Statement by Ambassador Leendertse at the first thematic consultation on “Our Common Agenda”, UN General Assembly on February 10th 2022

Logo of the report and ensuing consultation process Our Common Agenda by Secretary-General Guterres

Logo: Our Common Agenda, © UN

10.02.2022 - Speech

Title of the consultation organized by the President of the General Assembly:
“Accelerating and scaling up the Sustainable Development Goals, leaving no-one behind”

Mr President

I align myself with the statement delivered by the EU.

Germany fully supports the objectives and ambitions of the Secretary General’s report, and is keen on working jointly with the United Nations and other member states on their implementation. This is why we are among the first co-sponsors of Resolution A/76/L.8/rev.1, and this is why we welcome this opportunity to present our views.

The SDGs have become part of our DNA when working towards a just, inclusive future. I would like to touch upon six issues of particular importance to us:

First, “Our Common Agenda” notes that 92 percent of all SDGs are linked to human rights. We therefore believe that the UN should develop an ambitious agenda to defend them, one that clearly identifies existing shortfalls and calls on Member States to tackle them.

We welcome the Agenda’s call to update our thinking on human rights, including on frontier issues relating to the digital space as well as human rights and climate change. Germany will continue to play a leading role in this regard, for example as the co-facilitator of the General Assembly and Human Rights Council resolutions on the right to privacy in the digital age.

Second, we would like to note that achieving gender equality must be a cornerstone of any measures taken to invigorate a “new social contract”. All UN actions must be gender-responsive or gender-transformative. I am looking forward to present the agreed conclusions of this year’s CSW with all of you next month.

Third, ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all is a collective commitment of the 2030 Agenda. Efforts to transform education are even more crucial than ever. Germany welcomes the Secretary General´s initiative to convene a Summit on Transforming Education. We are willing to be part of that effort.

Fourth, better and more meaningful youth participation is urgently needed, including in the UN system itself. Germany is generally supportive of the establishment of a UN Youth Office.

We would also like to stress that an improved engagement and inclusion of UN Youth Delegates from various countries is another way to increase meaningful youth participation. We encourage the Secretary General to further assist Member States in their efforts to create and sustain national Youth Delegate Programs that reflect youth in its diversity.

Fifth, increased investment in social protection is vital in order to reach the 4 billion people who are currently unprotected, to provide basic income security and resilience to crises. We welcome the SG’s proposal for a Global Accelerator for Jobs and Social Protection. Its creation should be an inclusive process, with broad participation of developing countries, donors, international financial institutions, UN agencies and programmes, and civil society. The option of a Global Fund should be assessed along with other options for structuring this initiative, building on and coordinating existing financing mechanisms.

Finally, we support the proposal for a World Social Summit in 2025. We see this as a milestone to take stock of progress made in the recovery from COVID-19 and of progress towards the SDGs by 2030. The Summit could be used to track progress and consolidate efforts for an international initiative towards achieving access to social protection for all by 2030.

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