Approaching the five year mark since the beginning of the 2030 Agenda of the United Nations, achieving the agenda of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals remains a big challenge to all stakeholders involved. With the Miriam College Center for Peace Education's work contributing to peace, justice, and strong institutions (SDG 16), intersecting with ensuring women’s meaningful participation contributing to gender equlity (SDG 5), CPE participated at the SDG16+ Annual Showcase and Forum hosted by the Democratic Republic of Timor Leste in Dili from November 11-14, 2019.
The SDG 16+ Forum is a multi-stakeholder platform and partnership of 12 Member States, the G7+ and the World Federation of United Nation Associations as its Secretariat. The inaugural 16+ Forum Annual Showcase was held in Tbilisi, Georgia in 2017 and the second in Freetown, Sierra Leone in 2018. Timor-Leste hosts this year’s showcase with a flagship theme on Reconciliation, Strong Institutions and Inclusion. A historic year for the country, 2019 marks the 20th anniversary since the country voted for independence from Indonesia under an UN-administered popular consultation, and 17th year since independence was restored.
Following the participation at the Voices of SDG16+ Showcase in New York last July, Project Officer, Bianca Pabotoy, represented CPE-MC, co-leading a breakout session on Media and Mobilization. She reflected on the different stories of mobilization by different peacebuilders all over the world from last July, and shared how CPE’s current project, WePeace, supports the localization of UNSCR 1325- Women, Peace and Security, the mobilization of women at the community level to monitor peace, and the connection of all this work to local legislation.
Spanning for four days, the 16+ Forum conducted civil-society workshops, field visits to the Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation and National Resistance Museums, and plenaries and breakout sessions on different issues and initiatives on SDG16+.
The forum opened a space for discussions on next steps following the submission of countries voluntary national reviews (VNRs), outlining the work done for the SDGs on a national-level, and the crucial role of data collection, access to justice, and localization in measuring and implementing progress towards the 2030 agenda.
By next year, we will have only 10 years more before the conclusion of the current 2030 Agenda. Ten years is short as there is still wide-range of gaps for holistic societal development, a number of countries experiencing civil wars and conflict, and even more countries and communities in recovery and rehabilitation, struggling to sustain the fragile peace that has been gained.
CPE continues its work contributing to SDG16+ through both formal and informal education, and engagement with different stakeholders from different parts of the world. To fulfill the 2030 Agenda and to reach peace, we continue to teach peace.