archive

object(WP_Query)#4555 (55) { ["query"]=> array(1) { ["tag"]=> string(20) "vereinte-nationen-en" } ["query_vars"]=> array(66) { ["tag"]=> string(20) "vereinte-nationen-en" ["error"]=> string(0) "" ["m"]=> string(0) "" ["p"]=> int(0) ["post_parent"]=> string(0) "" ["subpost"]=> string(0) "" ["subpost_id"]=> string(0) "" ["attachment"]=> string(0) "" ["attachment_id"]=> int(0) ["name"]=> string(0) "" ["pagename"]=> string(0) "" ["page_id"]=> int(0) ["second"]=> string(0) "" ["minute"]=> string(0) "" ["hour"]=> string(0) "" ["day"]=> int(0) ["monthnum"]=> int(0) ["year"]=> int(0) ["w"]=> int(0) ["category_name"]=> string(0) "" ["cat"]=> string(0) "" ["tag_id"]=> int(350) ["author"]=> string(0) "" ["author_name"]=> string(0) "" ["feed"]=> string(0) "" ["tb"]=> string(0) "" ["paged"]=> int(0) ["meta_key"]=> string(0) "" ["meta_value"]=> string(0) "" ["preview"]=> string(0) "" ["s"]=> string(0) "" ["sentence"]=> string(0) "" ["title"]=> string(0) "" ["fields"]=> string(0) "" ["menu_order"]=> string(0) "" ["embed"]=> string(0) "" ["category__in"]=> array(0) { } ["category__not_in"]=> array(0) { } ["category__and"]=> array(0) { } ["post__in"]=> array(0) { } ["post__not_in"]=> array(0) { } ["post_name__in"]=> array(0) { } ["tag__in"]=> array(0) { } ["tag__not_in"]=> array(0) { } ["tag__and"]=> array(0) { } ["tag_slug__in"]=> array(1) { [0]=> string(20) "vereinte-nationen-en" } ["tag_slug__and"]=> array(0) { } ["post_parent__in"]=> array(0) { } ["post_parent__not_in"]=> array(0) { } ["author__in"]=> array(0) { } ["author__not_in"]=> array(0) { } ["search_columns"]=> array(0) { } ["meta_query"]=> array(0) { } ["ignore_sticky_posts"]=> bool(false) ["suppress_filters"]=> bool(false) ["cache_results"]=> bool(true) ["update_post_term_cache"]=> bool(true) ["update_menu_item_cache"]=> bool(false) ["lazy_load_term_meta"]=> bool(true) ["update_post_meta_cache"]=> bool(true) ["post_type"]=> string(0) "" ["posts_per_page"]=> int(12) ["nopaging"]=> bool(false) ["comments_per_page"]=> string(2) "50" ["no_found_rows"]=> bool(false) ["order"]=> string(4) "DESC" } ["tax_query"]=> object(WP_Tax_Query)#6244 (6) { ["queries"]=> array(1) { [0]=> array(5) { ["taxonomy"]=> string(8) "post_tag" ["terms"]=> array(1) { [0]=> string(20) "vereinte-nationen-en" } ["field"]=> string(4) "slug" ["operator"]=> string(2) "IN" ["include_children"]=> bool(true) } } ["relation"]=> string(3) "AND" ["table_aliases":protected]=> array(1) { [0]=> string(21) "wp_term_relationships" } ["queried_terms"]=> array(1) { ["post_tag"]=> array(2) { ["terms"]=> array(1) { [0]=> string(20) "vereinte-nationen-en" } ["field"]=> string(4) "slug" } } ["primary_table"]=> string(8) "wp_posts" ["primary_id_column"]=> string(2) "ID" } ["meta_query"]=> object(WP_Meta_Query)#6246 (9) { ["queries"]=> array(0) { } ["relation"]=> NULL ["meta_table"]=> NULL ["meta_id_column"]=> NULL ["primary_table"]=> NULL ["primary_id_column"]=> NULL ["table_aliases":protected]=> array(0) { } ["clauses":protected]=> array(0) { } ["has_or_relation":protected]=> bool(false) } ["date_query"]=> bool(false) ["queried_object"]=> object(WP_Term)#6242 (12) { ["term_id"]=> int(350) ["name"]=> string(17) "Vereinte Nationen" ["slug"]=> string(20) "vereinte-nationen-en" ["term_group"]=> int(0) ["term_taxonomy_id"]=> int(350) ["taxonomy"]=> string(8) "post_tag" ["description"]=> string(0) "" ["parent"]=> int(0) ["count"]=> int(6) ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" ["term_order"]=> string(1) "0" ["custom_order"]=> string(4) "9999" } ["queried_object_id"]=> int(350) ["request"]=> string(1679) " SELECT SQL_CALC_FOUND_ROWS wp_posts.ID FROM wp_posts LEFT JOIN wp_term_relationships ON (wp_posts.ID = wp_term_relationships.object_id) JOIN wp_icl_translations wpml_translations ON wp_posts.ID = wpml_translations.element_id AND wpml_translations.element_type = CONCAT('post_', wp_posts.post_type) WHERE 1=1 AND ( wp_term_relationships.term_taxonomy_id IN (350,314) ) AND ((wp_posts.post_type = 'post' AND (wp_posts.post_status = 'publish' OR wp_posts.post_status = 'acf-disabled'))) AND ( ( ( wpml_translations.language_code = 'en' OR ( wpml_translations.language_code = 'de' AND wp_posts.post_type IN ( 'event','team' ) AND ( ( ( SELECT COUNT(element_id) FROM wp_icl_translations WHERE trid = wpml_translations.trid AND language_code = 'en' ) = 0 ) OR ( ( SELECT COUNT(element_id) FROM wp_icl_translations t2 JOIN wp_posts p ON p.id = t2.element_id WHERE t2.trid = wpml_translations.trid AND t2.language_code = 'en' AND ( p.post_status = 'publish' OR p.post_status = 'private' OR ( p.post_type='attachment' AND p.post_status = 'inherit' ) ) ) = 0 ) ) ) ) AND wp_posts.post_type IN ('post','page','attachment','wp_block','wp_template','wp_template_part','wp_navigation','document','event','member','projects','team' ) ) OR wp_posts.post_type NOT IN ('post','page','attachment','wp_block','wp_template','wp_template_part','wp_navigation','document','event','member','projects','team' ) ) GROUP BY wp_posts.ID ORDER BY wp_posts.menu_order, wp_posts.post_date DESC LIMIT 0, 12 " ["posts"]=> &array(5) { [0]=> object(WP_Post)#6241 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(98464) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "8" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2024-02-06 17:51:57" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2024-02-06 16:51:57" ["post_content"]=> string(6848) "Co-facilitators Germany and Namibia currently have the seriously tricky task of preparing the Summit of the Future, set for September 2024, for the United Nations (UN). On 26 January 2024, German representative Antje Leendertse and Namibian representative Neville Melvin Gertze also published the zero draft of the so-called Pact for the Future, which is due to be adopted by the Heads of State and Government in September. This draft forms the basis for all negotiations that will now follow, which will no doubt be lengthy and laborious, as the final version requires a consensus decision among UN members. The Pact for the Future inherently builds on the SDG Summit from autumn 2023 and as such is part of the United Nations’ Our Common Agenda process, which began in 2021 (see also RNE statement “Our Common Agenda – Impetus for an inclusive and networked multilateralism for sustainable development”). A key aim of the summit is to strengthen international cooperation, which has been manifestly weakened by numerous global conflicts and events. The task at hand now is to reverse this weakening and restore trust, but also to reinforce multilateralism and prepare it for future challenges. On this, the UN website says the following: “Unity around our shared principles and common goals is both crucial and urgent. The Summit of the Future is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to enhance cooperation on critical challenges and address gaps in global governance, reaffirm existing commitments including to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the United Nations Charter, and move towards a reinvigorated multilateral system that is better positioned to positively impact people’s lives.”

