How can we make the world peaceful, fair and sustainable?

Sep 4, 2017

How do we make the world peaceful, fair and sustainable? Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel discussed this question on August 31 with participants of the #Brandt2030 conference in Berlin and said that working to create a fair world is “the crucial key to facilitating peaceful coexistence in the 21st century”.

40th anniversary of the Brandt Commission – visionary ideas now and then

From the Brandt Commission to the 2030 Agenda Enlarge image From the Brandt Commission to the 2030 Agenda (© Gaertner)

The Independent Commission on International Development Issues chaired by Willy Brandt began its work 40 years ago. In 1980 and 1982, it published reports containing recommendations on key issues of global economic policy and political governance, including world trade, disarmament, migration, poverty, population growth and global institutions. The recommendations by what became known as the Brandt Commission laid the foundations for the Sustainable Development Goals recently formulated by the United Nations in its 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

In his speech, Foreign Minister Gabriel said that the Brandt Commission’s ideas and suggestions were visionary at the time and that many of them remained equally relevant today. At the time, Willy Brandt predicted that these ideas would be “taken back off the shelf” again in the future. And that was exactly what was now being done, Foreign Minister Gabriel said in his speech.

Making the world fairer – and a safe and good place for future generations to live

Foreign Minister Gabriel at the #Brandt2030 conference Enlarge image Foreign Minister Gabriel at the #Brandt2030 conference (© Gaertner)

In the same way that the Brandt Commission’s recommendations were ahead of their time, “we continue to face the great challenge of making the world a genuinely fairer place”. If we succeed in this, “we will also make the world a safe and good place for our children’s and grandchildren’s generations to live”, Gabriel said.

With a view to the current developments on the Korean Peninsula, Gabriel warned about the dangers of a heavily armed world. He called for nuclear disarmament and arms control to be put back on the international community’s agenda, saying that it was important to launch a “new trend towards global disarmament”.

Discussion among young leaders about shaping the future

Quoting Willy Brandt, Foreign Minister Gabriel said that “the shaping of our common future is much too important to be left to governments and experts alone”. He was thus delighted to have the opportunity to speak with a large number of young people from all over the world at the conference, as many of the participants were young leaders from the spheres of politics, business and civil society from Germany and abroad. The challenges as regards sustainable, peaceful and fair globalisation were the main topic of three panel discussions at the conference.


#Brandt2030 conference

Federal Foreign Office, Berlin

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