A look at the discussion board: Federal President a.D. Prof. Dr. Köhler discussed  aspects of his speech..

“International politics needs a new spirit of cooperation”

The negotiations for the new United Nation’s goals for sustainable development are approaching. The goals need to be realistic, yet still ambitious – a challenge the community of states can only meet if everyone pulls together.

Partnership, a sense of community, and cooperation: Former Federal President Prof Horst Köhler and State Secretary from the Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Dr Friedrich Kitschelt, made a very clear appeal to participants at the “Global Partnerships and the Post-2015 Agenda for Sustainable Development” Flagship Forum jointly organised by GIZ and the BMZ in the Bonn Wasserwerk on May 12, 2014.

State Secretary Kitschelt opened the conference by emphasising: “We are all unified by a common goal: We want sustainable development, prosperity and quality of life for everyone on this planet. To this end we need a new form of international cooperation. Our current divisions into the rich and the poor, the recipients and the donors, are no longer moving us forward. It is about everyone’s responsibility for everyone. That is what our new goal system must stand for!”

In his keynote, former Federal President Köhler clearly expressed his sense that: “The fate of the global community has become so closely and rapidly intertwined – economically, ecologically, socially and morally – that we desperately need a paradigm shift that ultimately offers political supports for this reality.” This paradigm shift, according to Köhler, should take place within states’ relationships to one other: “International politics needs a new spirit of cooperation and a new leitmotif of collaboration. It needs the spirit and leitmotif of partnership. And I am convinced that this is not just essential; it is also possible.”

Köhler continued, noting that this was possible in particular because individual citizens were often more advanced than the states themselves. It was therefore important to envision and internalize the fact that the Post-2015 Agenda was not just a list of goals, but rather about values, solidarity and responsibility. Köhler repeatedly emphasised the mutual accountability of the nations.

Former Federal President Köhler then discussed aspects of his address with State Secretary Friedrich Kitschelt, the Chair of the Management Board of Deutsche Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Tanja Gönner, Mexico’s Ambassador to Germany, Patricia Espinosa-Cantellano, and the President of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), Peter Bakker. All discussion participants were in complete agreement: Trusting partnerships were the key that would allow goals people could profit from to be developed and implemented.

A second podium discussion in the afternoon focused on the concrete implementation and practical aspects of the Post-2015 Partnership. The German energy revolution was often cited as an example and possible model for global, participative partnerships. The worldwide consultation conducted by the United Nations on the post-2015 goals was also honoured. Some young participants from the international World We Want youth consultation presented podium guests and conference participants with ideas and demands they had developed over the course of a two-day workshop in the run-up to the conference.

GIZ Management Board Chair Tanja Gönner closed the conference on a positive note with a hopeful take on the negotiations surrounding the Post-2015 Agenda.

The Bonn conference on May 12, 2014 addressed international experts from politics, the scientific community, civil society and the private sector and was organised by the GIZ’s Development Policy Forum.

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