November 13, 2014
Matthias Klettermayer, Sustainable Development Officer at the United Nations Department of Social and Economic Affairs in New York, NY, spoke to a crowd of about 120 students at Wilkes University on November 13 about the United Nation’s Sustained Development agenda beyond 2015. The lecture, entitled “The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals – A New Approach”, is part of the Humpty Dumpty Institute’s Higher Education Alliance program designed to build bridges between United Nations and universities around the nation. Mr. Klettermayer praised the UN lecture series saying that “this interchange between the UN and universities is extremely important”. Mr. Klettermayer first provided a brief history of the UN charter and illuminated the fact that at the time of its signing, the UN charter did not include goals for sustained development. Mr. Klettermayer discussed the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals and the future implementation of Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs – a set of goals which were agreed upon at the Rio+20 Conference in 2012. Sustainable Development Goals will build upon the Millennium Development Goals for the post-2015 development agenda. SDGs are a collection of 17 goals designed to address some of the world’s key issues - Sustainable Development Goals and targets. The question now is how UN member states can work together to finance the post-2015 SDGs. One estimate puts the cost of the project at 33 trillion dollars. In addition to this financial challenge, Mr. Klettermayer remarked that violent conflict is one of the greatest obstacles of sustained development. As an example, he cited that the civil war in Syria has undone 35 years of development.
In addition to his role as a Sustainable Development Officer, Matthias Klettermayer is responsible for communication and outreach in the United Nation’s Division for Sustainable Development, which is part of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA). He regularly gives presentations and briefings on sustainable development issues, including a follow-up to the 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) and the United Nations Post-2015 Development Agenda. Mr. Klettermayer is lead author of the Division's monthly newsletter Sustainable Development in Action and manages the Division's social media channels on Twitter and Facebook. He also organises Google+ hangouts and Facebook chats on sustainable development issues.
Prior to working with the United Nations, Mr. Klettermayer worked at the British Embassy and UK Permanent Mission to the United Nations in Vienna, where his portfolio included communication and outreach activities on a range of international issues. He has a Master’s degree in Communications Science from the University of Vienna, Austria.