Portrait photo of Thorsten Schäfer-Gümbel


‘Re-affirming our commitment to the SDGs’

What do the UN Sustainable Development Goals mean for GIZ? In this interview, Thorsten Schäfer-Gümbel, Chair of the Management Board, speaks about the value of the SDGs – and how they can be achieved.

On 18 and 19 September the United Nations will meet in New York for a summit that will look at the progress made towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Heads of state and government will be assessing what has been achieved to date and what still needs to be done by 2030. They will also be adopting a political declaration in which member states re-affirm their commitment to the SDGs. As we reach the halfway point, we are still a long way from achieving the goals; a very small minority of targets are on schedule.

In this interview with akzente, Thorsten Schäfer-Gümbel, who joined the Management Board of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH four years ago, takes stock. He sees the SDGs as a compass, especially for international cooperation, because they bring together economic, social and environmental factors and because they are universally applicable. He does, however, see that we need to accelerate action.  

‘We still have a long way to go to achieve social justice, food and nutrition security, adaptation to climate change and many more goals. We will be able to master these challenges only if we work together. We need a global re-affirmation of commitment to the SDGs,’ declares Schäfer-Gümbel. 

Find out in akzente why he believes that industrialised countries have a particular responsibility to drive development worldwide, and how GIZ is contributing. Read the full interview here.

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