16.1 Reduce war and violence
Significantly reduce all forms of violence and related death rates everywhere
Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
Violence has many faces. Individuals and criminal groups perpetrate violence, as do terrorists, armies, governments and their state institutions.
Wherever violence and oppression are found, there can be no sustainable development. It denies people the chance to take charge of their own lives and decide freely. If there is no security, and people fear for their possessions, their liberty or even their lives, everything else is of secondary importance. Many people around the world are fleeing their homes and living in poverty. In many countries people cannot rely on state institutions which are arbitrary and corrupt. And many births are never officially registered, which makes it impossible for these people to exercise their rights. Around the world, criminal structures have emerged in the course of globalisation and are causing tremendous harm.
What must be done?
The goal of achieving peaceful and equitable societies must be pursued by governments, civil society and citizens at local, national and international level. All forms of violence must be reduced and conflicts resolved using non-violent means. The ‘to do’ list is long: the rule of law, freedom of opinion and human rights must be promoted, while corruption and discrimination must be tackled. The international community must work to end violent conflicts and to stem the illegal arms trade. Societies can only be just if they are based on the right to equality, and if they specifically foster and protect the weaker members of society.
Facts and figures