Launch of the Global Compact and Forum for Sustainable Development Goal 16

We’ve joined forces with the World Bank Legal Vice Presidency, the CNB/Paris, the Inter-American Bar Association (IABA), the Union Internationale des Avocats, and LAWASIA to launch a new initiative under the aegis of the Global Forum on Law, Justice and Development.

The Compact and Forum for Sustainable Development Goal 16

The Compact and Forum for Sustainable Development Goal 16 (SDG-16) will be a community that encourages every lawyer to help strengthen the rule of law and access to justice, thereby helping the poorest and most disadvantaged in all corners of the globe.

Compact and Forum for SDG-16 membership comprises professional societies of lawyers. Due to their skills and position in society, lawyers are perfectly positioned to play a vital role in:

  • upholding the rule of law and human rights
  • helping to establish and maintain democracies
  • building prosperous economies

The access to justice of all citizens to hold governments and other actors to account depends on the independence of the legal profession, which is fundamental to every democracy. In such a democracy, lawyers are active participants in the exercise of the rule of law.

The Compact and Forum for SDG-16 will have the following broad objectives:

  • to harness the collective perspective, purpose and power of the global legal profession towards the advancement of the rule of law and access to justice as a tool for sustainable development
  • to connect law societies and their member lawyers in every country of the world and provide them with access to the knowledge and resources they need to build a robust and independent legal profession
  • to raise awareness of the challenges faced by legal practitioners across the globe, creating a safe space for discussion
  • to co-ordinate the existing work of lawyer collectives across the world in implementing tangible ideas to help countries achieve the rule of law and access to justice in support of sustainable development

The launch will be taking place on 19 November 2020. Speakers include:

  • Sandie Okoro, senior vice president and Group General Counsel at the World Bank
  • David Greene, president of the Law Society for England and Wales
  • Penelope Warne, board member at the Law Society of England and Wales
  • Christiane Feral-Schul, president of the French Bar Association
  • Olivier Cousi, batonnier of the Paris Bar
  • Lourdes Venes-Escoffi, secretary general of the Inter-American Bar Association

Sustainable Development Goals

The Sustainable Development Goals are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and improve the lives and prospects of everyone, everywhere.

The 17 goals were adopted by all UN Member States in 2015, as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, setting out a 15-year plan to achieve the goals.

The 17 goals with 169 targets are broader in scope and go further than the former Millennium Development Goals by addressing the root causes of poverty and the universal need for development that works for all people.

The goals cover the three dimensions of sustainable development:

  • economic growth
  • social inclusion
  • environmental protection

Goal 16 relates to “Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions”. Conflict, insecurity, weak institutions and limited access to justice remain a great threat to sustainable development.

The number of people fleeing war, persecution and conflict exceeded 70 million in 2018, the highest level recorded by the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) in almost 70 years.

In 2019, the United Nations tracked 357 killings and 30 enforced disappearances of human rights defenders, journalists and trade unionists in 47 countries.

Relevant SGG-16 targets

  • 16.3 Promote the rule of law at the national and international levels and ensure equal access to justice for all
  • 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
  • 16.10 Ensure public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms, in accordance with national legislation and international agreements
  • 16.B Promote and enforce non-discriminatory laws and policies for sustainable development

Facts and figures

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