Roundtable on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) — Friday 5th December

There is consensus that there is a negative and mutually reinforcing link between violence, insecurity, and development.  There are six essential elements for delivery y Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Partnership, justice, planet, people, dignity, property.  “Justice” to promote safe and peaceful societies and strong institutions.” Violence reduction is one of these targets, and violent deaths are an indicator.

Isaac Morales.  Mexico.   Fostering social inclusion and social development to achieve peace and security is cross cutting perspective in post 2015 development agenda.   We cannot deny the reality, we need to recognize the problems in the neighborhood of Cerro de la Pila caused by the drug and crime problems.  We are changing perspectives and we need more comprehensive policies.  Such success wouldn’t have been possible without proper and complete statistical info that Mexico government gave.  The crime statistics are important in order to promote development and vice versa.  We have to highlight the importance for Mexico and for international community of goal 16. 

The human rights, the rule of law and the good governance are also important. The statistics collected need to profile groups, connections, and power relations as well as vulnerabilities.  Access to health and social services needs to be a comprehensive response.  A wide range of social, demographic, physical conditions of area could increase activities of criminal organizations. 
Civil society is taking into account actors in the field.  One of the main challenges is the lack of inter and intra-agency coordination.  There is no general agreement on indicators.  No binding legal framework to move forward.  Goal 16 widely considered under Mexico. 

Kristia Odergard.  Norway.  Refers to report of SG of UN, which was launched on Thursday 4th afternoon.  A year from now we will have to have adopted these goals. 

Angela Me. There is a vicious cycle of weak institutions, illicit markets and less development. When we talk about development we see all these components.  Is development coming before all, or illicit markets coming before? Illicit markets are functioning in peace eroding the licit economy and healthy development of communities. One of the main challenges is to study the size of the hidden phenomena and to understand the impact on development, i.e. illicit fishing.  Another piece is corruption.  It hampers foreign investment and doesn’t appear in police reports.  People don’t report corruption incidents.  Is an impossible mission to measure these goals?  It is challenging, but we are in a new era, and there is a lot that we need to do in terms of capacity building. 

One of our main challenges is to think transnationally and not only national.  Also we need to consider qualitative measures using a rigorous process. Another challenge is to stablish methods to measure the rule of law. Also, we need to consider not what services are delivered, but how they are delivered.  There are indicators ready for global coverage, such as:

  • Homicide rate
  • prevalence of bribery among citizens
  • percentage of adult population subjected to physical or sexual violence
  • Percentage of crime not reported to the authorities
  • Percentage of prisoners who report having experienced physical or sexual victimisation


Ambassador Zvekic. Serbia.  Concerning the crime and development issue, there is Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime, which should also look how the legitimisation of the illicit activities is operating and how the illicit funds are entering into governance and financial institutions.The increased presence of the organized crime in the management and political authority is gaining structures to influence and control the process of legalisation and legitimisation of illicit flows and gains.  UNODC should also be talking language of the multi stakeholder participation. Democracy and accountability are key for the sustainability. We need peaceful and non-violent societies, and we need to approach this issue in a positive way, talking in positive, not just combating drugs and crime.

Michael Platzer.  Civil society should be pushing for this agenda.  UN agencies must collaborate, can’t be silos any more. 

Mike Trace. We need to focus and to think about objectives of drug control system. Which UN overarching goals does drug control contribute to?  Reducing demand, supply and money laundering are the goals of drug control system, but they are not goals of UN system or SDGs.  Links can be drawn but, at the moment, the entire drug control system sits outside UN system. 

Ambassador Zvekic. Serbia.  The UN is not EU.  We need to consider the rule of law benchmarks (Benchmarks of drug control laws).  Are these benchmarks offenses in the law there or not?  Part of gains go to reinvestment and part to new investments.  Part of it are legalized, through money-laundered.  This makes countries an inventory of funds from illicit activities. 

Kristia Odergard From the point of view of an economist, we need to measure more than number of homicides and to know what does that mean in development terms.  What is the economic gain of reaching several development and non-violence targets?

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