The cities of Bremen and Bremerhaven in cooperation with the Service Agency Communities in One World (SKEW) invited their sister cities to discuss the joint implementation of the Agenda 2030 during the ‘2nd Sister Cities Conference on Sustainability - 17 Goals for a Better World’ from March 4 to March 5, 2019.
Over 40 international guests from Cherbourg (France), Dalian (China), Durban (South Africa), Frederikshavn (Denmark), Groningen (Netherlands), Haifa (Israel), Tamra (Israel), Izmir (Turkey), Kaliningrad (Russia), Riga (Latvia) and Windhoek (Namibia) were among the 200 participants at Bremen's historic town hall as well as German municipal representatives and local actors from academia, business and civil society.
In his opening speech, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas stressed the special role of cities in the implementation process of the Agenda 2030: ‘It is at local level, in the cities, that people will find out whether the 2030 Agenda will succeed or not. And it is also there that the necessary change in attitudes must take root. People everywhere must come to embrace sustainability in all spheres of life.’ He then wished all participants courage and optimism in the search for solutions to achieve the SDGs.
During the two days of the conference, the participants had intensive discussions in plenary sessions, various workshops and excursions. The SKEW was present to support the development of local approaches and also offered a workshop on the topic of Gender and Climate Change. In the end, the conference participants all agreed that cooperation in the form of (municipal) partnerships is an important success factor. Many good local solutions already exist - these deserve to be shared!