IDS lends support to launch of the Jena Declaration

Published on 9 September 2021

The Institute of Development Studies has joined a network of international institutions in calling for a new cultural approach to achieve the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The ‘Jena Declaration’ launched on the 9 September.

The United Nation’s Agenda 2030 came into force on 1 January 2016 and committed the member states to doing everything possible over the next 15 years to achieve the 17 goals for sustainable development.  With increasing awareness that the global community will not reach the Agenda 2030 goals in time, a group of international institutions has come together to call for a new strategic approach that prioritises culture as a means of still achieving the UN Sustainability goals.

The Jena Declaration is supported by IDS with more than 30 other institutions including the Club of Rome, the World Academy of Art and Science, the Academia Europaea, and the German and Canadian UNESCO Commissions. It was founded by Prof. Benno Werlen, the UNESCO Chair on Global Understanding for Sustainability at Friedrich Schiller University Jena. It will be launched on Thursday 9 September at an event with speakers including the Co-President of the Club of Rome, Mamphela Ramphele; the President of the World Academy of Art and Science; Garry Jacobs, Prof. Hartmut Rosa, Secretary-General of the German UNESCO Commission; the German climate activist Luisa Neubauer and artists from Afghanistan, Iran and South Africa, among others.

Melissa Leach, Director of IDS, commented: ‘The existing measures for realising the UN Sustainability Goals have made real progress but the steps taken are not far reaching enough. It is increasingly clear that top-down measures to tackle global challenges are not effective because they do not allow for the diversity of cultural and regional differences. This is why we are pleased to support the Jena Declaration which underlines our belief in the need for action based on community, people and culture. Only by listening and involving those directly affected can we achieve the transformation we need towards global sustainability.’

Find out more about the Jena Declaration and watch the launch event on Thursday 9 September 2021