The adoption of the 2030 Agenda in 2015 marked a high point for international multilateral cooperation. With its 17 goals and 169 targets, the implementation process for the SDGs may appear an essentially technocratic exercise. Yet in view of the social transformation that it seeks to bring about across key dimensions of human civilisation, SDG implementation remains a profoundly political process. Because of the intense political implications, in-depth analysis, political foresight and strategic guidance are needed. As the consequences of SDG implementation cross and transcend borders and impact international relations, foreign policy has a critical role to play.
This essay originally appeared as part of adelphi's volume "Driving Transformative Change:Foreign Affairs and the 2030 Agenda" (April 2019). The publication, comprised by 6 provocative essays, explores what contributions foreign policy can make on the road to achieving sustainable ways of life and provide guidance by pointing out entry points, priorities and trade-offs. They aim to inspire actors around the world to work together to initiate and boost the necessary changes and keep winning over new like-minded partners.