Sustainable Development Goals

 “Without peace, there can be no development. Without development, there can be no enduring peace.”[1]

The devastating impact of arms and armed violence is well documented. To acknowledge this, in 2015 the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) explicitly recognised the proliferation of illicit weapons as a global development issue. Among 17 ambitious goals to improve the lives of people around the world, Goal 16 promotes Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions. In particular, target 16.4 aims to significantly reduce illicit arms flows by 2030, and is just one measure to slow armed violence in order to achieve other SDGs. As the world has seen time and time again, even small numbers of illicit weapons can compromise the development and security of communities.

The Centre for Armed Violence Reduction sees Goal 16 as crucial to preventing gun death, injury and many other damaging effects on community and family safety. We strongly support Goal 16 and other SDG measures to reduce armed violence.

The SDGs are closely linked to the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) and the UN small arms Programme of Action (UNPoA), both of which provide clear guidelines for countries to reduce illicit arms flows and the misuse of weapons. The Centre works with governments around the world to adapt the ATT and the UNPoA to local contexts and to ensure that each state has the opportunity and the capacity to implement them. Even partial achievement of Goal 16 would reduce the impact of armed violence and help communities to meet a broad range of other SDGs.

United Nations

Photo Credit: Stephenie Hollyman

[1] The Report of the High-level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda


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