Goal 16: Promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies

UNCT-GH-students-Small-arms-destruction-event-2016(Photo: UN Ghana 2016 / Juliane Reissig)

Why it matters in Ghana

Peaceful, just and inclusive societies are priority goals in themselves as well as necessary to achieve all the Sustainable Development Goals. People everywhere need to be free of fear from all forms of violence and feel safe as they go about their lives, no matter their faith, ethnicity or gender.

National and local institutions must be in place and accountable to deliver basic services to citizens equitably and without bribes.

Lack of access to justice means that conflicts remain unresolved and people cannot obtain protection and redress.

Institutions that do not function according to legitimate laws are prone to arbitrariness and abuse of power, and less capable of delivering public services to everyone. 

How we can help

  • Be the change – promote inclusion and show respect towards people of different backgrounds, ethnic origins, religions, gender, or different opinions. Together, we can help to improve conditions for all.
  • Do not start or perpetuate violence in any form. It has a pervasive impact on people’s development and well-being. Mob violence is unjust and denies victims the opportunity to a fair trial and tramples on fundamental human rights.
  • Take advantage of your right to elect responsible leaders at national level and in your local community.
  • Participate in dialogue sessions and make your voice heard. Your good ideas and constructive feedback can bring about social change. As others express themselves, be tolerant of their views too. 
  • Exercise your right to hold your elected officials to account as a responsible citizen. Ask probing questions.
  • As a civil society organisation, raise awareness in your community about the realities of violence and the importance of peaceful and just societies.
  • As an elected community or area representative, provide timely information and feedback to your constituency. As a citizen, exercise your right to freedom of information and share your opinion with your elected representatives.
  • Resist any attempt to pay or accept a bribe. Bribery slows down efforts to make local and national institutions effective and accountable.
  • Pursue alternative dispute resolution, or seek redress from established local and national institutions such as the law courts. It is not appropriate to take the law into your own hands at any time. 
  • Choose the path of peace always, especially during national elections. Be civil in your language and follow laid down procedures for elections.

Global Targets of Goal 16

16.1: Significantly reduce all forms of violence and related death rates everywhere 

16.2: End abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children 

16.3: Promote the rule of law at the national and international levels and ensure equal access to justice for all 

16.4: By 2030, significantly reduce illicit financial and arms flows, strengthen the recovery and return of stolen assets and combat all forms of organized crime 

16.5: Substantially reduce corruption and bribery in all their forms 

16.6: Develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels 

16.7: Ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels 

16.8: Broaden and strengthen the participation of developing countries in the institutions of global governance 

16.9: By 2030, provide legal identity for all, including birth registration 

16.10: Ensure public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms, in accordance with national legislation and international agreements 

16.a: Strengthen relevant national institutions, including through international cooperation, for building capacity at all levels, in particular in developing countries, to prevent violence and combat terrorism and crime 

16.b: Promote and enforce non-discriminatory laws and policies for sustainable development

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