SDG 16 which is the main development goal for fostering peaceful, just and inclusive societies, and is foundational for all other SDGs focusing on social, economic and environmental progress, and is particularly relevant for countries affected by conflict or emergency crisis in the MENA region. The Report on Achieving SDGs in Conflict Affected Countries in the Arab Region highlights the importance of SDG 16 as a pathway to sustainable development, and recommended four entry points to enable regional actions that advance peace: 1). Increase investments in peace, dialogue and reconciliation as a foundation for achieving sustainable development; 2). Provide a framework for strengthening regional governance and cooperation in a manner that is consistent with the 2030 Agenda; 3). Increase efforts to develop inclusive and responsive governance models that put an end to discrimination. Empower local governance structures centered on human security to ensure national development responses are grounded in local realities and serve those that are at the highest risk of being left behind; and 4). Discuss durable solutions to address displacement, providing refugees and IDPs with stable livelihoods opportunities and integration into local host communities until return to place of origin is an option.
These points have been also echoed during the panel discussion at the Arab Forum on Sustainable Development (AFSD) held on 29 March “Localization and Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships: Means to Materialize the 2030 Agenda in Conflict-affected Countries”. The forum reiterated that in the context of conflict and crisis affected countries in the region, Goal 16 related to peace, justice and strong institutions should be the foundation for realizing the rest of the 17 SDGs.
Recognizing this, the proposed side event would like to explore a tentative roadmap (a decade action plan to realize sustainable peace and development) for countries affected by conflict and crisis in the region based on the key findings of the LAS led report, which was conducted in a highly participatory manner to identify existing good practices of initiatives, partnerships and tools for SDGs attainment, and serve as a reference guide for Member States for progressing on SDG targets in such challenging contexts and for using the SDG framework to achieve sustainable peace and development.
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