Former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf joined Peace One Day’s live ‘Decade of Action for Peace’ panel to discuss Sustainable Development Goal 16 (SDG 16), which aims to “promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.”
Addressing the panel, Madam Sirleaf said:
“With the global goals set in 2015 and now with just ten years to go, the UN Secretary General calls on all actors in the world to deliver a decade of action to meet the world’s biggest challenges by 2030. The success of all the global goals depends on reducing violence by a minimum of 50% over the next ten years, saving millions of lives and, yes, billions of dollars. Today, over a hundred national governments, cities, businesses, NGOs, and others are committed to halving global violence by 2030.”
The all-day online event was held on September 21 with the purpose of institutionalizing International Peace Day, which is observed annually on this date. Throughout the years, millions of people have been active on Peace Day in countries around the world, and hundreds of organizations have carried out life-saving activities in areas of conflict.
Madam Sirleaf took part in the event alongside Moderator Paul Polman, Co-founder and Chair of IMAGINE; Liv Tørres, Director of the Pathfinders for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies; Marina Ponti, Global Director of the UN SDG Action Campaign; Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury, former President of the United Kingdom Supreme Court; Lee Jung-ok, Minister of Gender Equality and Family of South Korea; and H.E Ms. Hasina Safi, Acting Minister of Women Affairs of Afghanistan.
Madam Sirleaf outlined the global action and collaboration needed in order to achieve SDG 16, as well as all the other Sustainable Development Goals.
“The Sustainable Development Goals were agreed five years ago at the same time as the Paris Agreement on climate change. Together, they represent the most significant achievements of multilateral diplomacy in the 21st century. They are a rebuke to cynics and fatalists who claim such ideals are too lofty or unrealistic.
But if we are to meet the goals that the SDGs informed by 2030…this requires an increase in political ambition and action, leadership across all sectors, and powerful global mobilization that drives countries, cities, businesses, and people into action.”
Madam Sirleaf closed her participation in the panel with a powerful reminder about the importance of women’s inclusion in achieving peaceful societies:
“Women’s inclusion in decision making and women’s empowerment is the key to be able to promote peace and the key to ensuring that we have strong economies developed in peaceful nations. This is why, in COVID-19, the record is very clear that it was the women leaders and their countries that were able to address this pandemic and to overcome it.”
To watch the full event, click here.