The 120 participants from an estimated 20 countries held a preliminary capacity building workshop that fed into the annual showcase main conference, highlighted innovative implementation strategies, policies and programming including national development and strategic plans and demonstrated inter-linkages between SDG 16+, the wider 2030 Agenda, Open Government Initiative, additional UN priorities and other SDG 16+inititaives .
Participants also linked the global conversation with national and local implementation, complemented follow-up and review efforts through an outcome document that will capture best practices shared and other implementation guidelines going forward.
Addressing the forum, Mr. Foday Sesay, who is also Co-chair for the Peer Support and Focal Point Coordinator of the CSPPS of the New Deal/G8 plus counties, appealed to the Government of Sierra Leone, political parties and their supporters to ensure the upholding and maintenance of respect of human rights and democracy as well as put into practice the principals and values enshrined in the New Deal framework, including the provisions in the constitution as law abiding citizens.
The DADA Executive Director further reminded the meeting about the need for Sierra Leoneans to have respect for human rights, uphold the laws of international conventions and treaties and commended the SDG Department in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, the Legal Aid Board and the Open Government Initiative for their support and collaboration to make the meeting a success.
He also underscored the need for Sierra Leone to implement SDG 16.3 which deals with access to justice and the rule of law, the culture of prioritizing nationalism, political tolerance, denounce violence and other vices with the potential to wreck the country’s peace and democratic process.
Mr. Foday Sesay continued that the Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs) 16 is the bedrock of the 2030 agenda on peaceful, just and inclusive societies as well as governance, building trust and sustainability peace adding that from anti-corruption and the rule of law to participatory decision-making, violence reduction and the promotion of peace, SDG 16 touches on all aspects of society across the 2030 Agenda underscoring that its realization is central to achieving the SDGs.
According to the DADA Executive Director, as the core of the peaceful, just and inclusive pillar of the 2030 Agenda, SDGs 16 is one of the more innovative aspects of the new development framework as well as one of the more challenging goals to implement and capture.
He enlightened that a partnership between the World Federation of the United Nations Associations, the G-7 and the 16+Forum provides a platform to learn from best practices and success stories while applying SDG 16+ as a lynchpin from which to consider linkages across the wider 2030 Agenda and the 36+ related targets.
“In short, the 16+Forum seeks to demonstrate SDG 16+in policy and practice as an output and enabler of the universal and interdependent 2030, with links to sustaining peace and other relevant agendas and through multi-stakeholder partnerships,” Mr. Foday Sesay articulated.