In September 2015 Article 36 made a submission to the inquiry into the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their implementation by the UK parliament Select Committee on International Development. Using data collected for our ongoing project to map the participation of developing countries in multilateral forums, our submission addresses how the UK could address patterns of underrepresentation in these forums as part of SDG implementation.

Summary of Article 36’s paper:

  • The submission concentrates on the implementation of Goal 16 on promoting peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development. In particular it focuses on target 16.8 to “Broaden and strengthen the participation of developing countries in the institutions of global governance”. It addresses Goal 5 with respect to women’s full and effective participation (target 5.5) in these global processes.
  • There are a number of established linkages between disarmament/weapons issues and the pursuit of sustainable development (for example in the negative relationship between small arms proliferation and development, or the positive one between landmine clearance and post-conflict development).
  • The equal participation of developing countries in the multilateral processes that set the rules for how these issues are dealt with on a global scale is therefore crucial.
  • New analysis by Article 36, using data from the meetings of 13 multilateral forums over the last five years, shows clearly how developing countries are seriously underrepresented in these discussions, as are women and NGOs from developing countries.
  • The UK government, through development assistance or the work of other departments, should take a role in supporting programmes that promote equal participation at these and other multilateral forums.
  • The UK government should also support the consistent collection and monitoring of participation data, so that progress can be measured.
  • Towards the implementation of target 16.1 to reduce violence and associated death rates, the UK should support, as a global standard, the transparent and systematic recording of every casualty of armed violence as an individual.


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Select committee inquiry submission
September 2015

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