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Accelerating Sustainable Development: Insights from the Groningen Workshop writing a international consensus paper for the UN ‘Summit of the Future 2024.’

29 April 2024

The 3-day workshop held in Groningen from April 22nd to 24th, 2024. The workshop was organized by dr. Prajal Pradhan (University Groningen) and the Rudolf Agricola School for Sustainable Development, was a crucial platform for accelerating the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in collaboration with the United Nations. Over 50 scientists from various countries participated in drafting a consensus paper aimed at turbocharging the progress towards the SDGs, which will inform the UN Summit of the Future 2024.

The urgency to expedite sustainable development efforts was underscored by the evident shortfall in meeting the UN's 2030 Agenda, posing risks to billions and exacerbating environmental and socio-economic challenges. The workshop's objectives were threefold: to develop a consensus paper emphasizing the importance of SDG interactions and the role of modeling and tools in policymaking, to foster evidence-based policy recommendations, and to strengthen the SDG research network.

Guests of the UN, Nepal and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The workshop also welcomed esteemed guests from the United Nations and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Nepal Government, whose invaluable contributions enriched the discussions and underscored the significance of international cooperation in advancing the SDGs. Dr. Astra Bonini, Chief of the Integrated Policy Analysis Branch at the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, brought expertise and insights from New York, emphasizing the global importance of the workshop's outcomes.

Additionally, Sandra Pellegrom, the Dutch National SDG Coordinator and Lily Talapessy, a strategic policy advisor to the Ministry's Social Development Department, provided crucial perspectives from the Dutch government, highlighting the national commitment to accelerating sustainable development efforts. Their presence exemplified the collaborative spirit between international organizations and national governments in driving positive change towards a more sustainable future.

Dr. Ram Kumar Phuyal, the member of National Planning Commission of Nepal, provided insights on status of SDGs in Nepal and required funds to achieve them by 2030. His presence emphasized the need to the north-south collaboration, and science-policy dialogues to accelerate the SDG progress

Working on a consensus paper for the Summit of the Future

Key takeaways included the necessity for increased governmental commitment, the importance of bottom-up engagement, and the imperative to address political barriers hindering progress. Despite challenges, there was a shared optimism among participants, emphasizing the need for continued research, advocacy, and belief in a vision for a sustainable future. 

After the workshop the participant will work together to refine the consensus paper further, with the aim of presenting it at the UN Summit of the Future in September 2024. This collaborative effort between scientists and policymakers  signifies a commitment to drive tangible progress towards achieving the SDGs and building a more sustainable world for future generations.

SDG workshop accelerating Sustainable Development for the UN ‘Summit of the Future 2024 Photo Marco in 't Veldt
SDG workshop accelerating Sustainable Development for the UN ‘Summit of the Future 2024. Photo's Marco in 't Veldt
Last modified:29 April 2024 2.36 p.m.

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