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After the Summit: Implementing the Sustainable Development Agenda


Imme Scholz, Deputy Director (DIE), moderator SIlke Weinlich (Senior Researcher/ DIE) and Thomas Gass (Assistant Secreatry General/ UN DESA) talked about the implementation of the sustainable development agenda.



Silke Weinlich, Senior Researcher at the DIE, who also moderated the evening gave a warm welcome speech for our guests and audience.



Thomas Gass, Assistant Secreatry General at UN DESA, looked back at the negotiations during the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit 2015.


"The challenges might be enormous but so are the possibilities - this new agenda is a promise to the people" Thomas Gass says refering to the shortly adopted 2030 Agenda.


Imme Scholz, Deputy Director of the DIE, who has also participated in the UN Summit and has met Thomas Gass in New York, commented on his insights.



Arguing that the implementation of the SDGs is a common process, Imme Scholz highlighted the importance of joined up approaches and cooperations between all states, governments, NGOs and also the private sector.


During the discussion with our audience, Thomas Gass, also points out that the most important aspect for the implementation of the SDGs on a national level is policy coherence.



"It is the first time we, as a world community, came together and put a finger on the root causes we have to face", Thomas Gass highlights looking back at the UN Summit.


Imme Scholz agrees with Gass' reports and states that "the 2030 Agenda is a unique opportunity for Germany to update its national sustainabilty strategy".


Thomas Gass: "The SDGs and targets are the minimum aims to achieve and monitoring of these achievements will be an important issue for all states."


"The SDGs demand action from everybody as they also have an impact on everybody" - Silke Weinlich closed the discussion and thanked Thomas Gass for his contributions to this very insteresting evening.

[UNat70] On the evening of October 7th, 2015, we welcomed Thomas Gass, Assistant Secretary General (UN DESA) at the DIE. The DIE was crowded with more than 140 guests who joined our lecture to hear more about the recent developments concerning the 2030 Agenda.

After the United Nations Summit for the adoption of the post-2015 development 2030 Agenda, which took place from September 25th to 27th in New York, Thomas Gass, who has actively participated in the negotiations himself, talked about the steps that need to be taken in order to implement the 17 SDGs and 169 targets successfully. Imme Scholz, who has also been at the summit, commented on Thomas Gass' talk and added her perspective in her role as Deputy Director at the DIE.

Silke Weinlich, Senior Researcher at the DIE and moderator of the evening, opened the evening by welcoming and introducing our speakers to more than 140 guests. She highlighted that the recently adopted 2030 Agenda is an unprecedented project by the international community. Our first speaker Thomas Gass underlined that this agenda was an integrated plan for the people, the planet and prosperity in general: A shared vision of humanity! However, in order for the implementation to be successful, a cooperation of all stakeholders, countries, states, governments, organisations and also the private sector is crucial. Many sustainable development goals already have the essential networks monitoring their progress, but this needs to be the case for every single goal and target that should be reached. Thomas Gass also raised questions: "Who is left behind? And are we strengthening the relation between the individual state and the people?". By doing so, he wanted to draw the audience's attention to the fact that this 2030 Agenda is, on the one hand, an enormous, multi-layered project concerning everybody but, on the other hand, the community needs to make sure that that all states go along with the hopefully positive developments.

Imme Scholz answered to Thomas Gass' talk and agreed that the diverse nature of the stakeholders involved in the 2030 Agenda creates a solid foundation for its implementation. She also emphasized that this implementation can only be successful in the end if all actors cooperate effectively, follow joined up approaches and are monitored and evaluated on a regular, honest basis.

Many different questions were raised during our discussion though a central issue was the realization of the 2030 Agenda on a national level. Thomas Gass, as well as Imme Scholz, agreed that one of the biggest challenges we face in his respect is policy coherence. In addition, another significant aspect was that development must not be 'hijacked' but productive dialogues not only among developed and developing countries but also between inhabitants, NGOs and governments need to be enhanced.

  • Like to know more about the event? Here is our Storify.

The lecture series is co-organised by the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE), the Forum Internationale Wissenschaft (fiw) and the Liaison Office International Academic Sciences of the UN City of Bonn.

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