Scepticism and goodwill

It is a major undertaking that is bound to be viewed with scepticism by some of the member states. After all, on the one hand, everything agreed in the Pact for the Future is only morally binding, and on the other, there are a great number of obstacles that have to be cleared at once, not least overcoming the rifts that have arisen through current conflicts. But one thing it is hoped will ease the scepticism is the fact that a follow-up process is already envisaged for the draft agreement. In other words, whatever is ratified in September cannot subsequently just fizzle out; instead, its implementation progress will be reviewed at the UN General Assembly in 2026. As well as a political chapeau, the zero draft has five chapters: 1. Sustainable development and financing for development, 2. International peace and security, 3. Science, technology and innovation and digital cooperation, 4. Youth and future generations, and 5. Transforming global governance.

Reforming global and regional financial institutions

“Many points in the draft are still quite vague and unambitious in terms of their purpose and target audience. It will now be the job of the countries to change that by September”, says RNE (German Council for Sustainable Development) member Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul. “From the Council’s perspective, three elements are particularly interesting: firstly, the suggestion to conduct a review of the so-called debt architecture – up to now, international financial institutions like the IMF had always bristled at the idea of the UN dealing with such issues. But now we can hope for better debt-relief proposals for countries in the Global South. Secondly, the multilateral development banks are also expected to deliver SDG reports moving forward – that is, on their progress towards realising the sustainability goals and the 2030 Agenda. And thirdly, a proposed UN sustainability council is to be discussed – that would be a powerful signal.” According to the zero draft, this council, even if it is not formally called that, will convene every two years, bringing together the G20 states and the financial institutions to keep the 2030 Agenda on track. The text also proposes that the Global South should have a say in financial matters, which have thus far been decided predominantly by the North. Furthermore, this will now allow regional development banks to play a greater role in the global financial architecture – a position that also chimes with the recommendations of the German Council for Sustainable Development (see also RNE statement Financing the Transformation and Sustainable Development). “Given its soaring debt, the Global South now needs an ambitious, global safety net for financing sustainable development”, says Wieczorek-Zeul: “A reform of the global financial architecture would certainly be in the interests of the developing countries.”

