SDG 16
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Without peace, stability, human rights and effective governance, based on the rule of law - we cannot hope for sustainable development. We are living in a world that is increasingly divided. Some regions enjoy sustained levels of 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 who are most at risk.

Home to only 5 percent of the world’s population, the Arab region was home to almost 47 percent of the world’s internally displaced population in 2014 and 57.5 percent of the world’s refugees. Most of those were forcibly displaced because of conflict and violence, as the Arab region has witnessed almost 18 percent of the world conflicts between 1948 and 2014, 45 percent of global terrorist attacks in 2014, and 68 percent of the world’s battle-related deaths in the same year.

The value of the Human Development Index for Libya and Syria has dwindled to levels last seen 15 years ago. Other estimates suggest that Syria may have lost over 35 years of hard-won gains in human development.

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.

Goals in action

UNDP Lebanon

Art serves as a meeting point for youth affected by conflict

“Even though she is in pain, she’s still dancing!” Ma’ammar El Jasem says, standing proudly next to his creation: a ballerina wrapped in metal wires. At such a young age, the 13-year-old Syrian sculptor may not be fully aware that he’s representing the power of survival. MORE >

UNDP Egypt

Access to Justice for the vulnerable in Egypt

On the steps of the Family Court in the Heliopolis neighborhood of Egypt’s capital, Cairo, ‘Ayesha’, who preferred not to give her real name, tells a story that is all too common. MORE >

UNDP Programme Assistance to the Palestinian People

In Gaza, first female mukhtarah mediates legal disputes

Um Mohammed broke the conservative tribal traditions of her community when she became one of Gaza strip’s first “Mukhtarah” – the female equivalent of Mukhtar, one who peacefully settles disputes without need to resort to formal judicial systems. MORE >

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