cspps sdg 16 2024

2024 Rome Civil Society Declaration on SDG 16

Executive Summary: Beyond Rhetoric: Securing SDG 16+ for Peaceful, Just, and Inclusive Societies

Launched on 6th May 2024, UN Headquarters New York


On the 6th of May 2024, the 5th iteration of the Rome Civil Society Declaration on SDG16+ was launched during the SDG 16 Conference at the UN headquarters in NY. Following the same format as in previous years, the declaration takes stock of the current context and state of play for SDG 16+ issues, and presents a series of recommendations to scale-up action on SDG16+.


The 2024 Rome Civil Society Declaration on SDG16+ highlights critical issues threatening global peace and sustainable development. Notably, the alarming rise in global conflict, with civilian death tolls reaching levels not seen since 1945. This increase in geopolitical conflicts undermines progress made thus far in achieving SDG16 and the wider 2030 Agenda, underscoring the urgent need for enhanced governmental accountability. In the Declaration, civil society expresses its concern about the uneven focus of the international community on conflicts as they manifest themselves, calling for attention and resources to be allocated based upon needs, and not on geopolitical proximity.

Civil society is under immense strain as the space for their work continues to shrink. Civil society acts as a vital bridge between right-holders and duty-bearers, helping to measure SDG progress and holding governments accountable. However, restrictive laws, harassment, and limited funding are significantly hampering their capacity to thrive. Further, conflict and instability hinder economic development, exacerbate poverty, and undermine social well-being globally. Therefore, comprehensive conflict prevention and peacebuilding efforts, integrated across all SDGs, are essential for achieving the 2030 Agenda.

Furthermore, there has been a noticeable shift in the political landscape–regression in democracy accompanied by rising authoritarianism and increasing violence, has profound implications for civil society worldwide.t. The declaration acknowledges disproportionate military expenditure at the expense of humanitarian aid and development assistance, exacerbating insecurity and undermining peacebuilding efforts. Adding to the complexity of the situation, the proliferation of small arms and light weapons, along with advancements in military technology pose a significant threat to peace and security.

Call to action

The declaration serves as a rallying cry. It calls for key measures that include the recognition of the SDG16 as an enabler for the other SDGs, financial relocation, strengthening data and monitoring, as well as promoting accountability. It underscores the need for recognising the indispensable role of civil society for SDG 16+ and the 2030 Agenda, as well as stating the need for expanding civic space. Furthermore, it concludes with a call to mobilise our commitments to SDG 16+ at the 2024 Summit of the Future, 2025 International Conference on Financing for Development and the 2025 World Social Summit.

These upcoming events present a pivotal opportunity to create traction surrounding SDG16, and for governments to advance policies and decisions that could have a significant multiplier effect in advancing SDG 16+, and building more peaceful, just, inclusive societies and responsive institutions.

The 2024 Civil Society Declaration on SDG16+ urges Member States and other stakeholders to move beyond rhetoric and good intentions and boldly embrace and implement concrete and genuine commitments.

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