Why #5 and #16 are Crucial to a Better World: Thoughts on International Development Week 2021

Why #5 and #16 are Crucial to a Better World: Thoughts on International Development Week 2021

OTTAWA, FEBRUARY 12, 2021: The Parliamentary Centre is proud to be celebrating the 31st International Development Week along with Global Affairs Canada, Cooperation Canada, and our partners and peers in the Canadian international development community. 

This is an important week as we look back on a year of hard work. We all had to adapt and overcome the many hurdles thrown our way by COVID-19, but we persisted and developed structures to build back better.

This year, we’re pleased to highlight the UN’s sustainable development goals. These 17 goals represent a shared commitment that enables every country on the planet to collaborate to improve the lives of all. Every single SDG is important to development, but for the Parliamentary Centre, two are absolutely critical for achieving progress on all of them. These are: 

  • Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls and 
  • Goal 16: Access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.

Take a moment to look at every single goal and ask what would happen if we removed numbers 5 and 16. We quickly realize that we cannot proceed without the voices and contributions of women and without the institutions necessary for accountability and inclusion.  

The Parliamentary Centre believes wholeheartedly that inclusive and accountable institutions where decisions take into account the talents, experiences and networks of women and men lead to better development outcomes. Study after study points to this.  

By supporting inclusive, accountable, democratic institutions and addressing the barriers to the full participation of women and men we are equipping people with the skills they need to make representative, evidence-based decisions. After all, when everyone is brought to the table, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, or religion, better, more sustainable development outcomes can be achieved and experienced by everyone.

The Parliamentary Centre reminds everyone of the importance of prioritizing support for inclusive institutions, especially during the global pandemic. That’s why we have joined with democracy support organizations all over the world in calling on governments to #DefendDemocracy so that it is not a casualty of the pandemic. Effective and inclusive parliaments are the best vaccination against corruption and present unprecedented opportunities to deliver effective response and recovery initiatives. 

Inclusive institutions are indeed crucial to building a better world!  

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Contact: Nicholas Leiper


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