A shared platform for emergencies

The Pact for the Future also addresses the Emergency Platform proposed by the UN Secretary-General. This provides for a platform to be developed that can provide emergency plans in the case of major shock events affecting multiple regions – such as the Covid-19 pandemic – so that member states can enact a quick, organised and coordinated response. War and weapons, too, are given their share of coverage. “We recommit to the pursuit of a world free of nuclear weapons”, says the draft, while autonomous weapons systems are mentioned in more tangible terms: the draft declares the intention to “commit to concluding without delay a legally binding instrument to prohibit lethal autonomous weapons” – one of only a few very specific points in the zero draft of the pact. Rules governing the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in military conflicts are also to be developed. So what happens next? Consultations with stakeholders from civil society are still underway until 12 February, after which the paper will be refined chapter by chapter with the involvement of the state actors. “The Council for Sustainable Development will now push for an ambitious German position with the federal government departments. Plus, we will try to secure some more specific wordings on individual points”, says Wieczorek-Zeul on the future work of the RNE – not least with a view to the Summit of the Future in autumn of this year." ["post_title"]=> string(21) "A pact for the future" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(262) "The United Nations has big plans for the Summit of the Future in September 2024. A Pact for the Future aims to smooth the waters between the member states and, above all, give the 2030 Agenda a boost. Now the first draft has been published and the tussle begins." ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(21) "a-pact-for-the-future" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2024-02-12 13:01:26" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2024-02-12 12:01:26" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(42) "https://www.nachhaltigkeitsrat.de/?p=98464" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [1]=> object(WP_Post)#6238 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(97042) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "8" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2023-07-21 18:05:57" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2023-07-21 16:05:57" ["post_content"]=> string(9183) "

“Halfway through, but nowhere near – we heard that time and again in New York to sum up the international community’s progress towards the global sustainability goals”, reports Kai Niebert, member of the German Council for Sustainable Development (RNE), who was at the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) in New York in mid-July: “One thing is for sure, it will go right down to the wire by 2030.”

We are already at the midway point in the 2030 Agenda. Eight years ago, with the Agenda and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the global community resolved not only to enable a decent life for all, but also to permanently protect the natural resources this would require. Ambitious goals that were set by the United Nations in September 2015 aimed at bringing together the economic, ecological and social aspects of sustainable development. Since then, all 193 UN member states have been called upon to act in accordance with this pledge. Because the 17 SDGs are indivisible – in other words, they must all be met by everyone, not just some of them by a few.

As things stand, we still have seven years to go. A fitting time, then, to take stock – even though it was already clear before the HLPF started that this mid-term review would be at the very least sobering. Because on the one hand, the multiple global crises of recent years have also set the world back in terms of sustainability and development, but on the other, countries are not doing enough as a whole. Thus far, most of the SDGs have seen little progress, as was also confirmed in the latest progress report of UN Secretary-General António Guterres. As such, Germany, too, is pushing for a redoubling of national and international efforts in a bid to deliver the 2030 Agenda in the second half.

A platform for dialogue and exchange

From 10–19 July, the HLPF saw representatives of the UN member states and civil society organisations gather in New York to discuss the most pressing issues around achieving the SDGs. A whole range of events and topic reviews took place, both in person and online, while 39 states presented their voluntary national reviews (VNR). These progress reports are not just made in a vacuum; the HLPF provides an opportunity for other member states and voices from civil society to comment on them directly. VNRs are normally preceded by a comprehensive one-year social consultation process with stakeholders at local and national level.

The HLPF is the central United Nations platform for reviewing the sustainability progress of the individual states. Although this year’s attendance was more or less back to pre-pandemic levels, many of the delegations, especially those from emerging and developing economies, were smaller than before the pandemic. This meant the respective national stakeholders were not as strongly represented as would have been necessary for an adequate global exchange and learning process between the various countries.

This year’s HLPF ran under the somewhat unwieldy theme of “Accelerating the recovery from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at all levels”. In this context, measures and successful examples for overcoming the impacts of the pandemic were presented. After all, even if we seem to have largely pulled through this emergency health situation, the economic consequences and a loss of trust have now come to the fore. Another reason why the debt situation of many countries in the Global South continues to escalate dramatically.

Normally the Forum ends with a political declaration, and there is indeed an initial draft which is still in negotiation between the UN member states, but this year the declaration will not be made until after the SDG Summit in September.

Topics for the SDG Summit

Following the HLPF, it is clear that one of the main topics for the SDG Summit will be financing the sustainable transition. As such, federal development minister Svenja Schulze had already called for a reform of the World Bank at the German Conference on the 2030 Agenda in May, where the German stance for the HLPF was developed. It must become a transformation bank, one which can not only combat hunger and poverty but also drive solutions for climate and nature protection.

