Towards SDG 16: Promoting Just, Peaceful, and Inclusive Societies in Europe and Central Asia
In the Europe and Central Asia region, efforts towards supporting governance and peacebuilding continue to face many challenges. Levels of political freedom, openness, and accountability generally lag behind when compared to developed countries.
Corruption remains endemic, vibrant civic spaces are shrinking, and the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms is under threat. These threats include lack of democratic policing, politically compromised judicial systems, as well as ongoing discrimination against ethnic, religious and other groups. In addition, slowing economic growth across the region has stymied public administration reform efforts, including decentralization and power sharing.
The region continues to host several protracted conflicts. A number of countries and territories are experiencing a rising threat from religious and violent extremism, aided by growing rates of unemployment, frustration at a lack of opportunities and, in some cases, proximity to conflicts. The recent refugee and migrant crisis has also put pressure on some countries, primarily relating to border management and policy, but also on local governments and host communities.
UNDP’s Governance and Peacebuilding work lays the foundation for further development gains, helping to strengthen representative governance, increase political inclusiveness, improve the capacity of institutions and quality of the rule of law, and reduce violence. UNDP’s work in governance and peacebuilding encourages open debate, raises awareness of fundamental human rights, and fosters inclusive growth.
Commemorating the adoption of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a new web platform, Towards SDG 16: Promoting Just, Peaceful, and Inclusive Societies in Europe and Central Asia, provides an overview of UNDP’s governance and peacebuilding work in the Europe and Central Asia region. Starting with 2015 – the year before work towards the SDGs began – this platform analyses the state of the region and achievements as they relate to UNDP’s support for improved governance and peacebuilding. While not exhaustive, the platform aims to capture progress in real-time going forward, in addition to providing insights into how UNDP makes a difference at the practical level in promoting just, peaceful and inclusive societies.