higher education, strong partnerships and new efforts to link SDG 4 and 16, thus moving towards the ultimate achievement of the latter, was the focus of this session.