May 08th 2024

SDG: Goal 16 Peace, justice and strong institutions

SDG: Goal 16 Peace, justice and strong institutions: Peace, physical integrity and the protection of a stable legal system are an indispensable basis for sustainable development and the prosperity of a society. Unfortunately, too many people are at the mercy of an uncertain fate due to weak institutions and a lack of access to justice, information and other basic freedoms.

Warlike conflicts, domestic violence and crime not only pose an immediate threat to the lives of millions of people, but also worsen their living conditions in the long term. They affect agricultural yields, reduce available resources and diminish opportunities for education, healthcare and social participation.

It is therefore crucial that we actively work to build stable institutions and a functioning legal system. This is the only way we can guarantee peace and security and offer people the chance to live in dignity and prosperity.

What do you want to achieve with this goal?

It is very important to combat all forms of violence and drastically reduce violence-related mortality worldwide. In particular, it is of paramount importance to vigorously end the abuse and exploitation of children and all violence against them.

In addition, we must promote the rule of law at both national and international level and ensure that everyone has unhindered access to justice. Illegal financial and arms flows as well as organized crime must be decisively combated and pushed back.

Another key concern is the fight against corruption and bribery in all its forms. This requires a concerted effort to ensure that public decision-making processes are needs-based, inclusive, participatory and representative.

At the same time, we must ensure that public access to information is guaranteed and that the fundamental freedoms of every individual are protected. Only in this way can we build a fairer, safer and more transparent society in which all people are equally protected and respected.

Promoting peace

Promoting peace is a fundamental pillar for the well-being and development of a society. Peaceful and inclusive communities are crucial to promoting justice and inclusion and creating a sustainable future for all.

In such societies, all people have the opportunity to actively participate in society, regardless of their origin, gender, religion or other characteristics. It is crucial that the basic rights and needs of every individual are respected and protected.

By building peace and promoting inclusion, we can prevent conflict, fight injustice and lay the foundations for a prosperous society. Peace is not only the absence of conflict, but also the presence of justice, solidarity and mutual respect.

By promoting peaceful and inclusive societies, we lay the foundations for a better future in which everyone has the opportunity to reach their full potential and lead a dignified life.

Access to information

Access to information is important for an informed and free society. It is essential to ensure public access to information and to protect the fundamental freedoms of every individual.

In a society where access to information is free and unrestricted, people have the opportunity to make informed decisions, actively participate in public discussions and keep government transparent and accountable. This helps to strengthen democracy and consolidate trust in state institutions.

In addition, the protection of fundamental freedoms, such as freedom of expression and freedom of the press, is crucial to ensure that everyone can freely express their thoughts and access information without fear of reprisals or censorship.

By ensuring public access to information and protecting fundamental freedoms, we create an open and inclusive society in which human rights are respected and protected. This is crucial for the promotion of democracy, transparency and social justice.

Access to justice

Access to justice is a fundamental right of every human being, regardless of gender, ethnicity or social status. It is crucial that every individual has the opportunity to assert their rights in court and be treated fairly.

In a society where access to justice is guaranteed for all, people can defend their rights, fight injustice and resolve conflicts in a fair and transparent manner. This helps to strengthen trust in the legal system and lay the foundations for a just and peaceful society.

It is important to remove barriers to access to justice and ensure that no one is disadvantaged because of their gender, ethnicity or social status. This requires a comprehensive reform of the legal system and the provision of resources to ensure that everyone can effectively exercise their rights.

By enabling access to justice for all, we are committed to justice, equality and human dignity. This is crucial for the promotion of democracy and the rule of law in a society.

What is the situation in Germany?

Germany is a country with a functioning rule of law and a strong commitment to the fight against corruption. In international comparisons of perceived corruption in the public sector, Germany ranks 9th, which indicates that corruption is condemned here in principle and that state measures are taken against suspected corruption, even among high-ranking individuals.

The importance of a free press and reporting for the democratic control of political bodies cannot be overemphasized. Although freedom of the press is generally assured in Germany, it is worrying that violence, verbal attacks and intimidation attempts against media professionals have increased in recent years. According to Reporters Without Borders, there were 103 attacks in 2022 alone, the highest level since counting began in 2015, with the vast majority taking place in conspiracy ideology, anti-Semitic and extreme right-wing contexts.

A safe environment in which citizens can live without fear of arbitrariness and crime is a fundamental prerequisite for sustainable development. The aim is therefore to reduce the number of recorded crimes per 100,000 inhabitants to below 6,500 by 2030. In 2023, a total of around 5.9 million crimes were recorded by the police, which is the highest level since the 2016 police crime statistics. This included 77,819 cases of burglary, 754,489 cases of fraud and 154,541 cases of grievous bodily harm.

And what is the international picture?

There are many wars and hotbeds of conflict around the world that make it difficult to achieve the goal of 16. Two billion people, or a quarter of the world’s population, live in conflict-affected areas.

In addition to the ongoing war in Ukraine, the trouble spots include Afghanistan, Syria, Myanmar, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Central African Republic, Mali, Sudan, South Sudan, Ethiopia and Yemen.

As a result of the wars, many countries have increased their military spending. Global military spending rose to an impressive 2,240 billion US dollars in 2022, which corresponds to 2.2% of global GDP. In Germany, too, a special fund for the Bundeswehr was set up for the first time in order to better equip the armed forces.

In order to achieve SDG 16 by 2030, measures must be taken to strengthen the ability and trust of (state) institutions, among other things. Everyone can contribute to a strong democracy, for example by staying informed about current events and exercising their right to vote.


Overall, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development highlights the inextricable link between peace and sustainable development. However, despite this clear goal, there are many conflicts and wars around the world that make it difficult to achieve Goal 16. Around two billion people, a quarter of the world’s population, live in conflict-affected areas.

Rising military spending, which has risen to an impressive 2,240 billion US dollars worldwide in 2022, illustrates the challenges we face. Even in Germany, a special fund has been set up for the first time to better equip the Bundeswehr.

To achieve SDG 16 by 2030, it is essential to take measures that strengthen the capacity and trust of state institutions. Every individual can contribute to promoting a strong democracy by informing themselves and exercising their right to vote.

It is up to all of us to work together to create a world where peace and sustainable development can go hand in hand.

The overview of the 17 goals can be read here

Overview of the 17 goals


You can find information from the United Nations on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) here:

Information from the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development can be found here:

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