The RNE, too, has already published a statement on the reform of the international financial architecture and during the HLPF was represented at an event on the SDG Summit and the Summit of the Future 2024 where positions in this statement were discussed. All in all, the RNE played an active part in New York with two of its own events and many discussions, says RNE Secretary General Marc-Oliver Pahl. “My main concern there was expanding our cooperations with African partners, the African Union and the African Peer Review Mechanism.”

Taking responsibility as a continent

One thing worth noting at this year’s HLPF was that the European Union gave its first voluntary review at continental level. It was a plea for multilateralism, which referenced the successes of international cooperation and the implementation of sustainable development in Europe. However, it also pointed out the external effects of European consumption in other regions of the globe.

“This first-time, but honest and ambitious review of the EU was impressive”, says Kai Niebert. “Team Europe” promised the international community it would step up the transition and extend its hand to the Global South as equals. “We, the RNE, with our European and international partners will do everything we can to ensure that we deliver in 2030 and sustainability becomes a reality.”

Another enduring topic in New York was the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine and its impact on the global community. One of the biggest setbacks concerns the second SDG of ending hunger, as both Ukraine and Russia are major exporters of food, fertiliser and energy.

The necessary clout

The new Global Sustainable Development Report (GSDR) 2023, which is set to be published in its final version at the SDG Summit, was also the subject of debate at the numerous events. On this, the RNE held an event with application examples from Belgium, Tanzania, Finland and Germany to critically discuss how sustainable development reports can develop the necessary clout. But also how integrated action can be anchored in national governance structures. “An integrated view of the 17 SDGs allows coherent and targeted implementation. To still achieve the 2030 Agenda, we need this honest engagement to create the pathways for transition”, says Hannah Janetschek, head of sustainable development/international affairs at the RNE.

The global community has plenty of input as it looks ahead to the SDG Summit in the autumn. After all, even though there are still many unanswered questions, one thing is clear: this summit must be the launchpad for a phase of renewed urgency. Because the international community is still off track and 2030 is fast approaching.

" ["post_title"]=> string(52) "HLPF: The international community is still off track" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(293) "As every year, the High-Level Political Forum saw UN member states and NGOs convene in New York to discuss the lie of the land as the international community attempts to reach the global sustainability goals. We present the key topics that emerged for the forthcoming SDG Summit in the autumn." ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(51) "hlpf-the-international-community-is-still-off-track" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2023-07-24 18:39:28" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2023-07-24 16:39:28" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(42) "https://www.nachhaltigkeitsrat.de/?p=97042" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [2]=> object(WP_Post)#6290 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(96476) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "5" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2023-05-31 10:47:19" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2023-05-31 08:47:19" ["post_content"]=> string(7635) "We’re now at the halfway stage in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development launched in New York in 2015. We still have seven years to achieve its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as unanimously agreed by all 193 UN member states. The Agenda’s core objective sounds simple enough, but making it a reality calls for a superhuman effort by the international community: “A good life for all within planetary boundaries”.

Sobering stock-take

As things stand, our progress on the goals does “not look good”, observes Imme Scholz, president of the Heinrich Böll Foundation and former Deputy Chair of the German Council for Sustainable Development (RNE). Scholz is co-chair of the group of independent scientists that drafted the Global Sustainable Development Report (GSDR) on behalf of the United Nations and who give their expert assessment on the real-world progress every four years. Their conclusions are worrying: already the first SDG of ending poverty is way off target and the scientists expect to see an additional 75 to 95 million people slip into extreme poverty if nothing is done. UN Secretary-General António Guterres stressed that, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, progress on development – some of it achieved over decades – has not only stalled but in some cases even gone into reverse. As such, the global community is only on track with twelve percent of the SDG indicators measured. But “also regardless of the Covid pandemic and its consequences, the global challenges for the economic, social and eco-systems are now more present than ever before”, according to Germany’s Voluntary National Review. The Russian war of aggression in Ukraine has exacerbated the situation further, especially when it comes to the second SDG of ending hunger, as both countries are major exporters of food, fertiliser and energy. This sobering stock-take begs the question of how we can achieve the goals of the 2030 Agenda in the time we still have left. The answers are expected to come in September at the United Nations SDG Summit in New York, where the heads of state and government will issue a declaration. Preparation for the summit includes the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), also in New York, in July where the ministers will prepare the political declaration and 40 states will present their progress reports. Under the somewhat unwieldy title of “Accelerating the recovery from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at all levels”, participants will present measures and success stories aimed at supercharging our progress towards the SDGs.

