Skip to main content

Ulaanbaatar Declaration on Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies in Asia and Beyond

1

Ulaanbaatar Declaration on Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies
in Asia and Beyond (SDG 16+)
We, the C ivil S ociety participants of the Ulaanbaatar Democracy Forum (UB DF) 2019 , having met in Ulaanbaatar,
Mongolia on 26 – 28 February 2019 under the theme “Promoting Peace, Human Rights and Democracy through the
SDG 16+: Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies in Asia and beyond”;
1. Expressing our deep appreciatio n to the organizers of the UBDF, including Asia Development Alliance (ADA),
Asia Democracy Network (ADN), the Permanent Secretariat of the Community of Democracies (PSCD), the
United Nations Development Programme ( UNDP ) , in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
(MoFA ) of Mongolia and Republic of Korea, the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), National
Human Rights Commission of Mongolia (NHRCM) and Open Society Fo rum (OSF) in Mongolia;
2. Expressing our gratitude to the Center for Human Rights and Development (CHRD), the local host of the
UBDF 2019;
3. Acknowledging Mongolia’s Millennium Development Goal ( MDG ) 9 on “ Strengthening Human Rights and
Fostering Democratic Governance ” , which was the predecessor of Goal 16 of the UN 2030 Sustainable
Development Agenda , and expressing our appreciation to the Government of Mongolia for its leadership role
in the promotion of democracy, human rights and anti – corruption in line with the Goal 16;
4. Reaffirming the C all to A ction contained in the Busan Declaration on “ Peaceful , Just and Inclusive Societies
in Asia and Beyond (SDG 16+) ” adopted at the Busan Democracy Forum (BuDF) o n January 24, 2018;
5. Welcoming the important global initiatives on the SDGs by various inter – governmental organizations, civil
society organizations , multi – stakeholder partnerships such as the International I nstitute for Democracy and
Electoral Assistance (I DEA ) , Open Government Partnership (OGP), United Nations Development Programme
(UNDP), the Global Alliance for Reporting Progress on Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies including
assessing the state of the implementation of SDG16+ in Asia , Pathfinders on Peaceful, Just and Inclusive
Societies; KOICA’s Global SDG 16 Monitoring Project, the CIVICUS Monitor ; World Values Survey,
International Center for Not – for – Profit Law (ICNL); Varieties of Democracy (V – Dem); Transparency
International; Transparency, Accountability and Participation (TAP) Network; and Forus International;
6. Welcoming the progress made regarding the implementation of the SDGs, especia lly Goal 16 as illustrated
by the governments of Indonesia, Mongolia and Nepal;
7. Recognizing the role of sub – national and local governments in achieving the SDG s through Goal 16 by
ensuring the availability of, and access to, high – quality disaggregated dat a and meaningful participation of
diverse stakeholders suc h as women, children, youth and other disadvantaged communities , in accordance
with the fundamental principle of leaving no one behind ;
8. Recognizing the link between human rights and the SDGs, and welcoming the initiative of the UN Human
Rights Council and the submission of the report by the UN Office of High – Commissioner for Human Rights
( OHCHR ) “ Draft guidelines for States on the effective implementation of the right to participate in public
affai rs ” (201 8 ) as important and useful tools for the promotion of civic participation and engagement in
SDGs ;
9. Recognizing the intrinsic linkages between the goals related to inequality such as Goal 5 (Gender i nequality),
Goal 10 (Economic ine quality) and Goal 16 (Political i nequality) ; and emphasizing the importance of tackling

