Democratic governance begins with the right of individuals to choose their path towards sustainable development, and focuses not only on the performance of institutions, but also on their legitimacy, adopting, to this end, an approach based on citizens' civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights.
Spanish Cooperation has adopted the commitments of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the New European Consensus on Development. The 17 SDGs and the 169 Targets of the 2030 Agenda constitute a comprehensive and indivisible framework for ending poverty in its multiple dimensions, for reducing inequalities, and for defending and promoting human rights and fundamental freedoms, sustainable models of production and consumption, the conservation of the planet and the fight against climate change.
SDG 16, Peace, justice and strong institutions seeks to promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels. Spanish Cooperation prioritizes Target 16.1 Significantly reduce all forms of violence and Target 16.6. Develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions, with corresponding lines of action.
Spanish Cooperation's Strategy for democratic governance, citizen participation and institutional development recognizes people's right to sustainable development, and indicates that, to deliver on this right, institutions must ensure access to basic services, enjoyment of political rights, and gender equality, taking into account, furthermore, respect for the sovereignty of the countries in which Spanish Cooperation undertakes interventions, in the framework of the principles and rules set forth in the international treaties on human rights that have been signed by Spain.
The general objective of this cooperation sector is to promote the quality of democracy and respect for human rights as well as the necessary capacities to foster development.
Its specific objectives include:
- Strengthening the capacities of public administrations to improve social cohesion
- Building capacities in the areas of public security and safety, access to justice, and human rights promotion
- Promoting decentralization and citizen participation
Spanish Cooperation's Fifth Master Plan (2018-2021) takes the 2030 Agenda as a roadmap, establishing the following cross-cutting principles for Spain's Cooperation: the human rights-based approach, gender equality, respect for cultural diversity, and environmental sustainability. Consequently, Spanish Cooperation will promote the empowerment of all people so that they may exercise their rights, and to ensure political participation, accountability, and non-discrimination on the grounds of gender, sexual orientation and gender identity, as well as on other grounds, such as disability.