German stance for New York

Germany’s stance for the HLPF was developed at the German Conference on the 2030 Agenda on 9 May. The meeting saw the federal ministers for development, Svenja Schulze (SPD), and the environment, Steffi Lemke (Alliance 90/The Greens), come together with representatives of civil society, academia and business as well as the Bundestag and the federal and Länder ministries to gather ideas for a more ambitious and accelerated implementation of the 2030 Agenda. “We need to step up our pace”, concluded Lemke, who also emphasised the correct handling of water as one of the keys to reaching the global SDGs. This year’s HLPF in July intends to review the progress on Goal 6, access to clean water and sanitation. It will also focus on affordable and clean energy (SDG 7), industry, innovation and infrastructure (SDG 9), sustainable cities and communities (SDG 11) and global partnerships for achieving the goals (SDG 17). To avoid cherry-picking, the 2030 Agenda states that the 17 goals are indivisible. This led to the recommendation in the previous Global Sustainable Development Report from 2019 that governments should prioritise key policies that progress multiple topic areas at the same time. “The most important lever we have is to back women more”, believes federal development minister Schulze, who for this reason urged further expansion of feminist development policy. Another central lever is “social safety nets, which reduce inequalities and generally advance societies and make them more resilient”. Schulze is also keen to expedite the reform of the World Bank. This needs to become a real transforming bank, one which not only combats hunger and poverty but also drives solutions for climate and nature protection.

Reform of international financial institutions

The background to this reform is the Bridgetown Initiative launched by Mia Amor Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados. In light of the ever-increasing funding gap for sustainable development worldwide, the initiative calls for a reform of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to leverage capital and pour more of it than before into climate and sustainability. The ultimate aim of the Bridgetown Initiative is to stop the spiral of debt that developing countries time and again find themselves in when they are forced to borrow money due to natural disasters. While rich countries are granted low-interest loans at between one and four percent, the interest rate for poorer countries is closer to 14 percent (as at 2023) due to the perceived risk. These institutions dominated by the USA and Europe came into being at the end of the Second World War and are no longer suitable for the modern world. “When it comes to the grants and heavily reduced-rate loans for low-income countries, there must be no corners cut. This reform must serve the poorest countries”, was Germany’s position vis-à-vis the World Bank, represented by Parliamentary State Secretary Niels Annen (SPD). But unlike their forerunners, the Millennium Development Goals, the SDGs set out in the 2030 Agenda are not a programme that focuses on the so-called developing countries alone. “The rich countries must now shoulder both at the same time: the transition within their own country and the support for others”, spells out Imme Scholz. This calls not only for financial help, she continues, but also for the avoidance of imports from developing countries that harm their own environment and preside over increased poverty. The German supply chain act could potentially be used to support this, as could agricultural reform in the EU. Following the SDG Summit in September, the Federal Chancellery will set about revising the German Sustainable Development Strategy – a valuable opportunity to catch up. “At this critical moment, we’re standing on the brink”, is the dramatic verdict in UN chief António Guterres’s progress report on the SDGs. To make sure we still reach the goals, or at least make substantial headway on them, countries must turbocharge their efforts to achieve any progress worth mentioning for people and planet. In short, it’s time for the international community to move into overdrive." ["post_title"]=> string(64) "Midway through Agenda 2030: Global community must step up a gear" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(174) "The mid-term review from the latest Global Sustainable Development Report makes sober reading. Answers are expected at the United Nations SDG Summit in New York in September." ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(63) "midway-through-agenda-2030-global-community-must-step-up-a-gear" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2023-05-31 10:48:23" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2023-05-31 08:48:23" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(42) "https://www.nachhaltigkeitsrat.de/?p=96476" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [3]=> object(WP_Post)#6292 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(91781) ["post_author"]=> string(2) "17" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2022-07-08 16:34:57" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2022-07-08 14:34:57" ["post_content"]=> string(6722) "Few concerned with the global Agenda for Sustainable Development are still under any illusions: the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as formulated in the 2030 Agenda are an increasingly distant reality. “In the 75 years since the United Nations was founded, the human race has never had to face a set of challenges like we do right now”, says British actor and human rights activist Thandiwe Newton at the start of the official UN video for this year’s High-Level Political Forum, or HLPF for short. Once a year, heads of state and government join representatives from business and civil society at the UN building in New York to review progress on the 2030 Agenda adopted by the United Nations in 2015. This year’s meeting from 5–15 July will be special for several reasons: for the first time in two years, it will predominantly take place in person instead of via video link. The HLPF will focus on how the world can recover from the pandemic in a way that effects change to achieve the SDGs. But this is also a meeting in the midst of numerous crises, with the emotive scenes of the conference film illustrating precisely what this means: climate change, deforestation, biodiversity loss, war, pandemic. Similarly, the UN Secretary-General’s report on the HLPF makes for sober reading on the facts behind these images. As many as 95 million people have slipped into extreme poverty as a result of the pandemic, while 100 million children fall below the minimum reading proficiency level. In all the years since 1945, there have never been as many violent conflicts as there are today, while two billion people live in countries that feel the impact of this aggression. 2020 saw 161 million more people go hungry than in 2019, with Russia’s war of aggression only poised to exacerbate the situation. Indeed, Russia and Ukraine supply 30 percent of the world’s wheat and more than half of the world’s sunflower oil.

