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Berlin, 19 March 2013

Today, renowned economist Jeffrey D. Sachs launches the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) in Berlin. Within the scope of the event “New pathways towards global sustainability”, which is carried out by SDSN, the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) and ICC Germany, high-ranking representatives from research, business, politics and civil society discuss solution initiatives in support of sustainable development around the globe. “The current global challenges such as the climate crisis, escalating food prices, and instable world financial markets call for sustainable solutions and new alliances”, states DIE-Director Dirk Messner in Berlin. “Traditional role allocation between the State and business, between North and South, or between science and praxis needs to be changed by groundbreaking networks of stakeholders that are willing and able to act.”

The Solutions Network, founded under the patronage of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in August 2012 and headed by Jeffrey Sachs, develops these practical solutions: “We will mobilise new technologies and co-operations worldwide to achieve breakthroughs in health, agriculture, energy, and governance. For this purpose, we bring together science, civil society and the private sector”, said Jeffrey Sachs in Berlin. To exert influence on various processes on the global policy agenda, the network provides expert advice, e.g. to the High-level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda. One of the central questions is how the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agreed upon at the Rio+20 Conference can be combined reasonably.

In facing the challenges of sustainable development, the private sector plays an important role: “Companies contribute through innovative business models, technologies and services to the global changes,” says Manfred Gentz, President of ICC Germany. “However, significant efforts are needed to promote these solutions and their distribution,” continues Gentz. “Fora like SDSN can start right here by targeted interchange on suitable framework conditions for their accelerated implementation.” German business leaders and academics already participate in the Solutions Network. Within the framework of the German launch event in Berlin and together with representatives from politics and civil society, they will discuss experiences and lessons learnt from the German energy transition.

“Especially German companies play a pioneering role in terms of innovation and commitment to an economic and ecological evolution that takes over social responsibility at the same time”, emphasizes Gentz at the SDSN launch event in Berlin. What contribution can the German approach make for sustainable energy solutions in other countries? Do we need a Club of Low Carbon Pioneers playing a leading role in the transition to a low-carbon global economy?

With former German President Horst Köhler, who is actively working in shaping a long-term development programme as a member of the UN High-Level Panel on the post-2015 development agenda, SDSN-Director Jeffrey Sachs, DIE-Director Dirk Messner and Klaus M. Leisinger, Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Novartis Foundation for Sustainable Development, will then discuss the question of how the international community can go its way to a global sustainability agenda. “We do not only need common development objectives, we have to transform our societies towards sustainability. Therefore, it is necessary to agree upon binding targets to face global challenges now and in the future”, says Dirk Messner.

The Institute in Brief:
The German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) is one of the leading Think Tanks for development policy world-wide. It is based in the UN City of Bonn. DIE builds bridges between theory and practice and works within international research networks. The key to DIE’s success is its institutional independence, which is guaranteed by the Institute’s founding statute. Since its founding in 1964, DIE has based its work on the interplay between Research, Consulting and Training. These three areas complement each other and are the factors responsible for the Institute’s distinctive profile.
Every Monday, the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) comments the latest news and trends of development policy in The Current Column.
The German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) is headed by Prof. Dr. Dirk Messner (Director) and Dr. Imme Scholz (Deputy Director).