Bonn Conference for Global Transformation: between theory, politics and practice

18.05.2015 – Inaugural Bonn Conference for Global Transformation a complete success: 700 delegates from 70 countries all agreed that we need to work together for our sustainable activities to succeed.

‘It’s not a question of whether, but of how.’ Speaking at the first Bonn Conference for Global Transformation, Jeffrey D. Sachs, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Advisor on the Millennium Development Goals, got straight to the point: ‘Especially in times of climate disaster, famine and war, taking sustainable action is the only viable option. There is an urgent need for international dialogue so we can learn from one another and push ahead with putting our sustainable plans into practice.’ This is precisely what the 700 delegates from 70 countries did at the two-day conference as they shared their effective ideas and approaches, expanded their global networks and took inspiration from sustainability experts.

These included Su Kahumbu Stephanou, a Kenyan organic farmer and pioneer in the field of organic food in Africa, who has developed a mobile app that supports local farmers with livestock breeding. ‘When it comes to putting sustainability into action, we first have theorists and strategists, then policy-makers, and then the movers and shakers, or those who come up with creative and innovative projects. They all need to engage in targeted dialogue in order to ensure that sustainable initiatives are effective. That’s why this conference is so important; it gives us all an opportunity to do just that. It’s a good thing that it will be taking place every two years from now on. In actual fact, we need conferences like this all over the world.’

Meanwhile, Claudia Roth, Vice President of the German Bundestag, highlighted the key role that Germany has to play in promoting effective global sustainability: ‘So many countries look to us to see whether and how sustainability can be achieved, and not only in the energy and business sectors. They quite plainly say that if Germany can do it, then they will attempt it too.’ Referring to the Bonn Conference for Global Transformation 2015, she said: ‘This forum brings together the actors who work away, day by day, to develop effective, practical solutions for a sustainable future.’

The Bonn Conference for Global Transformation is an international series of conferences organised by the German federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. It will be held in Bonn every two years, starting in 2015, and is concerned with the United Nations’ post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals. The series is being supported by strong partners: United Nations University, Sustainable Development Solutions Network and Deutsche Welle.