Not a summit for resignation

But the summit in New York is not one for resignation. Instead, it hopes for a fresh start. Echoing the sentiment so many are feeling, the opening video sees Newton declare that we can solve these problems together. “In light of the Russian war of aggression and its global impact, global sustainable development policy needs a total rethink”, adds Marc-Oliver Pahl, Secretary General of the German Council for Sustainable Development. For while current affairs leave the Sustainable Development Goals adopted in 2015 – including the eradication of poverty and hunger worldwide by 2030, gender equality, and the preservation of ecosystems, to name just a few – looking more than ever like wishful thinking, the SDGs can also serve as a compass to guide us out of the crisis. This was the subject of an RNE statement back in May which emphasised that, even as the war and its impact exacerbate structural poverty, it is more important than ever for all decision-makers across government and opposition, business and society, to focus on sustainability, resource conservation and climate neutrality. Equally, now more than ever the importance of securing a clean break from our reliance on fossil raw materials, and thus on Russian natural gas, is clear. As the RNE writes, “We now need even more courage to effect the necessary transformation at pace and honour a political spirit of resolve and pragmatism”. The HLPF is the perfect platform to summon that courage. Observers hope the meeting will get down once and for all to bridging the gaps and issues in the 2030 Agenda – certainly UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres approached the meeting unremittingly last year and seems unlikely to sugar-coat anything this time round. The HLPF is also an opportunity for states and civil society across the globe to learn from one another, which is why nation states use the stage to present their reports on the implementation of the Agenda in their respective countries. These reports are called voluntary national reviews, or VNRs. This year, a number of states have written VNRs for the first time – and behind each one is a national process for advancing sustainable development.

Events with RNE’s involvement

Last year, the meeting was held largely online and saw then-Chancellor Angela Merkel present the German VNR herself via video link. This year, Germany will be represented at state secretary level, while its official event will focus on feminist foreign policy. The RNE is also organising two events together with partners from the Global Forum for National SDG Advisory Bodies. The Forum is a global network of councils for sustainable development, or similar bodies, with a mandate to promote sustainable development in their respective countries. The event on 12 July will address the complex issue of how different countries can establish institutions to work on sustainability policy on a long-term basis, bringing together a range of actors spanning from civil society to business. The second event on 14 July will focus on local authorities, which have a central role to play in realising the 2030 Agenda. There are now also voluntary local reviews (VLRs) at local level to allow local governments to review their progress in achieving the Agenda. The event will see Pereira in Colombia and Bonn in Germany present their VLRs. As such, the RNE aims to prove that the 2030 Agenda is not a matter for nation states alone, but one between states and their civil societies at all levels. “We need new structures for inter-state cooperation for those states that want to advance sustainable development, climate protection and biodiversity, but we also need greater commitment from business, civil society and local government”, says Marc-Oliver Pahl in the hope that this year’s HLPF will generate fresh momentum  " ["post_title"]=> string(39) "A Sustainability Summit in Times of War" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(299) "After three years of COVID-19 and more recently the war in Ukraine, the 2030 Agenda has never before seemed quite so utopian. Now, the international community is meeting for its annual sustainability summit in New York to continue fighting for its roadmap to making the world a better place for all." ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(39) "a-sustainability-summit-in-times-of-war" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2022-07-08 16:46:29" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2022-07-08 14:46:29" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(42) "https://www.nachhaltigkeitsrat.de/?p=91781" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [4]=> object(WP_Post)#6291 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(48080) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "5" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2020-08-03 14:15:00" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2020-08-03 12:15:00" ["post_content"]=> string(7021) "

COVID-19 has had the world on tenterhooks for months. Some states seem to have contained the pandemic, while others are desperately fighting the virus as their infection rates soar. Yet others are already in the midst of a second wave. Most countries in the Global South imposed lockdowns very early on and are now dealing with the pandemic’s devastating indirect social and economic consequences. Coronavirus is battering the community of states at a time when it needs to be focusing all of its energy on achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations (UN). By 2030, hunger and poverty should be eliminated around the world, climate protection targets should be reached, education should be accessible for all, and gender equality should be achieved.

Between 7 and 16 July, state representatives and experts – primarily from non-governmental organisations – met at the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF). The annual event is the United Nations’ most important platform for reviewing progress in implementing the UN Sustainable Development Goals in the run-up to 2030. This year’s forum focused on initiating a decade of action in which the implementation of the SDGs should be accelerated. The meetings were held virtually this year to prevent spreading coronavirus. Experts believe that this also made the forum more inclusive: the virtual format enabled a large number of players to take part who would otherwise have been unable to attend due to the expense associated with travelling to New York.

47 states presented their voluntary national reviews (VNR) setting out their progress with regard to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Coronavirus dominated the debates concerning action plans and the way in which the international community of states can respond to the pandemic while remaining on course for 2030.

COVID-19 thwarts the fight against poverty

There is great concern that the progress made to date will be undone by the spread of coronavirus. In particular, the number of people living in poverty is expected to rise. Experts in development policy and healthcare expect the impact of the pandemic to be visible for generations to come. Measures to restrict the spread of COVID-19 and long-term development plans must go hand in hand to end poverty and hunger around the world, urged delegates at the UN forum. Efforts to ensure access to good healthcare, protection from fatal diseases, and high-quality education must be stepped up, they said. Cristina Duarte, the UN’s Special Advisor on Africa, emphasised that cooperation and dialogue between various stakeholders were needed to achieve this. “It is time political decision-makers set priorities for the development of humanity.”

