In the course of the network meeting the participants described how far their respective sustainability partnerships had come, and related their experience to date when working together on the 2030 Agenda. The Service Agency project enables experts from municipalities to share expertise on specific issues. It also supports the municipalities in raising awareness of the goals of the 2030 Agenda at public events, and implementing joint pilot measures on one or several of the SDGs.
Bijeljina in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the municipality of Langenhagen in Lower Saxony, for example, are working together on SDG 10 – Reduce Inequality. Specifically, their activities involve integrating migrants and displaced persons, and including persons with disabilities. The municipality of Bijeljina also intends to raise awareness of the 2030 Agenda. 'A broad knowledge base is important for implementing the 17 SDGs locally', emphasised Ankica Todorović, Director of the city's department for local economic development and European integration. Other partnerships, such as the one between Kirchhain in the German state of Hesse and Viti in Kosovo, are working to scale up renewable energy, which has not yet been used very much in the South-Eastern European partner countries.
One highlight of the meeting was the report by Envesa Hodžić-Kovač of the United Nations in Bosnia and Herzegovina. She explained how the United Nations was supporting the country in implementing the 2030 Agenda, and what methods were being used to actively involve the population in the implementation process. Amongst other things, by using a kind of board game in which players prioritise the 17 SDGs, the United Nations has so far reached around 1,000 people in various social groups. Many of the municipalities attending subsequently expressed an interest in using this game for their own activities.