Protecting the world from crisis: fields of engagement for a sustainable foreign policy

Man in front of abstract mural - Bab Doukkala, Marrakesh, Morocco

The determined implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development can prevent conflict and safeguard global stability – and, as a new study from adelphi shows, foreign policy has a critical role to play. The study will be presented at the German Federal Foreign Office in Berlin today.


The international community faces ever-increasing challenges, including the elimination of glaring inequality and the management of finite natural resources. At the same time, the willingness to cooperate seems to be waning and unilateral action makes it difficult to find joint solutions. German foreign policy can pave the way for transformative change by actively supporting a major achievement of multilateralism: the 2030 Agenda with its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The six incisive essays in ‘Driving Transformative Change: Foreign Affairs and the 2030 Agenda’, a study from Berlin based think tank adelphi, show how foreign policy can advance the 2030 Agenda.

‘We need a “Diplomacy for Sustainability”’

What is the role of foreign policy in the global sustainability architecture? What are the fields of engagement and tools of a new ‘Diplomacy for Sustainability’? The essays and the panel discussion at the Federal Foreign Office on April 30, 2019 explore these questions. This event is being organised by adelphi and Sustainable Development Solutions Network Germany (SDSN Germany). Read the summary of the launch conference here.

‘The SDGs have a common goal: the conservation of resources, social justice, peace and stability. The geopolitical significance of the 2030 Agenda lies in the sphere of influence of foreign policy,’ explains adelphi’s managing director Alexander Carius, who will moderate the discussion.

In the foreword to the study, Miguel Berger, Director-General for Economic Affairs and Sustainable Development at the German Federal Foreign Office, and keynote speaker Susanne Baumann, Director-General for International Order, the United Nations and Arms Control at the Federal Foreign Office, note: ‘The 2030 Agenda and the UN Sustainable Development Goals guide us in our efforts to meet these major challenges. What we need is a “Diplomacy for Sustainability”.’

About the study

The study was written by adelphi in cooperation with renowned international partner institutions such as the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the Center on International Cooperation (CIC) at New York University and CDP Worldwide. The initiative and this publication are supported by a grant from the German Federal Foreign Office.

Download „Driving Transformative Change: Foreign Affairs and the 2030 Agenda“