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State secretary Flasbarth on Think7 Summit: Militarisation of foreign and development policy must not become a new normal

In his keynote at the Think7 Summit, State Secretary Jochen Flasbarth, Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, analyses that current development policies need to be fundamentally assessed against the new geopolitical background. In his remarks, he pointed out that there are two important points in this regard: First, the militarisation of foreign and development policy must not become a new normal. And second, the Sustainable Development Goals and the Agenda 2030 remain the right and most important overarching concept for global cooperation and development. “If we were in the future in a position, where we have fixed the climate problem, but still do not deliver on all the SDGs, the world community will still have failed totally”, he said in Berlin.
Flasbarth made it very clear that the world community, including Germany, needs to speed up to meet the expectations. “We need to fight against hunger, poverty, inequality; we have to fight for resilient health systems. We have to fight for the right of education. And of course, we have to fight against violating our planetary boundaries.”
He identifies two obstacles to reaching the goals that have been agreed upon in 2015. One is the availability of resources – public budgets are depleted after the COVID-19 pandemic and the leverage effect to mobilise private resources has been much smaller than expected. The world community “will have to do more with less”, he said. And it needs to answer the question how more private investments can be leveraged, how green, the social, SDG investments become the new normal.

The other obstacle is multilateralism in itself. Flasbarth underlined that “we need multilateralism and we need more than we had”. But he also acknowledged that the G20 and the UN have been shattered and he is afraid that the G20 will not be an effective forum for the next two years. Agreeing with what the Head of the Federal Chancellery, Wolfgang Schmidt, had elaborated on in his keynote at the Think7 Summit, Flasbarth sees an elegant way around the current situation: Plurilateral alliances, such as the Just Energy Transition Partnerships, can indeed be one way to overcome the aforementioned challenges.

Watch keynote here