SIM Social Impact Movement

Why Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions Matter

Author: Gabi Jonikas

In Miami and the rest of the United States, it can be easy to take freedoms for granted. In not just the United States, not just Miami, there are communities with peace, just, strong institutions that have fair governmental structures. However, there are plenty of nations where citizens do not have basic freedoms like freedom of speech or freedom of assembly. Citizens simply have to sit back and accept the fact that they have no freedom, no power to fight against institutionalized oppression or violence. Peace, justice, and strong institutions matter, not only because every human should be guaranteed the right to safety, but because the human race will grow stronger if everyone feels safe and protected.

Weak Institutions

Corruption is the main feature of institutions that make them weak, lacking justice and peace. Additionally, oppression, whether of marginalized groups or of all citizens, weakens institutions and causes a lack of safety for entire communities of individuals. There are many countries that could be considered to have weak institutions, and many are developing countries that do not have established, independent, fair governments. Because it is often the responsibility of the government to do things like tax everyday people and use that money to fund projects within the community, in developing countries, corrupt leaders can take over and keep the money of the people for themselves, adding to their own personal wealth. Nations as a whole cannot be blamed for having weak institutions: instead, it is the fault of leaders who are willing to take advantage of people, incite violence, and generally prevent peace or justice.

The Lasting Impact of Violence

Violence in countries with weak institutions is common, whether they are developing countries, or fully established countries with war zones and common violent acts being performed. In countries that have a history of violence, it is common for people to flee and become refugees in other nations. Being surrounded by normalized violence and murder enacted by one’s own government is a natural reason to want to escape to a different nation. However, there is a large percentage of refugees who are sent back to their home countries and forced to remain in the violence because safer nations will not accept and house refugees. The only solution to this is to establish stronger institutions worldwide, so that less people will need to become refugees in the first place, and so that countries that accept some refugees are able to accept as many people as needed.

The Benefit of Strong Institutions

Establishing peace, justice, and strong institutions for every nation worldwide sounds daunting, but it is the sixteenth sustainable development goal of the United Nations. In order to promote a better, safer world, the United Nations hopes that strong institutions can be established by the year 2030. Strong institutions with peace and justice include laws protecting generally marginalized groups, removing all corrupt leaders from governmental office, protections of the rights and freedoms of individuals, and providing resources to citizens who are unable to have their basic human needs fulfilled. This goal matters because it will allow for the betterment of all societies on Earth, which is necessary as climate change grows worse.

A Future of Peace and Justice

For a near future of peace and justice worldwide, a lot of change must occur during this decade. The pandemic has hindered some efforts by the United Nations to accomplish some sustainable development goals, but statistics are still improving when it comes to the amount of impoverished people in the world. Putting in the effort for fair government and equal, equitable freedoms for all is necessary to accomplish, whether in this decade or in the next. Progress can be made if people in government dedicate themselves to accomplishing these goals, and prioritizing peace and justice for everyone. The future is largely determined by governmental decisions, so it is more important than ever to be politically involved, supporting peace and justice.