Goal 16: Peace, justice and strong institutions

Without peace, stability, human rights, and effective governance based on the rule of law we cannot hope for sustainable development. We live in a world that is increasingly divided. Some regions enjoy sustained peace, security and prosperity, while others fall into seemingly endless cycles of conflict and violence. This is by no means inevitable and must be addressed.

High levels of armed violence and insecurity have a destructive impact on a country’s development, affecting economic growth and often resulting in long-standing grievances that can last for generations. Sexual violence, crime, exploitation and torture are also prevalent where there is conflict or no rule of law, and countries must take measures to protect those most at risk.

The SDGs aim to significantly reduce all forms of violence, and work with governments and communities to find lasting solutions to conflict and insecurity. Strengthening the rule of law and promoting human rights is key to this process, as is reducing the flow of illicit arms and strengthening the participation of developing countries in the institutions of global governance.

Facts and figures

68.5

By the end of 2017, 68.5 million people had been forcibly displaced by persecution, conflict, violence or human rights violations

10 million

There are at least 10 million stateless people who have been denied nationality and its related rights.

US$1.26 trillion

Corruption, bribery, theft and tax evasion cost developing countries US$1.26 trillion per year.

49

49 countries lack laws protecting women from domestic violence.

46

In 46 countries, women now hold more than 30 percent of seats in at least one chamber of national government.

1 billion

1 billion people cannot prove who they are, and are legally 'invisible'. This includes an estimated 625 million children who were not registered at birth.

  • Significantly reduce all forms of violence and related death rates everywhere

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

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

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

  • Substantially reduce corruption and bribery in all their forms

  • Develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels

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

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

  • By 2030, provide legal identity for all, including birth registration

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

  • 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

  • Promote and enforce non-discriminatory laws and policies for sustainable development
SDG 1SDG 2SDG 3SDG 4SDG 5SDG 6SDG 7SDG 8SDG 9SDG 10SDG 11SDG 12SDG 13SDG 14SDG 15SDG 16SDG 17
Goals in action
SDG 16

A promising youth; fighting radicalization in Mauritania

With debates and training sessions, the Nouakchott youth centre is changing minds.

more ›

SDG 16

Justice that leaves no one behind

Sierra Leone’s journey to change perceptions and practices within its criminal justice system.

more ›

SDG 6 SDG 8 SDG 9 SDG 11 SDG 16

Stabilizing countries in crisis

UNDP has started a new generation of large-scale stabilization programmes, aiming at rapidly re-establishing basic services.

more ›

SDG 2 SDG 7 SDG 11 SDG 16 SDG 17

Yemen: Through the looking glass

UNDP has a unique role in the ongoing response to the Yemen crisis. We tackle immediate and ongoing needs in Yemen during the crisis, while continuing…

more ›

SDG 4 SDG 5 SDG 10 SDG 16

70 years of progress on human rights

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. This simple yet radical idea is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human…

more ›

SDG 1 SDG 2 SDG 8 SDG 16

Fishing for prosperity

At once beautiful and isolated, the island of Idjwi is confronting a number of social and environmental challenges.

more ›

SDG 16 SDG 17

Old buildings, new friends

In Cyprus, UNDP is working to bring communities together through shared cultural heritage.

more ›

SDG 16

In Kosovo*, technology reduces crimes and violence

UNDP’s Kosovo Small Arms Control Project aims to reduce gun crime and violence in a country still recovering from a brutal war in the 1990s.

more ›

SDG 3 SDG 5 SDG 10 SDG 16

Giving voice to women survivors in Guatemala

More than 30 years after she saw her family and community torn apart by Guatemala’s decades-long civil war, Elena de Paz decided to tell her story.

more ›

UNDP Around the world