2

the increasing inequalities within and among the countries as a cross – cutting issue in the implementation of
the SDGs ;
10. Recognizing the importance of gender equality ( G oal 5) as an essential enabler of all other SDGs , and
stressing the importance of women’s meaningful participation in the realization of the 2030 Agenda for
Sustainable Development , and other international frameworks and mechanisms such as the UN Security
Council’s Resolution (1325) on Women, Peace and Security;
11. C oncerned with the shrinking civic space in Asia and globally, in particular the increasing legal and financial
restrictions imposed on civil society, and the criminalization and suppression of human rights defenders and
democracy advocates, despite the international ly agreed commitments in the UN 2030 Agenda su ch as the
Target 16.7 (on responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision – making ) and Target 16.10
(on protecting fundam ental freedoms) and , among others;
12. R ecognizing the import ance of a holistic whole – of – government approach to the SDGs , including sub – national
and local government s , parliament, judiciary and other public institutions;
13. Recognizing the important role and responsibilities that public institutions such as : election bod ies , national
human rights institution s (NHRI) , anti – corruption agenc ies , fair trade commission , political parties, the press
and media , have in the implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sus tainable Development ;
14. Recognizing the importance of an inclusive whole – of – society approach to the SDGs, involving all
stakeholders, e specially civil society, as outlined in SDG 17.17 “ encourage and promote effective public, public –
private and civil societ y partnerships, building on the experience and resourcing strategies of partnerships ” ;
15. Welcoming the UN Secretary General’s Agenda for Disarmament “Securing our Common Future” which put
an emphasis on the linkage among disarmament, arms control and the SDG s on May 2018;
16. Welcoming the outcome of the PyeongChang Global Peace Forum (PGPF) which was a civil society – led
initiative to integrate peace and disarmament agenda into the SDGs, including the PyeongChang Declaration
for Peace 2019: Sustainable Future fo r All – Ending War, Guaranteeing Peace, the Resolution for Sustaining
Peace Process in the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia, and the Framework of the PyeongChang Agenda
for Peace (PCAP) 2030 adopted in PyeongChang, Republic of Korea, on February 11, 2019;
17. Welcoming the voluntary initiatives by some governments to create national SDG 18 to address issues
related to security and disarmament such as unexploded ordinance (UXO) in Laos and landmines in
Cambodia;
18. Welcoming the initiative of the Tokyo Democracy Forum (TDF) to be held on the 21 Apr il, 2019 in Tok y o,
Japan, as part of the Civil 20 (C20) meeting in preparation for the G20 Summit (Osaka, 28 – 29 June 2019);
19. Deeply concerned about the tensions and current conflicts throughout the world, especially the escalating
armed conflict between Ind ia and Pakistan, the two neighboring states with nuclear weapons in South Asia,
impacting more than 1.5 billion population in the region , and demand ing for immediate end to any military
actions and calling for engagement of parliamentarians, civil society and all the key stakeholders for conflict
transformation and peace – building in the troubled region;

3

We , the Civil Society Participants, Call Upon :
The UN H igh – Level Political Forum (H LPF )
1) To regard SDG 16 as a permanent global cross – cutting priority to be reviewed on an annual basis together
with the SDG 17 from 2020 onwards;
2) To ensure that the SDG 16 is implemented not in isolation but in strong links other related goals and targets
in line with the integrated and indivisible nature of the SDGs;
3) To develop ways to introduce the existing UN human rights monitoring mechanisms such as the Universal
Periodic Review (UPR) and special procedures of the UN Human Rights Council and UN human rights treaty
monitoring bodies into the Follow – up and Review (FuR) of the 2030 Agenda ;
4) To institutionalize the participation of sub – national and local governments by creating a mechanism
‘Voluntary Local Review (VLR) ’ along with the current V oluntary National Review (V NR ) designed mainly
for national governments;
5) To pro vide more official space for robust participation of civil society and other non – government
stakeholders in VNRs, including official submission of reports beforehand and more time for interventions
during VNRs ;
The Asia Pacific Forum on Sustainable Devel opment (APFSD)
6) T o regard Goal 16 as a permanent goal together with the Goal 17 , to integrate the recommendations from
the UPR and human rights treaty bodies and to institutionalize the participation of sub – national governments
for peer review at the regional level ;
The UN Economic Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) and its member states
7) T o make SDG 16 and other cross – cutting goals related to inequalities such as Goal 5 ( G ender Ine quality) and
10 ( E conomic Ine quality) an i ntegral component of the Regional Roadmap for Implementing the UN 2030
Agenda and others policies on the SDGs ;
8) T o strengthen mechanisms for civil society participation by creating a formal CSO advisory group, to provide
recommendations and advice on the effective and efficient implementation of the Regional Roadmap 2030
as well as the right to participate in public affairs in the region ;
The United Nations Development Program me (U NDP)
9) To continue to prioritize Goal 16 in their work , in terms of providing technical support , capacity – building,
monitoring , and advocacy in the spirit of partnership as outlined in the targets of SDG 17 , with a focus on
policy and institutional coherence, multi – stakeholder partnership s , disaggregated data for monitoring ;
National and Sub – national Governments
10) To establish robust governance mechanisms for SDGs relying on meaningful participation of all stakeholders,
including civil society, in p lanning, budgeting, implementing, monitoring and reporting processes at national
and sub – national levels, as well as on strong systems for effective development cooperation with democratic
ownership and mutual accountability essential for policy and instit utional coherence (Target 17.13) and
inclusive multi – stakeholder partnerships (Target 17.17);
11) To meaningfully localize the SDGs through a human rights – based, conflict and gender – sensitive approach in
their development planning, implementation and evaluation ;

