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Turkey, like many other countries, faces challenges to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations (UN), Adolf Kloke-Lesch, executive director of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) for Germany, who is in Turkey to take part in some G-20 related events, tells Todayand’s Zaman.
Speaking about the agenda of the G-20 summit to be held on Sunday in Antalya, Kloke-Lesch stated that all UN member countries adopted the SDGs with the goals of economic prosperity, social inclusion, and the protection of our planet from degradation. The SDSN, as a network of over 300 universities across the globe and business leaders from all continents, was involved in preparing a summit held in September at the UN headquarters in New York, where the SDGs were adopted. The SDSN initiative held a series of conferences and events that brought together the representatives of its network from nearly all G-20 countries. The SDGs are about sustainable development in all its dimensions: social, economic, environmental and political. They call for an end to poverty by 2030. Inequality, and income disparities are increasing in more or less all countries, and the SDGs try to address the problem.
According to Kloke-Lesch, inequality has increased in developed countries like the US and Germany in recent years, and the rate of inequality is rising. andquotActually, the issue is a chronic problem in developing countries, but it is getting better in some countries such as Brazil. In Brazil, there were serious problems with inequality, but due to governmental policies in the last few decades these have lessened. The SDGs address the issues of environment and climate change and also set goals to create peaceful, inclusive societies. The SDGs have the four dimensions of sustainable development: economic prosperity, social justice and inclusion as well as the protection of countriesand’ boundaries,and” he notes.
andquotThe SDGs are 17 goals, all of which are interconnected. For example, economic goals can only be successful if the environment is protected and respected. All goals help and limit each other. The so called 2030 Agenda seeks just and peaceful societies. Obviously, these SDGs have no edict over democracy or specific political rules since the vision is shared by countries with very different political systems. From one party states to liberal democracies,andquot Kloke-Lesch adds. However, all countries have agreed to avoid corruption, maintain state institutions which are accountable to the people, maintain rule of law and provide citizens with legal identities. Kloke-Lesch also emphasized that Turkey, China, Germany or Brazil embrace the SDGs as an agenda for themselves not as an agenda for other countries. This is also the objective of a declaration of the SDSN networks covering the G-20 countries that calls on the G-20 leaders to focus on the implementation of the SDGs in Antalya.


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