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Sustainable Development in an Unequal World?-Critical Perspectives on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Developement


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Panel discussion

At the end of September, the UN General Assembly will adopt the 2030 agenda for sustainable development and the herein included list of objectives, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Political scientist Aziz Fall (Université de Quebec and Grila), Mariam Sow (Director of Enda Tiers Monde Dakar) and Helge Swars (German World Peace Service Organisation) will have a first look at the implementation of the new agenda and pose the question on its feasibility and limits.

As already seen with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), political conditions have a huge impact on the success or failure of such goals; because development policies not only reach their limits when it comes to sufficient and secured financing, but also because of a lack of coherence within global politics and power relations. We therefore want to ask the question: What framework or basic conditions would  the Sustainable Development Goals need in order to bring transformative and sustainable change (that is for the first time not only directed at the countries of the global South)?  

Economic and political relations in our world, and especially trade conditions, play a key role in this context. How much of a barrier are they for the implementation of the SDGs? 

How does a just global economic order have to look like in order to realise the ambitious new goals? In which cases, and by whom, is economic justice already being demanded or negotiated? What can the tool of development cooperation and politics bring to the table or do we need completely different and new institutions and approaches to make this possible? How can social actors engage and where are their limits?

To answer these questions, we are also going to have a look at past and existing approaches and visions which are so numerous especially in the African context and ask the question: What can we learn from these approaches and how can we realise these visions together?

The event will be held in German and French language with simultaneous translation.

Mariam Sow is coordinator of Enda Pronat and Chairwoman of the Council of the international network Enda Tiers Monde. Born as a peasants daughter, she has always been working with farmers and since 1983, she leads the Enda Pronat (environmental protection) Program. In 1996, she became its coordinator and since 2013, she takes responsibility as the chair women of Enda Tiers Monde. Despite her position, she continues fighting against globalized seed monopoles and Land Grabbing alongside local farmers.

Aziz Salmone Fall is an Egyptian-Senegalese lecturer and internationalist political scientist. He teaches political sciences, anthropology, international relations and international development at McGill University and the Université du Québec in Montréal, Canada. He describes himself as an international pan-Africanist and has thus developed the concept of “panafricentrage” to address the issue of development and basic needs. His parents, Professor Fawzia Abdel Aziz Mohamed and Salmone Fall, were both committed and renowned pan-Africanists; they notably helped Patrice Lumumba’s family to escape from Congo to Egypt after the latter’s murder. Aziz Fall was coordinator of the Quebec network against apartheid and is currently president of the Aubin Fondation and Ryerson Research Center, co-founder and co-coordinator of the left-wing Mouvement des Assises de Gauche in Senegal, as well as founder and member of GRILA (Group for Research and Initiative for the Liberation of Africa), within which, together with  a group of 21 lawyers and several organizations, he coordinates the first African international campaign against impunity – the case of President Thomas Sankara. He is the author of the film "Africom go home - foreign bases out of Africa", advocating against Africa's NATO recolonisation from Stuttgart. For more information, see www.grila.org & www.azizfall.com

Helge Swars works as Programme Coordinator for Southern Africa at the World Peace Service.

The dialogue forum is part of the project "Post 2015 – Everything better? African Perspectives on Global Challenges!", organized by AfricAvenir e.V. in 2014/2015. The aim was to provide critical African perspectives and open alternative ways of thinking to the German public and decision makers on the transition from MDGs to SDGs.

With the kind support of the Landesstelle für Entwicklungszusammenarbeit (LEZ) and Engagement Global.

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