Discussion at UN level: SDG mid-term and G20 Summit

While the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development reaches its mid-term this year, a majority of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) postulated by the Agenda are far from being successfully implemented by 2030.

Photo: SDG Summit: From left to right: Anna-Katharina Hornidge (IDOS), Svenja Schulze (BMZ), Michael Krake (Weltbank)

SDG Summit
From left to right: Anna-Katharina Hornidge (IDOS), Svenja Schulze (BMZ), Michael Krake (World Bank)

At the current rate of progress, we are only on track to achieve 12-18% of the SDG indicators by 2030. Progress has been made in another 50%. In about 30% of the indicators, stagnation has set in, in some cases even regression. Since the Agenda’s adoption by the international community in 2015, IDOS staff has been monitoring its implementation from the perspective of the different research programmes and in the context of SDSN Germany. Building on this work, Prof. Anna-Katharina Hornidge and Dr Axel Berger participated in various events on the mid-term review of the 2030 Agenda. In these processes, the SDG Summit on 18-19 September 2023 in New York represented another opportunity to carry the work of IDOS and SDSN Germany into the discussions at the UN level, as well as to link the advisory processes for G7 and G20 (Think7 and Think20) with the discussions on the mid-term review of the 2030 Agenda. This was also central for a jointly organised event by the Rockefeller Foundation and the Asian Development Bank Institute, as well as for the Think7 and Think20 consultative processes on 21 September. At the SDSN Network Chair Meeting on 20 September, emphasis was placed on SDSN Global, the further development of the decentralised networking structure for the SDGs.

A side event organised by the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung and the Permanent Mission of Germany in New York focused on structural reforms at the level of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund and their role in transforming existing multilateral structures (incl. the United Nations). The discussion derive from the need to further develop existing cooperation structures, ensuring that the interests of middle- and low-income countries as well as those of high-income countries jointly shape the common governance approaches in dealing with the major global challenges of our time.

Meanwhile, Axel Berger participated in various events on the mid-term of the 2030 Agenda, which were primarily aimed at the German public. On 11 September, he discussed the question of whether and how the 2030 Agenda can still be implemented at a live briefing organised by Table Media, the German Council for Sustainable Development, the journalists‘ network Weitblick and SDSN Germany. On 13 September, he spoke about Germany’s (potential) contribution to achieving the SDGs at an event organised by VENRO, while on 25 September he addressed partnerships and strategies for the successful implementation of the Agenda at an event hosted by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation.

In addition to the SDG Summit, IDOS’ work engaged with another important international summit in September: the G20 meeting in New Delhi from 9-10 September. Building on IDOS involvement in the Think 20 process, Axel Berger and Alma Wisskirchen explain in the Current Column how the G20 Summit can and must contribute to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. Whether this was achieved and how the actual outcome of the summit should be assessed was commented on by Dr Stephan Klingebiel in a virtual event on 13 September.

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