Partnerships, Politics and International Collaboration

In 2015, the United Nations ratified the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, a commitment to eradicate world hunger and poverty by 2030, while ensuring greater equality, preserving the environment and guaranteeing clean drinking water and decent work for all. Although UN Secretary-General António Guterres gave a sober reckoning in 2019 – “We are not on track” – the foundations are nevertheless in place. The community of states is promising a decade of action.

Topic News

How the international community must now pull together to deliver sustainability

In September 2019, the world’s heads of state and government produced an ambivalent interim statement on the 2030 Agenda and its 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): hunger and inequality have increased worldwide; climate change, loss of biodiversity and littering of the oceans could have catastrophic consequences for humanity.

The SDGs, however, are still having an impact, came the verdict. Because they apply to all nations of the world, they have in many places been taken up by national polices. Global corporations are planning more sustainably, investments in delivering the SDGs are growing, while civil society, cities, communities and young people are networking on a global scale.

But the SDGs cannot be achieved with the present economic and societal models. For this reason, in the Global Sustainable Development Report 2019, a team of scientists presents six entry points for transformation: if societies, for instance, put human welfare front and centre, develop no-carbon energy for all or a sustainable food system, a force for change can emerge.

Recommendations & statements

Our Common Agenda – Impetus for an inclusive and networked multilateralism for sustainable development

Statement by Council members in collaboration with Dr Marianne Beisheim (SWP) and Dr Silke Weinlich (DIE); Berlin, 20 January 2022

How the German Sustainable Development Strategy points the way

As it aims to implement the 2030 Agenda, the federal government is guided by the German Sustainable Development Strategy, last updated in 2021. The RNE welcomes the refinement and supplementation of key goals and indicators as well as the new focus on the major areas of transformation. To reinforce these areas for joint action, a systematic realignment is now required and the guiding principle of sustainability must be boldly, resolutely and consistently implemented in practice across departments.

In various statements, the German Council for Sustainable Development had presented comprehensive recommendations on the further development of the German Sustainable Development Strategy, such that it can act as a genuine roadmap for the future.

Furthermore, the German government should also push for all other EU countries to apply the 2030 Agenda. The member states must verify each other’s progress through peer reviews and embed the agenda in their policies. In Germany the RNE organised peer reviews in 2009, 2013 and 2018, with a team of independent international experts scrutinising the sustainability policy.

Recommendations & statements

Jahrzehnt der Nachhaltigkeit ambitioniert eröffnen!

Erste Empfehlungen des Nachhaltigkeitsrats zur Weiterentwicklung der Deutschen Nachhaltigkeitsstrategie 2020/2021; Berlin, 13.05.2020

Recommendations & statements

Für eine ambitionierte europäische und globale Nachhaltigkeitspolitik – Deutschlands besondere Verantwortung

Beitrag des RNE zur Sitzung des Staatssekretärsausschusses für nachhaltige Entwicklung am 27. Mai 2019 zum Thema „Europäische und globale Nachhaltigkeitspoli...

How the RNE supports the implementation of the 2030 Agenda

Strengthening multilateral cooperation is imperative. Already back in November 2016, the RNE initiated the Open SDGclub.Berlin, which met for the second time in 2019. Participants came from all over the world – from sustainability councils, civil-society networks, business and local governments – to share their ideas and experience of implementing the 2030 Agenda and forge new partnerships.

In 2019, the RNE developed the idea further and took the lead in setting up the Global Forum for National SDG Advisory Bodies. It consists of government-appointed, but also purely civic bodies aimed at bringing together the broadest possible spectrum of stakeholders and advising governments, as well as influencing society with ideas for implementing the SDGs.