Event Reports 06/05/2020

Advancement of SDG Implementation- Discussion on 2019 SDG Progress Report by SDSN

On 6 May 2020, ENoP held an online thematic seminar on the advancement of implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Europe. The objective of the seminar was to familiarize ENoP members with the findings of the recent SDG progress report of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) as well as to explore possible areas of cooperation.

Guest speakers Guido Schmidt-Traub, Network Director at SDSN, and Guillaume Lafortune, Project Manager at SDSN, presented the outcomes of the report and shared their observations on key economic, social and environmental sustainability challenges that EU and member states are facing.

The SDGs are part of the UN Agenda 2030, but Europe has taken its own model of implementation. Together with the European Green Deal, the SDGs remains one of the most ambitious programmes for Europe to implement. With the recent Covid-19 crisis, all aspects of the Agenda 2030 have been impacted and we would still need to see the long-term effects on SDG advancement. Nevertheless, Europe should continue to follow its sustainable development model and help partner countries to overcome the negative impacts of the crisis.

The SDG report of SDSN could be perceived as a “shadow” report of the findings made by Eurostat. The work of SDSN on the report was not bound by norms of political correctness, and has therefore delivered a very honest estimation of the challenges to SDG implementation worldwide. The report highlights existing shortcomings in SDG targets and looks deeper into trade-related spill-over effects, impacting developing countries, such as: tax haven profit shifting; supply chains; ODA and trade of weapons.

In his speech, Mr Schmidt-Traub also highlighted the important role of China for the future implementation of the 2020 Agenda. Europe has to cooperate with China on different levels when it comes to sustainable development, while being cautious of existing democratic challenges there. In the coming year SDSN will look into the subject of Green Deal diplomacy and looks forward to exploring options for cooperation with ENoP.

The full SDG progress report is available here.

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