Original Article

July 15, 2022

PR Newswire

LONDON, July 15, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- The agenda of Sustainable Development Goal 16, which talks of resolving the challenge around 'Conflict, insecurity, weak institutions and limited access to justice,' seeks to promote a peaceful society and provide equal access to justice to all.

RELX, a global provider of information and analytics for professional and business customers across industries, hosted their 'Free Virtual SDG Inspiration Day' on May 9, 2022. The topics discussed during the session was the role of businesses in furthering the agenda of SDG 16.

Sir Bob Geldof, Ban Ki-moon and many prominent key thought leaders discussed how to effectively achieve Sustainable Development Goal 16: “Peace, justice and strong institutions” Credit: RELX group

Organizations that partnered the event included the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens; UN Global Compact Network UK; Global Citizen, the World Humanitarian Forum; the Responsible Media Forum; Schneider Electric; The Elsevier Foundation, and the LexisNexis Rule of Law Foundation.

The keynote speakers included Ban Ki-moon, Former Secretary General of the United Nations and Sir Bob Geldof, legendary musician and political activist. Other speakers included Dr. Heinz Fischer, former President of Austria; Irina Bokova, former Director-General of UNESCO; and Michael Sheldrick, Co-Founder of Global Citizen. The event was moderated by lawyer and activist Dr. Shola Mos-Shogbamimu.

"All around the world, armed conflicts are causing humanitarian emergencies in countries such as Yemen, Syria, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, and Ukraine. We are at a turning point, and we must choose peace," encapsulated Secretary Ban Ki-Moon in his keynote address.

Several speakers touched upon the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Dr. Heinz Fischer commented, "The significance and relevance of the SDGs will survive the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine and will thrive after the war – particularly SDG 16." Former Director-General of UNESCO Irina Bokova, during her keynote speech, said that the COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine, and impact of food production due to climate change have impacted the 2030 SDGs, and SDG 16 in particular.

Sir Bob Geldof said that the biggest challenges facing the SDGs were human cynicism and extreme nationalism. "However, it is in our self-interest to make the SDGs work. It is in the self-interest of the world; the self-interest of business and politics, and the self-interest of the global economy – all of them will begin by embracing and working to achieve the 2030 SDG goals," he said.

Several panel discussions were held as part of the event. The first, 'SDG 16 and Defence,' was moderated by BBC journalist Justin Webb, and had Monika Froehler, CEO, Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens; Dr. Imogen Parsons, Senior Research Fellow, Terrorism and Conflict, The Royal United Services Institute; and Sir Mark Moody-Stuart, Chairman, Global Compact Foundation, as the panellists.

The second discussion, 'Operating in a Conflict Zone,' was moderated by Teresa Jennings, Head of Rule of Law Development, LexisNexis Rule of Law Foundation. The panellists included Mark Waddington, CEO, Hope and Homes for Children; Kimberly Parker, Hinari Programme Manager, World Health Organization; Alison Tweed, CEO, Book Aid International; and Geraldine Anup-Willcocks, Emergency Specialist, UNICEF UK.

The final discussion was 'Women and SDG 16', which was moderated by Amanda Ellis, Former UN Ambassador, Executive Director Asia-Pacific, Global Institute of Sustainability and Innovation. Zoya Lytvyn, Ukrainian entrepreneur, expert in impact investment and education, founder of NGO Osvitoria, Global Teacher Prize Ukraine Award; Martin Chungong, eighth Secretary-General of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU); and Tea Trumbic, WE Empower Lead Partner and Program Manager for the Women, Business and the Law Project, World Bank, were the speakers.