In her contribution to the UN forum, Imme Scholz, member of the German Council for Sustainable Development (RNE) and Acting Director of the German Development Institute (DIE), highlighted the direct link between tackling poverty and protecting the climate.

As the population grows, emissions of carbon dioxide also increase. At the same time, a large number of people are living in poverty. To become more sustainable, rich states need to reduce their consumerism and switch to recycling or renewables, said Scholz.

An analysis by the German Development Institute examined 53 developing countries. Although 70 per cent of these states improved their poverty rates within a 15-year period (2000 to 2015), this was done at the expense of climate protection. Uruguay and Costa Rica achieved the best results. Both countries focused on education and health programmes, as well as investing in renewable energies. Scholz called for others to follow these examples to avoid pitching poverty eradication against climate protection in the 21st century. There is a risk of precisely this happening: due to a lack of consensus among the states, there will be no political declaration by the HLPF this year. This means that there may be no declaration on the 2030 Agenda – in the UN’s 75th anniversary year. That would be a sorry sign for multilateralism.

Vulnerable health systems

COVID-19 showed how susceptible health systems are, all around the world. Vulnerable groups in particular – especially children, women, elderly people and the disabled – were not protected sufficiently, said Githinji Gitahi, Global CEO of AMREF Health Africa, an organisation dedicated to improving healthcare on the African continent. Gitahi called for not just general health systems to be strengthened, but also individual communities and prevention programmes. “Health starts at home,” said Gitahi.

The 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals were adopted in 2015. They now form the heart of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and can be traced back to the UN Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro 1992. The goals apply equally to all states around the world and give equal weight to the three aspects of sustainability, i.e. social, economic and environmental considerations. In Germany, the National Sustainable Development Strategy is the framework for implementation of the Agenda.

In September, the German Council for Sustainable Development (RNE) will discuss the state of implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals in an online forum with RNE members and other experts. Germany is expected to publish its voluntary national review with respect to the 2030 Agenda in the coming year. Furthermore, the German Sustainable Development Strategy is currently being revised, with the RNE recommending that it should also include Germany taking greater international responsibility for global sustainability policy.

" ["post_title"]=> string(62) "The impact of COVID-19 on the UN Sustainable Development Goals" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(253) "The international community of states intends to achieve the global Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. However, the worldwide pandemic is setting back many states’ action plans – and multilateralism is not faring well in the current environment." ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(62) "the-impact-of-covid-19-on-the-un-sustainable-development-goals" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2020-08-03 14:15:04" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2020-08-03 12:15:04" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(42) "https://www.nachhaltigkeitsrat.de/?p=48080" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } } ["post_count"]=> int(5) ["current_post"]=> int(-1) ["before_loop"]=> bool(true) ["in_the_loop"]=> bool(false) ["post"]=> object(WP_Post)#6241 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(98464) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "8" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2024-02-06 17:51:57" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2024-02-06 16:51:57" ["post_content"]=> string(6848) "Co-facilitators Germany and Namibia currently have the seriously tricky task of preparing the Summit of the Future, set for September 2024, for the United Nations (UN). On 26 January 2024, German representative Antje Leendertse and Namibian representative Neville Melvin Gertze also published the zero draft of the so-called Pact for the Future, which is due to be adopted by the Heads of State and Government in September. This draft forms the basis for all negotiations that will now follow, which will no doubt be lengthy and laborious, as the final version requires a consensus decision among UN members. The Pact for the Future inherently builds on the SDG Summit from autumn 2023 and as such is part of the United Nations’ Our Common Agenda process, which began in 2021 (see also RNE statement “Our Common Agenda – Impetus for an inclusive and networked multilateralism for sustainable development”). A key aim of the summit is to strengthen international cooperation, which has been manifestly weakened by numerous global conflicts and events. The task at hand now is to reverse this weakening and restore trust, but also to reinforce multilateralism and prepare it for future challenges. On this, the UN website says the following: “Unity around our shared principles and common goals is both crucial and urgent. The Summit of the Future is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to enhance cooperation on critical challenges and address gaps in global governance, reaffirm existing commitments including to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the United Nations Charter, and move towards a reinvigorated multilateral system that is better positioned to positively impact people’s lives.”

Scepticism and goodwill

It is a major undertaking that is bound to be viewed with scepticism by some of the member states. After all, on the one hand, everything agreed in the Pact for the Future is only morally binding, and on the other, there are a great number of obstacles that have to be cleared at once, not least overcoming the rifts that have arisen through current conflicts. But one thing it is hoped will ease the scepticism is the fact that a follow-up process is already envisaged for the draft agreement. In other words, whatever is ratified in September cannot subsequently just fizzle out; instead, its implementation progress will be reviewed at the UN General Assembly in 2026. As well as a political chapeau, the zero draft has five chapters: 1. Sustainable development and financing for development, 2. International peace and security, 3. Science, technology and innovation and digital cooperation, 4. Youth and future generations, and 5. Transforming global governance.

