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Open SDGclub.Berlin, impressions of a participant

mercredi 23 novembre 2016

The people of the UK voted the Brexit, but the meeting was in English only. A good way to tell our neighbors we do not actually want to leave them and we continue to have to do together. Of course, as I have not used this international language for a year, it was difficult to speak again. I suppose I missed some of the exchanges, but I hope I am not wrong with the mind of the meeting.

First of all, Open SDGclub.Berlin, 21th - 23th of november 2016, was a very well organized meeting :

  • About 100 people from almost all the continents, informed, mobilized, motivated, transported, hosted, gathered during three days : extremely comfortable conditions ;
  • A very dense program respected to the minute, including twice by the politicians, it is a performance worthy of the Deutsche Bahn ;
  • A great mastery of all the symbolic, significant and emotional aspects of the meeting ;
  • A wide variety of sequences stimulating the involvement and exchanges between all participants and ultimately leaving the feeling of having really contributed to making progress ;
  • The dynamic involvement of participants from countries that have declared themselves willing to work together on the implementation of SDGs.

Majority of the participants had already come convinced, others out of curiosity and some with skepticism. Perhaps it was lacking more trade unionists and entrepreneurs. How to share between so different countries and situations ? What exchanges in three days about the implementation of 17 objectives and 169 targets, the same for all countries ? How to deal when countries have so different visions of the implementation of the same goals ? Can we simply dream of a sustainable world when most of our contemporaries ignore the word and when ourselves we hesitate on the meaning to give it ?

Our German hosts only gave us some examples, not without pride, of what they have engaged and what they are trying to do :

  • bringing together « The sustainable development week » between several European countries at the end of May - beginning of June ;
  • promoting « The sustainability Code » to benchmark sustainable economy ;
    Diner at "Fabrik 23"
  • learning the lessons from the different historical transformations of a capital city they love, Berlin, where there is still so much to do, as at « Factory 23 » ... and so many opportunities to take ;
  • organizing cooperation between partners for peer reviews on sustainable development strategies.

No mechanical replication of these exemples would be possible. No miraculous method is advocated. Every participant is invited to share their own experiences and those of their countries. Everyone speaks on their own behalf and no one is in charge of a representation. So every participant can imagine the strength he will be able to have to do something more when he gets home. He will not be alone since the other members of the club will also try on their side. And it will be possible to exchange again and to reconstitute the « stage » in two years.

"Open" is qualified this club, and "open" it must be :

  • Open to variations at national or sub-national levels ;
  • Open to regional or continental initiatives ;
  • Open because if a new German meeting could be envisaged in 2018, its 300 000 euros repetition would not be sustainable ;
  • Open, why not, for a European 2018 version if other countries would like to share the experience.

The 2030 Agenda marks a milestone in a world vision initiated in 1972, strengthened in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 and expanded in 2012. The SDGs put on the same level the development all peoples want to reach and the collective commitment to preserve the planet : People, Planet, Prosperity. Contrary to the Millennium Goals, they are addressed in the same terms to all developing, emerging or developed countries. And everyone can learn from others.
Achieving the 17 SDGs will require other major international meetings such as Adis Abeba or Paris in 2015. However, the universalism of 2030 Agenda is incompatible with a standardization of the world. This Agenda calls for multilateralism and, to a wider extent, the mobilization of all. Is it not one of the important messages of the Open SDGclub.Berlin ? Let us hope that it will be resumed and multiplied !


Voir en ligne : Open SDGclub.Berlin

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