Report on the challenges associated with mercenaries, foreign fighters and PMSCs to the realization of SDG16
Working Group on the use of mercenaries
To the 73rd session of the General Assembly
Twice a year, the Working Group on the use of mercenaries issues calls for inputs to inform thematic studies to be presented at the Human Rights Council in its September session and at the General Assembly in October.
This report provides an overview of the Working Group’s findings in connection with Sustainable Development 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. Specific targets enumerated under Goal 16 include the promotion of the rule of law at the national and international levels and the assurance of equal access to justice for all. In addition, Goal 16 aims to significantly reduce illicit financial and arms flows, combat all forms of organized crime and ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels. It also aims to strengthen relevant national institutions, including through international cooperation, in order to build capacity at all levels, in particular in developing countries, to prevent violence and combat terrorism and crime.
The findings of the report provide important insights into the challenges associated with mercenaries, foreign fighters and private military and security companies (PMSCs), which remain serious obstacles to the achievement of Goal 16 and its various targets.
The report focuses on specific selected targets under Goal 16. Many of the Working Group’s findings are based on country visits conducted since the establishment of its mandate. The report provides a unique insight into the debilitating impact of non-State actors such as mercenaries, foreign fighters and PMSCs on the overall sustainable development agenda. The report is also intended to raise awareness of the need to effectively address these activities and it provides recommendations to assist in advancing progress in the achievement of Goal 16.