Goal 16 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is essentially a rule of law goal. Rule of law is required as a framework to achieve and maintain peace and good governance and is inherent to the achievement of equal access to justice. Access to justice in its broadest sense reflects and encompasses the need to ensure equality, inclusion and accountability in the implementation of all the other SDGs if development is to be truly sustainable. Rule of law creates an enabling environment for development ensuring mechanisms are in place to facilitate access to justice and other development outcomes.
Women's organizations, governments and United Nations entities celebrated the 15th anniversary of Security Council Resolution 1325. This landmark resolution stated that women's participation, security and protection were essential in the prevention and resolution of armed conflict. This resolution was much heralded at the time and was followed by seven additional resolutions on women, peace and security. However, civil society organizations have observed again and again that these strong words have not been translated into action.