The SDGs in Times of Crises

Held on May 20, the online event of SDSN Europe “The SDGs in Times of Crises”, organized in the framework of the Siena International School on Sustainable Development,  discussed the importance of focusing on the SDGs in times of multiple crises and global challenges.

After two years of the Covid-19 pandemic, in the midst of new armed conflict and geopolitical tensions as well as inflation and debt crisis, pursuing the 2030 Agenda with its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the global climate goals must not become less relevant. Refocusing on these goals and 6 transformations will actually help address some of the root causes of the crises we currently face and will allow us to regain common ground between nations. Europe’s role in pursuing those transformations is crucial.

The event opened by Angelo Riccaboni, Director of the School and Co-Chair of SDSN Europe and moderated by Prof. Phoebe Koundouri and Adolf Kloke-Lesch, featured European and global leaders addressing a broad audience of policymakers, business leaders, academics, and civil society actors.

The discussion revolved around key questions, including:

  • How to maintain consistent, high-level focus on achieving the SDGs at a global level without being overwhelmed by the crises of the moment?
  • How to ensure that efforts to resolve current crises also lead to positive transformation on key sustainable development challenges? and
  • How can collective transnational efforts to resolve current crises help build momentum for a more cooperative international environment for achieving the SDGs?

Speakers included:

  • Enrico Giovannini, Minister of Infrastructure and Transport of Italy
  • Dirk Messner, President of the German Environment Agency
  • Markus H.-P. Müller, Managing Director, Global Head of Chief Investment Office Private Bank at Deutsche Bank
  • Peter Schmidt, President NAT Section, European Economic and Social Committee (EESC)
  • Massamba Thioye, Project Executive UNFCCC Global Innovation Hub at UN Climate Change
  • Jeffrey Sachs, President of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network

All speakers agreed that international cooperation has to be prioritized in order to solve the current crises and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals together. Also, the need for transformational change based on the SDG framework was highlighted multiple times.

Big crises have always been moments for great decisions. With transnational efforts and cooperation, now is the time for policymakers to focus on the SDGs and ensure the investment for transformation.


Learn more here 

Watch the recording of the event:


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