Beyond safeguarding rights, resolving disputes, and maintaining societal order, how can law promote humanity’s sustainable development? Particularly at the national level to the international level, University of Cambridge law supervisor Dr. Ashlee A. Stetser, an expert scholar of international law, analyzed how legal principles can propel the SDGs when interviewed with《The Icons》.
Within the United Nations’ 17 SDGs, Goal 16 “Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions” emphasizes promoting diverse societies, ensuring judicial equality, and establishing credible, inclusive systems. This goal aims to reduce violence, corruption, and organized crime while fostering efficient, accountable, and transparent institutions at all levels, guaranteeing equal access to remedies for everyone.
In the category of international law, Dr. Stetser emphasized that “equality is the main principle”, territory, sovereignty, and populations are indispensable elements that constitute a nation, and exchanges between nations must be based on “equality”. That emphasizes the equal status and independence of each nation in international affairs. Based on these logics, international law delineates the framework. “By strengthening the practice of these concepts, international law can lay the foundation for achieving the SDGs.”
Then Dr. Stetser also mentioned other equally important principles, such as “consent, responsibility and self-determination”. Nations make choices through democratic procedures, allowing them to consciously assume responsibilities such as climate change. They collaboratively formulate legal frameworks, fostering cooperation to achieve mutual sustainable development goals.
“These principles encourage nations to achieve common sustainable development goals, which includes respecting consultation and cooperation among nations, ensuring that each nation can play a role in promoting the SDGs.”
Dr. Stetser emphasized that the interaction of these different principles shapes the relationship between different nations, and understanding the correlation between these principles can help us better understand the challenges and opportunities of international law in implementing the SDGs:
“In the process of implementing the SDGs, international law is not only a legal framework binding national conduct, but also the key to promoting international cooperation and sustainable development. By practicing principles like equality, consent, and responsibility, we can establish a more robust international legal framework, propelling the shared goals of SDGs.”
Recommend for you: