“Will the SDGs save the world?”… You will take part to a panel with this title at the EUConsult Autumn Congress… would you briefly anticipate your answer to this “big” question?
Martin: No. The SDGs
– show some, but not all the burning issues which need to be addressed if the world is to survive and ensure a good life for humanity: there are some glaring omissions!
– are based on an established, but questionable model of “development”.
– set goals and targets without clarifying roles, responsibilities and without addressing inequalities and injustices.
– are based on a cooperative world model of wise leaders, responsible governments, and altruistic sectors of society willing to engage jointly and across borders for a better world, which conflicts with reality.
– do not commit financial resources, do not have an authoritative independent evaluation mechanism, and have no compliance mechanism.
How are the SDGs perceived by German non-profit organisations? Do your clients generally take the SDGs into consideration while defining or redefining their missions, visions and values?
Martin: The SDGs are not well known outside of the “bubble” of development associations who promote them to their audiences. They are perceived mostly as goals pertaining to the international development work of governments and to the work of specialised international development associations, but are seen with little practical relevance to Germany or Europe.
Today inclusion, multilateralism, cooperation are severely questioned. Considering your professional experience, does European civil society have enough “antibodies” to counter this situation?
Martin: There have been some important reversals over the past years, but there are still a lot of “antibodies” left and I remain optimistic that we will eventually come to new models of cooperation and solidarity within Europe and between Europe and the rest of the world. But in the meantime we are facing some ugly years ahead and it is not yet 100% certain that our children will not have to fight for their survival in hostile dystopias.
Take a look here for full details on the Autumn Congress.