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Global Resilience Agenda: A Foreign Policy Perspective on the SDGs

17 July 2018, 18:30
New York, USA

The German Federal Foreign Office and adelphi co-organized the side event “Global Resilience Agenda: A Foreign Policy Perspective on the SDGs” on 17 July 2018 at the High Level Political Forum 2018, which took place in the German Permanent Mission in New York. The event sought to deepen the understanding of the SDGs and geopolitics and the particularities of each region. A range of high-ranking officials from the UN and national governments joined the event, as well as experts from academia and civil society.

Tuesday, 17 July 2018, 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Restaurant of the Permanent Mission of Germany to the United Nations,

871 United Nations Plaza, New York, USA

Registration: Please send an email to


Objectives of the side event

The side-event discussed how the SDGs under review are connected to peace and, with the look to the HLPF 2019, how they can contribute to achieving SDG16 and strengthening climate resilience (SDG13). This was done with a focus on illustrative regional and country examples, i.e. small island developing states (SIDS) and the MENA region. The aim was to provide context-specific, in-depth insights and equip various stakeholders involved in SDG-processes with conceptual knowledge and examples.

After short reflections from foreign policy makers, from national government, the United Nations as well as from civil society/academia, the discussion revolved around these questions:

  • Why and how is the 2030 Agenda relevant for foreign policy and what can we learn in this regard from the SDGs under review in 2018?
  • How does slow progress on the SDGs impact on progress on SDG16 and how can positive developments be supported?  
  • What are the conflict drivers linked to SDGs in fragile countries? How would progress on SDG targets affect conflict – to what extent are peace dividends likely?
  • How can the links between the SDGs under review and peacebuilding be best accounted for by programming and activities in fragile contexts?

Furthermore, adelphi provided a foreign policy perspective on the SDGs under review in 2018 through a think piece that argued that implementing the 2030 Agenda will affect global order and is linked to external action priorities, such as conflict prevention, stabilisation, migration, or peacebuilding.



6:30 p.m. Introduction by Ambassador Dr. Christoph Heusgen, Permanent Representative of Germany to the United Nations

6:40 p.m. – Setting the scene: "A Foreign Policy Perspective on the SDGs"

6:50 p.m. The implications of the SDGs for peace and geopolitics

  • Mr. Henk-Jan Brinkman, Chief of Policy, Planning and Application, UN Peacebuilding Support Office 
  • H.E. Ms. Marlene Moses, Permanent Representative of Nauru to the United Nations (tbc)
  • Mr. Alexander Müller, Managing Director of TMG Think Tank for Sustainability, and former Assistant-Director General of the FAO of the UN Department for Natural Resources and Environment
  • Ms. Elisabeth Pape, Senior Expert, ‎EU Delegation to the UN; former Acting Head, Fragility and Resilience Unit, DG DEVCO

7:15p.m.   Open floor discussion

7:55 p.m. Closing remarks

The event was moderated by Mr.Alexander Carius, Managing Director of adelphi.


This side event was targeted at high-level decision-makers and participants in the High-Level Political Forum (delegations and stakeholders).