Reforming global and regional financial institutions

“Many points in the draft are still quite vague and unambitious in terms of their purpose and target audience. It will now be the job of the countries to change that by September”, says RNE (German Council for Sustainable Development) member Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul. “From the Council’s perspective, three elements are particularly interesting: firstly, the suggestion to conduct a review of the so-called debt architecture – up to now, international financial institutions like the IMF had always bristled at the idea of the UN dealing with such issues. But now we can hope for better debt-relief proposals for countries in the Global South. Secondly, the multilateral development banks are also expected to deliver SDG reports moving forward – that is, on their progress towards realising the sustainability goals and the 2030 Agenda. And thirdly, a proposed UN sustainability council is to be discussed – that would be a powerful signal.” According to the zero draft, this council, even if it is not formally called that, will convene every two years, bringing together the G20 states and the financial institutions to keep the 2030 Agenda on track. The text also proposes that the Global South should have a say in financial matters, which have thus far been decided predominantly by the North. Furthermore, this will now allow regional development banks to play a greater role in the global financial architecture – a position that also chimes with the recommendations of the German Council for Sustainable Development (see also RNE statement Financing the Transformation and Sustainable Development). “Given its soaring debt, the Global South now needs an ambitious, global safety net for financing sustainable development”, says Wieczorek-Zeul: “A reform of the global financial architecture would certainly be in the interests of the developing countries.”

A shared platform for emergencies

The Pact for the Future also addresses the Emergency Platform proposed by the UN Secretary-General. This provides for a platform to be developed that can provide emergency plans in the case of major shock events affecting multiple regions – such as the Covid-19 pandemic – so that member states can enact a quick, organised and coordinated response. War and weapons, too, are given their share of coverage. “We recommit to the pursuit of a world free of nuclear weapons”, says the draft, while autonomous weapons systems are mentioned in more tangible terms: the draft declares the intention to “commit to concluding without delay a legally binding instrument to prohibit lethal autonomous weapons” – one of only a few very specific points in the zero draft of the pact. Rules governing the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in military conflicts are also to be developed. So what happens next? Consultations with stakeholders from civil society are still underway until 12 February, after which the paper will be refined chapter by chapter with the involvement of the state actors. “The Council for Sustainable Development will now push for an ambitious German position with the federal government departments. Plus, we will try to secure some more specific wordings on individual points”, says Wieczorek-Zeul on the future work of the RNE – not least with a view to the Summit of the Future in autumn of this year." ["post_title"]=> string(21) "A pact for the future" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(262) "The United Nations has big plans for the Summit of the Future in September 2024. A Pact for the Future aims to smooth the waters between the member states and, above all, give the 2030 Agenda a boost. Now the first draft has been published and the tussle begins." ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(21) "a-pact-for-the-future" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2024-02-12 13:01:26" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2024-02-12 12:01:26" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(42) "https://www.nachhaltigkeitsrat.de/?p=98464" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } ["comment_count"]=> int(0) ["current_comment"]=> int(-1) ["found_posts"]=> int(5) ["max_num_pages"]=> float(1) ["max_num_comment_pages"]=> int(0) ["is_single"]=> bool(false) ["is_preview"]=> bool(false) ["is_page"]=> bool(false) ["is_archive"]=> bool(true) ["is_date"]=> bool(false) ["is_year"]=> bool(false) ["is_month"]=> bool(false) ["is_day"]=> bool(false) ["is_time"]=> bool(false) ["is_author"]=> bool(false) ["is_category"]=> bool(false) ["is_tag"]=> bool(true) ["is_tax"]=> bool(false) ["is_search"]=> bool(false) ["is_feed"]=> bool(false) ["is_comment_feed"]=> bool(false) ["is_trackback"]=> bool(false) ["is_home"]=> bool(false) ["is_privacy_policy"]=> bool(false) ["is_404"]=> bool(false) ["is_embed"]=> bool(false) ["is_paged"]=> bool(false) ["is_admin"]=> bool(false) ["is_attachment"]=> bool(false) ["is_singular"]=> bool(false) ["is_robots"]=> bool(false) ["is_favicon"]=> bool(false) ["is_posts_page"]=> bool(false) ["is_post_type_archive"]=> bool(false) ["query_vars_hash":"WP_Query":private]=> string(32) "7137737b20e26bff15443c501694703a" ["query_vars_changed":"WP_Query":private]=> bool(true) ["thumbnails_cached"]=> bool(false) ["allow_query_attachment_by_filename":protected]=> bool(false) ["stopwords":"WP_Query":private]=> NULL ["compat_fields":"WP_Query":private]=> array(2) { [0]=> string(15) "query_vars_hash" [1]=> string(18) "query_vars_changed" } ["compat_methods":"WP_Query":private]=> array(2) { [0]=> string(16) "init_query_flags" [1]=> string(15) "parse_tax_query" } }