“We are currently not on the right track,” said Federal Chancellor Scholz in his speech to the SDG Summit in New York on Monday. It is assumed in all reports on the half-time status of the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) that not a single country will reach the 17 goals on time if the current pace is maintained.
The Federal Chancellor added that Germany was the world’s second biggest bilateral donor in development cooperation, and that the Federal Government had spent a total of five billion euros on the elimination of poverty and hunger around the world in 2022. He pointed out that the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine had aggravated the situation of people suffering from starvation worldwide.
World Bank reform
“Germany strongly supports innovative funding instruments and a reform of the international financial architecture, especially of the World Bank,” the Federal Chancellor said. The goal was to fight poverty and extreme poverty more effectively around the world, and to ensure more efficient financing of global public goods, he continued. The public goods he mentioned include climate protection, biodiversity, pandemic preparedness and prevention.
Public goods are all goods and services offered by the state. No individual can be excluded from using public goods.
The goal of restructuring the international financial system is to orient all financing flows towards the 17 SDGs, in order to prevent a funding gap when implementing the 2030 Agenda.
Declaration on an accelerated implementation of the SDGs
The 193 member states of the United Nations published a political declaration to accelerate action to achieve the global sustainability goals. The text was adopted unanimously during the summit in New York.
In their declaration the United Nations renewed their commitment to the 2030 Agenda. One key issue of the declaration is funding for the measures for implementing the 17 goals. Among other aspects, the UN member states undertake to promote gender equality, inclusive digitalisation, sustainable and resilient water and energy supplies, and nutrition and health systems.
Joint efforts of the world community are essential
“The complex challenges we are facing cannot be solved in isolation by a single organisation or nation. These problems require collective action and partnership,” stressed Minister of State Sarah Ryglewski at an event held prior to the SDG Summit in New York.
Ryglewski added that joint action across different states, levels and sectors, as well as partnership across different generations, religions and genders was needed, and that nobody could be left behind.
Rescue plan for the planet
The United Nations called upon the heads of state and government to contribute concrete suggestions for a “rescue plan for humanity and the planet” at this year’s SDG Summit. The Federal Government responded to this call and presented twelve key contributions in New York.
The measures suggested by the Federal Government cover a range of aspects of sustainability policy. These include:
- Promoting sustainable development financing and the World Bank reform
- Promoting climate protection and conservation of biological diversity
- Promoting social justice and inclusion of people with disabilities around the world
- Structuring public debt in a sustainable manner
- Promoting feminist development policy and foreign policy
- Realising the global energy system transformation in a socially just and eco-friendly manner
- Enhancing food security
- Strengthening health systems and pandemic prevention
Greater involvement of young people
The SDGs were a universal agenda to “transform our world,” Minister of State Ryglewski explained, adding that to achieve this transformation, governments had to acknowledge the value of working in partnership with young people, and to create clear ways to allow for meaningful involvement.
As an example of this, she mentioned the youth advisory council of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), whose goal was to take the ideas of young people on board to make the BMZ’s policies more sustainable. The Federal Government also supports participation of various youth delegates in the SDG Summit, for example from Fiji, India, South Sudan and the Philippines. “We need young people as critical thinkers, because young people possess the ability to identify and question existing power structures and barriers to change, and to reveal contradictions and prejudices,” Ryglewski said.
The High Level Political Forum (HLPF) is the central UN committee for reviewing and reporting on the implementation status of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development that was adopted in 2015, and the related 17 SDGs. In addition to annual summits held under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the SDG Summit with the heads of state and government takes place every four years, and is hosted by the UN General Assembly. The recommendations made by the UN Secretary-General in the SDG Progress Report, along with recommendations made by the committee of experts that drew up the Global Sustainability Report, provide guidance for the summit.