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On November 11-12 — only two months after Heads of State and Government gathered in New York to approve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), one week ahead of the G20 meeting in Atalya, Turkey, and two weeks before the COP21 climate negotiations in Paris — SDSN Turkey (hosted by Bogaziçi University) convened a two-day high level workshop on the role of SDGs in the G20.

The President of Bogaziçi Universtiy, Prof. Gülay Barbarosoğlu, opened the event by stressing the importance that sustainable development for Bogaziçi University, and the role that universities can and must have in implementation of this crucial agenda. Then Hon. Chair of SDSN Turkey, Professor Üstün Ergüder presented the work of the Turkish SDSN.

The event was attended by over 100 participants from academia, research, civil society, government, the private sector, and international organizations. Keynote speakers included Professor Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the SDSN, Mr. Aromar Revi, Co Chair of SDSN, as well as the leadership from other Regional and National SDSNs, including: Amazon, Brazil, Germany, Mediterranean, Spain, and Turkey.

The main topics discussed where the implementing and localization of the SDGs in the G20 countries and how the G20, as a governance body, can support the SDGs. In this topic, one of the outcomes of the event was a Declaration for Action highlighting the role of G20 countries in achieving the SDGs. This declaration was signed by 15 National and Regional SDSNs covering the G20 territories, as well as the Co-Chairs of SDSN from G20 countries.

Finally, other sessions provided a rich overview of the trends in the G20 countries, with presentations from Christian Kroll, Bertelsmann Foundation: SDG benchmarking study; Susan Nicolai, ODI: Projecting progress: reaching the SDGs by 2030, and Mehmet Arda: Measuring Sustainable Development to 2030: A view from Turkey. Another topic of discussion was the role that the private sector must play in the implementation of the SDGs, featuring the BCSD Turkey, and representatives from the Eczacıbaşı Group the Garanti Bank and Unilever Turkey.