The video presents a real-life picture of a rural community in Karamoja region in Uganda – a region characterized by a cycle of violent conflicts and worst human development indicators in the country, and where the youth are at the center of violence, as perpetrators and victims. It brings out the reality, that in some places, communities are not yet aware of what SDGs are; “what is SDGs”? The expression “For us SDGs left us behind” affirms the need to ensure that all communities are part of the process. It indicates the need to enhance efforts towards peace if the SDG goals are to be realized. The response to the question “what does peace mean to you” further affirm the need to localize SDGs. With the intervention of CECORE, the organization has worked with the youth and transformed them from notorious warriors known for cattle raiding and killing to champions of peace in the area. The powerful stories of change as testified by the youth are simply amazing. This has been through a two-way approach of addressing the root causes of conflicts (mindset) and addressing economic livelihoods (key drivers of conflict among the youth). This effort however remains a drop in the ocean.
As stated by the UN, the SDGs – also known as ‘Agenda 2030’ – are ‘a universal call for action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity’.6 The SDGs comprise 17 goals and were adopted by UN
member states in September 2015. While SDG 16 is specifically related to peaceful,just, and inclusive societies, many targets under other SDGs – for instance those on inequality and gender responsiveness are also crucial for realising
SDG 16. Therefore, the term ‘SDG 16+’ has been coined to encompass SDG 16 and all peace-related goals and targets across Agenda 2030. The innovating element of the SDGs, as compared to the Millennium Development Goals, is its attention to new areas, such as climate change, economic inequality, sustainable consumption, and peace and justice as key pillars for sustainable development.
With the recognition that the goals are interconnected, Agenda 2030 is a call on governments and all other partners to secure societies that are peaceful, just, and inclusive.
SDG 16+ provides a framework to strengthen and link up actions on a range of peace-related issues. Still, as recognised by practitioners, ‘it will not drive change on its own. It depends on change-makers and reformers, both within and outside government, to identify and take action on key obstacles to peace, justice and inclusion in their own contexts; as well as integrating the global agenda into
national plans and processes’.7