In New York, USA, the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development will be meeting until 20 July. Alongside Germany, another 21 states will be reporting on the measures they have taken to realise the 2030 Agenda.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is a contract for the future of the world. It is intended to help everybody in the world to live in dignity. It aims to promote peace and to help all people live in liberty and in an intact environment. The 17 sustainable development goals laid out in the Agenda combine the economic, ecological and social dimensions of sustainability, thus, for the first time ever bringing together the imperatives of poverty reduction and sustainability in one single Agenda.
The Parliamentary State Secretary in the Federal Environment Ministry, Rita Schwarzelühr-Sutter, and the Parliamentary State Secretary in the Federal Development Ministry, Thomas Silberhorn will be reporting on behalf of Germany in New York. To supplement the report of the German government, a representative of German civil society will also present a short joint statement drawn up by non-governmental stakeholders.
The Chancellor had previously announced that Germany would be one of the first countries to present its efforts to the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development this year. In this way Germany intends to pick up on the impetus provided by the 2030 Agenda, and support robust monitoring and mutual learning.
"The global community has set itself an enormous task over the next 15 years with the 2030 Agenda," said the Chancellor in a government statement on 24 September 2015. The German government has undertaken to implement the Agenda ambitiously. "In Germany too, we are in some respects a long way away from achieving sustainability in the way we live, the way we do business, and the way we manage natural resources."
The report presented in New York notes that Germany has on the whole achieved a very high level of development, but concedes that further efforts will be needed to achieve the sustainable development goals (SDGs) at national level, and thus make an appropriate contribution to achieving the goals at global level.
From the outset Germany has affirmed its support for an ambitious implementation of the 2030 Agenda, and has already taken first steps to do so at national level. The German government takes its lead from the five core areas of the 2030 Agenda: People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace und Partnership.
To realise the 2030 Agenda there will have to be a far-reaching transformation in every aspect of our lives. And a new culture of sustainability will have to emerge.
The report looks at efforts made by Germany to realise each of the seventeen SDGs, as laid out in the draft of the country’s updated national sustainable development strategy.
Germany has had a national sustainable development strategy since 2002, which means that it already has a wealth of experience on which it can build. Overall though, there is still a lot to do in Germany too, in order to achieve the sustainable development goals.
The promotion of sustainable development is a fundamental goal and the yardstick by which government actions are measured. Progress on implementing the strategy is measured regularly against specific targets and indicators. The sustainability management system in place, with its procedures, bodies and instruments, ensures that the guiding principle of sustainable development is followed in the work of the government.
Special importance is attached to involving civil society stakeholders. In the updating of the national sustainable development strategy in particular, every effort has been made to involve the people. In the ongoing updating of the national sustainable development strategy, too, the German government is considering how to involve the concerns of civil society to an even greater extent.
The German government has decided that the national sustainable development strategy is to continue to provide a major framework for realising the sustainable development goals inside Germany
The new strategy will contain measures designed to impact inside Germany, alongside German engagement at global level and measures within the scope of international cooperation.
The draft of the new national sustainable development strategy is publicly available until 31 July, and everybody can add their comments. Following consultations with non-governmental and also other state stakeholders (parliament, federal states, local authorities), the new updated national sustainable development strategy is to be adopted by the Cabinet in late 2016. The next indicator report on the national sustainable development strategy is planned for 2018; the next progress report will be published in 2020.
The German government intends, following the regular progress report on the national sustainable development strategy in 2020, to report again to the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development in 2021.
The HLPF – a United Nations body
The High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, or HLPF, has replaced the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. The founding of the HLPF was one of the key outcomes of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in 2012 (Rio+20).
On 24 September 2013 the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development began work in New York. Since this year, the HLPF has been reviewing commitments made, in particular under the 2030 Agenda, under the aegis of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). The HLPF is the central platform for the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development represent the German government vis à vis the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development.