COVID-19 has set back progress across all the Sustainable Development Goals, including stalling progress on SDG 16 aimed at fostering peace, justice and inclusion. Without progress on SDG 16, however, achieving other parts of the 2030 Agenda will be even more difficult. Effective, transparent and responsive governance is inextricably linked to making progress on the 2030 Agenda – from health to employment to education. The COVID-19 crisis has only highlighted this further as governance failures have resulted in increasing inequalities, deteriorating trust in public intuitions and significant obstacles to accessible services, including health services. An effective recovery from COVID-19 requires that the different dimensions of SDG 16 be at the core of the recovery processes. We must therefore step up our work to end violence, uphold the rule of law, and strengthen inclusive institutions. Bringing together the latest research and expertise on the subject, this session will (a) distinguish what is helping or hindering countries from achieving SDG 16; (b) determine specifically how efforts toward more peaceful, just, and inclusive societies are integral to defining COVID-19 recovery; and (c) unpack the interlinkages between SDG 16 and the rest of the 2030 Agenda.