4

12) To safeguard civic space and to create enabling environment for CSOs to play a proactive role as independent
development actors and human rights defender to contribute to the realization of the SDGs in accordance
with the principles of develop ment effectiveness and UN declaration on human rights defenders (1998);
N ational and S ub – national P arliaments / Council and P arliamentarians
13) To deepen their understanding of the intri nsic linkages between peace, human rights, democracy and t he
SDGs , and i nvite parliamentarians and their organizations such as the Inter – Parliamentary Union (IPU) , A sia –
Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF), and ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR) to play a
greater role for advancing participatory democracy and human rights through Goal 16 in partnership with
the civil society organizations ;
Election Management Bodies
14) T o deepen their understanding of the intrinsi c linkages between peace, human rights, democracy and the
SDGs to ensure ‘responsive, inclusive, parti cipatory and representative decision – making at all levels’ (Target
16.7) by conducting free, fair and inclusive elections, and guaranteeing election monitoring and verification
by the independent civil society organizations ;
Judiciary and Law Enforcement B odies
15) T o deepen their understanding of the intrinsic linkages between peace, human rights, democracy and the
SDGs, and invite them to play a greater role to ‘promote the rule of law and to ensure equal access to justice
for all ’ (Target 16.3) in accordance with international human rights law and principles ;
National Human Rights Institutions ( NHRIs)
16) T o contribute to the full realization of the SDGs by providing a source of accurate data about human rights
issues and situation a nd developing human rights – based indicators for effective monitoring of the
implementation of the SDGs at the national and sub – national level, and invite the Asian gov ernments to
create NHRI s or strengthen the NHRI’s independence and effectiveness in accordance with the Paris
Principles ;
The Open Government Partnership (OGP)
17) T o continue supporting civil society stakeholders to ensure genuine co – creation with government s, of
commitments for transparent governance , ensuring the integrat ion of Goal 16 and other cross – cutting
targets related to the right to public information ; and invite other Asian governments to join the OGP to
demonstrate their commitment to transparent, accountabl e and participatory governance ;
Anti – C orruption Agencies
18) T o strengthen the independence and their institutional capacities for efficient investigation and prosecution
of political corruption cases, and support active participation of citizens and CSOs in mitigating, preventing
and fighting corruption at all levels, including in the ratification and effective implementation of the UN
Convention A gainst Corruption (UN CAC ) ;
The Private Sector
19) E specially from the extractive industries , to implement the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human
Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) , as outlined in the para. 67 of the UN 2030 Agenda
and the Child Rights and Business Principles (CRBP) , to ensure the inclusive decision – making of citizens,
local and indigenous communities towards peace and sustainable development ;
20)

5

Mongolia
21) T he State Great Hural (Parliament) , the G overnment of Mongolia , as well as the c apital c ity municipality of
Ulaanbaatar , to support the organization of the UBDF in 2020 aimed at promoting democracy, human rights
and anti – corruption and other cross – cutting SDGs through Goal 16 , among the countries that are facing
similar challenges in the political transition process ;
The Republic of Korea
22) T o continue to promote democracy worldwide, leading by example, including by supporting multi –
stakeholder forums on democracy in Asia as initiated by ADA, ADN and the P SCD , with the Busan Democracy
Forum (BuDF) 2018 and Ula anbaatar Democracy Forum (UBDF) 2019;
Finally, we commit ourselves to the transformative vision of ‘peaceful, just and inclusive societies which are free
from fear and violence’ through effective implementation of the S DG 16+ in constructive partnership with
governments, international organizations, multi – stakeholder s and ot her CSOs .

Goal 16. Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide
access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
o 16.1 Significantly reduce all forms of violence and rela ted death rates everywhere
o 16.2 End abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children
o 16.3 Promote the rule of law at the national and international levels and ensure equal access to
justice for all
o 16.4 By 2030, significantly reduce illicit financial and arms flows, strengthen the recovery and return
of stolen assets and combat all forms of organized crime
o 16.5 Substantially reduce corruption and bribery in all their forms
o 16.6 Develop effective, account able and transparent institutions at all levels
o 16.7 Ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision – making at all levels
o 16.8 Broaden and strengthen the participation of developing countries in the institutions of global
governance
o 16.9 By 2030, provide legal identity for all, including birth registration
o 16.10 Ensure public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms, in accordance with
national legislation and international agreements
o 16.a Strengthen relevant national i nstitutions, including through international cooperation, for
building capacity at all levels, in particular in developing countries, to prevent violence and combat
terrorism and crime
o 16.b Promote and enforce non – discriminatory laws and policies for susta inable development

Co – organizers of UBDF
l Asia Development Alliance (ADA) ada.secretariat@gmail.com / https://ada2030.org/
l Asia Democracy Network (ADN) asiademocracynetwork@gmail.com / https://adnasia.org
l Center for Human Rights and Development (CHRD), Mongolia
chrd@mongolnet.mn / htt ps://chrdmongolia.wordpress.com/
l Permanent Secretariat of the Community of Democracies (PSCD)
info@community – democracies.org / www.community – democr acies.org

-->