Hamburg Sustainability Conference Bringing Global North and South closer together for joint solutions

The Hamburg Sustainability Conference will take place in June 2024

Joint Press Release from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg 15 September 2023 | The Hamburg Sustainability Conference (HSC), an initiative of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, in close cooperation with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Michael Otto Foundation and the City of Hamburg, will take place on June 20 – 21, 2024. The conference plans to convene government representatives from the Global North and the Global South, as well as thought leaders from the private sector, science, civil society and international organizations to develop joint solutions for a much-needed social-ecological transformation. The German government wants to use next week’s UN summit, the mid-term review of the Sustainable Development Goals, to invite partners to the HSC and explore potential topics. The mid-term review is to provide new momentum for the UN sustainability agenda on which the HSC can build.

Development Minister Svenja Schulze: “The world needs new momentum on its path toward the Sustainable Development Goals. And for that we also need new spaces in which we can jointly develop concrete ways of achieving a social-ecological transformation. We want to have collaborative and creative talks in a spirit of trust – talks that lead to the action we need. In a new multipolar world order, we are well-advised to invest in a respectful exchange between the Global North and South. And we should make better use of the potential of the economy – with strong frameworks and guardrails – for sustainable development worldwide.”

Dr Peter Tschentscher, First Mayor of Hamburg: “By hosting the international Sustainability Conference Hamburg is making an important contribution to a globally more sustainable development. Being a city with an ambitious SDG strategy, the biggest sea port in Germany and some 100 consulates we are well connected with all continents. We look forward to welcoming our guests and to interesting exchanges on successful approaches and new ideas for implementing the United Nations’ SDGs.”

Achim Steiner, head of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP): “As world leaders convene at the 78th United Nations General Assembly next week in New York, the world faces many challenges. But it also faces opportunities and choices. The Sustainable Development Goals ‘halftime’ Summit will be one of those platforms for getting back on track. It holds the potential to mark a historic new chapter of global cooperation and accelerated action. Dialogue, collaboration and compromise are essential elements, as are strongly committed member states. Germany’s leadership role on the SDGs and in co-investing in our collective future is reflected in its new policy on multilateral cooperation. It is also an affirmation of the very dynamic partnership between UNDP and Germany.”

How can supply chains be more sustainably and fairly organized to create higher value in the developing world? How can we better utilize the enormous potential of the private sector and of civil society players to truly reach the Sustainable Development Goals? What guardrails can politicians put into place today to set the standards for the sustainability pioneers of tomorrow? By exploring these questions, The Hamburg Sustainability Conference will create a link between political summits, the private sector and civil society.

Philanthropist and entrepreneur Michael Otto: “There are much more problem-solving skills to be tapped in global society for achieving the SDGs than have been used so far. The complexity of international conditions make acting cooperatively and in a spirit of partnership both a real challenge and a necessity. Implementation is demanding and we want the HSC to provide a sound foundation to build upon.”

The conference aims to provide a space for asking political questions about topics such as the governance of international organizations and entrepreneurial approaches for sustainable development. The continuous cooperation with the UN system and global finance organizations will ensure the development, distribution and placement of sustainable solutions. The aim is to develop joint roadmaps for conference topics which spell out ways in which these issues can be advanced by working together. The HSC’s joint solutions should also be incorporated into the United Nations’ Future Summit in September 2024.

The exact content of the conference will be determined with partners from the Global South. This reflects the aim to organize a truly global, collaborative exchange about the structural questions of our time. An international Advisory Board will initiate topics and guide program planning.

Events throughout the city center will allow local citizens to take part of discussions happening at the Hamburg Sustainability Conference.

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