© GIZ

Tell us more: Günter Meinert on the role of cities for Agenda 2030

30.09.2016 – According to the GIZ expert, cities – administration as well as citizens – are key actors with regard to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Adopted in September 2015, Agenda 2030 provides the new framework for international cooperation and the central political roadmap for sustainable development at national and international level. The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is a key partner in the implementation of the global Sustainable Development Goals. Agenda 2030 is therefore at the heart of several GIZ events, not just specific projects.

Take yesterday’s event in Bonn, for example. Habitat III, the third United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development, is set to take place in Quito, Ecuador, from 17 to 20 October. In the run up to this conference, Sybille Bauriedl from Bonn University, Helmut Wiesner, City of Bonn, and Günter Meinert, GIZ, came together at the event ‘Sustainability and the city: how are cities catalysts for change?’ to discuss a range of issues. These included the factors favouring good urban development and ways of resolving crises and conflict in urban communities.

© GIZ

Mr Meinert, can we put you on the spot and ask what Agenda 2030 means to you personally?

I see Agenda 2030 as a tremendous achievement for the entire international community. The Agenda makes a clear and binding statement on what humankind must achieve over the next 15 – now only 14 – years.

What role do cities play in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals?

Cities are made up of the city governments and of course the citizens. Many of the goals can only be achieved with intense involvement of cities. Actually this is not surprising, but we still seldom view cities as actively engaged players.

The number of trouble spots is on the rise around the world – what challenges do the different conflicts pose to Agenda 2030?

Well, in light of the extensive efforts for achieving peace and preventing conflicts, maybe the biggest challenge will be getting enough attention and resources to achieve the sustainable development goals. Otherwise many further conflicts could arise.

Günter Meinert is Project Manager in the area of municipal and urban development at GIZ. In this context, he also supports the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) in the Habitat III process.