Achieving the SDGs: mission impossible or yes we can?

We are at the halfway point of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set in 2015 by all 193 members of the United Nations. Will we reach them by 2030, or will we fail to organize ourselves to generate the impact required? In a context full of mutually reinforcing crises (conflicts, pandemic, climate change…), are the SDGs a mission impossible? Or are there sparks of hope that mean we can still achieve these Global Goals? And if so, what is required from each and all of us? What power and ideas do young people have for the future? And what motivates our speakers to pursue a career in global development, despite the huge challenges?

This event is part of a visit of Achim Steiner (UNDP Administrator) to The Hague. He will speak with young people, civil society, parliament and government to discuss how the Netherlands and UNDP can together generate lasting impact for a more just and sustainable world.

Achim Steiner and Kitty van der Heijden (Director-General, Dutch MFA) will also share their personal drives and share what they believe are the challenges and reasons for optimism. They will challenge the audience to think about what role each of us can play, regardless of age or background. Of course, they also look forward to being challenged by you!


  • Achim Steiner is UNDP Administrator, the head of the United Nations Development Programme, and one of the most influential individuals within the UN on international development cooperation. Achim is a visionary and inspirational public speaker with clear ideas of what is required to achieve the SDGs.
  • Kitty van der Heijden is Director General for International Cooperation at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Her responsibilities include development cooperation policy, implementation and funding. Kitty speaks with passion and enthusiasm about her work and what drives her.

Event moderator is Fenna Timsi, the Dutch UN Youth Representative for human rights and security, supported by Kiki Ritmeijer, Dutch UN Youth Representative for Sustainable Development.

Event is co-organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Leiden University – Campus The Hague, the Auditorium. This event takes place at Schouwburgstraat 2 2511 VA Den Haag.


Join this online dialogue here.

10:30 –11:30 GMT + 2 (The Hague)

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