Sustainable Development Goal 16

Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions

Sustainable development is impossible without peace and justice. The interconnected impacts of violence, conflict, and crime divert trillions of dollars each year away from development efforts, and deny billions of people their full human rights. Peacekeeping, the rule of law, and judicial systems must be reinforced to protect the most vulnerable populations from all forms of violence, human trafficking, and exploitation.

UNU’s research on the changing nature of global violence provides insights into how humanitarian, development, and security actors need to adapt to reduce violence and its impact on society in the context of organised crime, terrorism, criminal violence, and rapid urbanisation. Our work on the drivers and impacts of migration is helping policymakers target weak legal protections for migrants and their families, and ensure their safety, dignity, and economic prosperity.

UN Photo / Sylvain Liechti


Cale Salih


“The nature of conflict is changing and these changes are challenging the existing conflict prevention toolbox of the United Nations. I want to help the UN find ways to adapt its tools to more effectively address contemporary conflicts.”

Katie Kuschminder


“Peace is an essential component for all individuals to live with dignity and freedom. My work at UNU on migration seeks solutions for individuals fleeing conflict and violence. I want refugees to be welcomed by strong global institutions that are able to effectively manage complex migration dynamics.”

Rebecca Brubaker


“Broadening and strengthening participation in multilateral institutions is essential for promoting international cooperation and peace. By undertaking policy research on sanctions and mediation, and advancing innovative levers within the UN system to support SDG 16, I am passionate about contributing to the 2030 agenda.”


UN Sanctions and Mediation

Mediation and UN sanctions are two essential policy instruments used by the UN in its efforts to prevent and resolve conflict. This project will create a better understanding of the inter-linkages between sanctions and mediation. In particular, it will bring to light the conditions under which sanctions complement or complicate mediation, and vice versa, and when and how these tools should be deployed, and how coordination can be improved.

Children and Extreme Violence

This project addresses the challenges of preventing the recruitment and use of children by contemporary non-state armed groups using extreme violence, and provides guidance for the effective release and reintegration of those children who come to be involved or associated with such groups.

Policy Coherence Dashboard on Migration and Development

Countries face distinct opportunities and challenges in maximising the development gains of migration. This dashboard aims to help local authorities better understand how migration and development-related policies interact across a variety of sectors, and to support them in enhancing policy coherence in the field of migration and development.