"Eradicating absolute poverty"
At the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit, in New York, Chancellor Angela Merkel reminded her audience of what the Millennium Development Goals have achieved between 2000 and 2015. With the help of the MDGs, absolute poverty in the world has been reduced by half. "That gives us every reason to be optimistic," said the Chancellor.
The next step, which the international community will take at the summit in New York, is to adopt the "2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development", which lays out the global development goals for the next 15 years.
Strengthening the worldwide health system
In order to achieve the sustainable development goals, said Angela Merkel, the world will first need efficient structures at all levels – national, regional and global. The Ebola crisis was a dire warning of how important it is to ensure that all stakeholders act together, and that a strong, reformed World Health Organization is at the centre of efforts.
With Ghana and Norway, Germany has taken the initiative to establish a high-ranking body within the United Nations. This body will draw up proposals as to "how we can learn the right lessons from this epidemic and ensure that the world can respond better and faster in future."
Germany will respect its commitments
Another important precondition for achieving the sustainable development goals is that the necessary funding is available, said Angela Merkel. Germany will uphold its commitment to earmark 0.7 per cent of it gross domestic product for these purposes. Germany’s development budget will rise substantially over the next few years. But state efforts can only be part of the overall drive. "Private investment will also be vital," said the Chancellor.
"Decarbonisation" by 2100
For sustainable development it is essential to protect our global climate. At the end of 2015 the international community is to adopt an ambitious climate agreement. The aim is to keep global warming down to a rise of 2°C. With a view to the goal of achieving a carbon-free economy, the Chancellor said, "For this we need a shared vision of how to attain decarbonisation at global level before the end of this century. Here, too, the right investment is necessary. It is important – and Germany will do its part – that the industrialised countries stick to the pledge they made in Copenhagen and make 100 billion dollars a year available to the developing countries for climate protection from 2020. In this way, we will create the confidence that all countries in the world can develop in a climate-friendly manner and that particularly vulnerable countries can receive help to adapt to climate change."
Fighting migration and expulsion
Finally, the fight against migration and expulsion is a major precondition for the successful development of the planet. "War, terrorism and violence, but also a lack of prospects and the destruction of the natural resource base on which we depend" are currently forcing more people to flee their homes than at any time since the Second World War. The international community has the responsibility to tackle the root causes of migration.
Agenda 2030 offers a good framework for tackling these challenges, concluded the Chancellor.