The workshop is part of a series of global technical consultations on SDG 16 in its three dimensions: inclusion, justice and peace, which highlight progress in monitoring, reporting and implementation of that objective. Photo: Vanessa Hidalgo / UNDP

Panama City, Panama, April 4, 2019 - 78 experts representing governments of Latin America and the Caribbean, including three ministers and two deputy ministers, together with actors from civil society, private sector and agencies of the United Nations System met this week in Panama to share experiences in the implementation, monitoring and reporting of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16 in the Regional Technical Workshop "Accelerating progress in SDG 16+ in Latin America and the Caribbean", organized by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Ministry of Security of Panama, Ministry of Government of Panama, and the Global Alliance SDG 16.

Violence, crime, insecurity, high rates of femicide, corruption, impunity, as well as polarized contexts continue to hinder the development of Latin America and the Caribbean and threaten their progress towards the 2030 Agenda. The region is home for the most violent and insecure cities and states in the world, where 65% of its inhabitants perceive an increase in corruption, according to data from the 2018 Latinobarometro Report, and where confidence in state institutions continues to decrease.

"At UNDP we understand that consolidating strong societies means taking more people out of poverty. To get there, important advances must be made in three interconnected development areas: productivity, inclusion and resilience. However, this cannot be achieved without the other and the process to achieve this requires effective governance as a precondition," said UNDP Resident Representative in Panama, Linda Maguire.

The workshop is part of a series of global technical consultations on SDG 16 in its three dimensions: inclusion, justice and peace, which highlight progress in monitoring, reporting and implementation of that objective. The results of these will serve as inputs for the preparation of the narrative report on SDG 16+ and the key messages for its thematic review during the High-Level Political Forum.

"In middle-income countries, such as those in Latin America and the Caribbean, governance becomes the most relevant instrument for the creation of socioeconomic opportunities, institutional strengthening and citizen security," said UNDP’s Global Advisor on Governance and Peacebuilding, Jairo Acuña.

According to data from the UNDP-Infosegura project, Latin America and the Caribbean have made progress in terms of citizen security and human development. However, challenges persist, such as the reduction of multiple forms of violence, institutional consolidation and improvements in socioeconomic opportunities. In these three dimensions there are factors that are key accelerators for compliance with the 2030 Agenda. The implementation of comprehensive policies with emphasis on prevention and territorial focus, have shown the greatest impact in the building peaceful societies.

The Sustainable Development Goals seek to substantially reduce all forms of violence, in this sense strengthening the rule of law and promoting human rights is fundamental in this process, as well as reducing the flow of illicit arms and the consolidation of institutions inclusive

The meeting had a participatory methodology that sought to identify the roles played by the different actors (government, private sector, civil society and the United Nations) in complying with the SDGs and adopt recommendations for their achievement.

About the 2019 High-Level Political Forum

In 2019, the theme of the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) will be "Empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality”. Discussions will focus on five of the SDGs, including SDG 16 on peaceful, just and inclusive societies.

The achievements and efforts made so far in the implementation of SDG 16 will be examined and countries will have the opportunity to voluntarily present their progress in achieving these objectives up to date. Countries will share progress, how to monitor progress and what is needed to consolidate peaceful, just societies and inclusive institutions.

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