Agenda 2030: Poverty and hunger must be defeated – again

MThrough “bold, ambitious, accelerated, equitable and transformative action,” UN member states want to ensure that the sustainable development goals of the 2030 Agenda are achieved by the end of the decade. This can be read in the political declaration of the New York Sustainable Development Summit, which ended on Tuesday. The Declaration is intended to be a signal of awakening and unity of the world community in times of numerous crises and great divisions.

Criticism came from non-governmental organizations: “We no longer need politically watered-down declarations of intent, we need concrete political solutions and responsibility for their implementation,” said Georg Schwede, European representative of the Campaign for Nature. Welthungerhilfe and Misereor complained that the fact that the future federal budget will allocate 15 percent less for development cooperation is not an encouraging sign.

Vague plans on how to achieve the goal

The Sustainable Development Summit Declaration is a response to the UN’s alarming midterm review of the 2030 Agenda. According to the UN report, only 15 percent of the 17 sustainable development goals have made sufficient progress. For the most part, progress or even regression is clearly too little compared to 2015, when the 2030 Agenda was adopted. Today, 745 million more people suffer from hunger than eight years ago.

“Achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals is at risk,” admits the political declaration prepared jointly by Ireland and Qatar. In federal government circles, it is considered a success that the states that signed it have at least reaffirmed their commitment to sticking to their goals. “We remain committed to eradicating poverty and hunger everywhere by 2030,” pledge the signatory states. However, it remains unclear how this goal will be achieved on time. We are talking about “national plans for transformative and accelerated measures” that states must now develop. There is also a need to better manage goal conflicts. On the one hand, the goal is to “ensure the long-term protection of the planet and its natural resources,” while at the same time creating sustainable economic growth and shared prosperity.

Von der Leyen calls for reform of multilateral development banks

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was “very encouraged”, particularly by the signatory states’ commitment to provide developing countries with improved access to finance to make progress on the Sustainable Development Goals. Guterres saw the statement as “clear support” for his call for an effective debt relief mechanism and 500 billion euros annually in financing for sustainable development goals.

However, the declaration does not contain any specific financial commitments, only assurances that the Secretary-General’s proposal will be implemented “in a timely manner.” “But public funding alone is not enough,” EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen stressed in New York. “We must use every possible opportunity to ensure the flow of new capital into developing countries. The first priority must be reform of the multilateral development banks.”

In his speech at the Sustainable Development Summit, Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) emphasized that the international financial architecture needs to be reformed. Development aid and environmental organizations are also calling for this. According to Schwede of the Campaign for Nature, if implemented consistently, this will lead not only to concrete progress in the fight against biodiversity loss and climate change, but also in the fight against poverty, hunger and other global problems that are addressed in the Agenda for the period until 2030.

Source: Frantfurter Allgemeine

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