Berlin, 26 September 2019 – Within the framework of the SDG Summit held by the United Nations from 24 to 25 September in New York, the ‘Global Forum for National SDG Advisory Bodies’ has been founded. The kick-off for the Forum was presented by Stephan Contius, Commissioner for the 2030 Agenda in the German Federal Ministry for the Environment (BMU), Annika Lindblom, Secretary General of the Finnish Sustainability Commission, Charles Nouhan, Chair of the Stakeholder Forum for a Sustainable Future, an NGO headquartered in the Netherlands and New York City, and Cristina Gallach, High Commissioner for the 2030 Agenda in Spain.
Contius supported the founding of the Forum and highlighted the positive experiences in Germany. As he outlined, sustainability councils are agents of change. “They facilitate dialogue between numerous actors and can tap into wide-ranging experiences and successes. Transferring this knowledge to others is key to accelerating change,” he explained. In the opinion of Charles Nouhan, sustainability councils provide valuable and effective impulses. This was apparent in particular in the quality of the countries’ respective Voluntary National Reviews. The Global Forum was also initiated in order to support creation of sustainability councils in countries where they did not yet exist.
The German Council for Sustainable Development (RNE) founded the Global Forum for National SDG Advisory Bodies together with the Finnish Sustainability Commission and in cooperation with UN DESA (United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs), as well as the Stakeholder Forum. More than 40 national institutions from all over the world have already pledged their support or committed to membership and others are reviewing participation. On the new website of the Global Forum, important politicians active in the area of sustainability have additionally expressed their support.
The Global Forum will be promoting national implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals around the world and facilitating topical partnerships. The aim of the exchange is to improve national and local solution approaches and make them more effective. The Global Forum will additionally assist national governments in more swiftly obtaining the expertise they need when it comes to effective approaches and solutions and entering into partnerships with pioneers. Councils and similar bodies are to be supported in their work of bolstering the respective national sustainability structures. Interdependency and follow-on effects resulting from pursuing the various national goals are also to be discussed.
“We see many elements that the national councils and bodies have in common. The experience of exchanging information with one another directly over the past weeks has shown that there is great need amongst the members for both ad hoc discussions as well as regular talks on areas of action and successful models,” explains RNE Secretary General Günther Bachmann.
During the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) in July 2019, Günther Bachmann and representatives from both UN DESA and the Stakeholder Forum presented their idea in a workshop. Following its positive reception, work has since continued on giving the idea more concrete shape.
The Global Forum is supported by the German Federal Government. Its administrative office will be attached to the Stakeholder Forum.
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