Speech by Dr. Maria Flachsbarth, Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, at the HLPF general debate on “Empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality”

18.07.2019 - Speech

Madam President,


Ladies and gentlemen,

Almost one third of the time up to 2030 has elapsed! International expert reports confirm that if our efforts continue at the current pace, we will miss many of the 17 SDGs!

Germany will therefore send a strong signal, both nationally and internationally. We want to reduce our global environmental and social footprint: For example, we want to make major progress on expanding the use of renewable energy. Chancellor Merkel has made a commitment for Germany to become climate-neutral by 2050. Also, if – in 2020 – our effective and comprehensive review of our National Action Plan for Business and Human Rights finds that voluntary commitments by companies are not sufficient, we will draft a national law and will call for EU-wide regulation of sustainable supply chains.

We are working for strong multilateralism, and we are thus strengthening our international cooperation. Osaka has shown that the G20 are doing their part to implement the 2030 Agenda. But unless we engage systematically in climate action, we will fail to meet the targets of the Paris Agreement. Germany has therefore announced that it will double its contribution to the Green Climate Fund, bringing it to 1.5 billion euros. Other countries, too, should substantially increase their contributions. We are also providing support, under the NDC Partnership, to developing countries and emerging economies so that they can implement their nationally determined contribu-tions quickly and effectively. In the field of adaptation to climate change, Germany's development cooperation alone has assisted 13 million people between 2015 and 2017, for example in agriculture and with regard to water supply. In order to save our natural environment for future generations, Germany has provided more than 500 million euros a year since 2013 to protect the natural environment and ecosystems. Finally, in the field of education, the activities we supported in 2017 gave more than three million pupils better access to primary and secondary education. And in 2018, we committed nearly one billion euros for new education projects.

Madam President,


Germany is working for a successful SDG summit in 2019. All countries and players must act jointly and effectively. If we want to make sure that the SDGs will be reached, the SDG summit and the summit week in September must send a strong positive signal that policymakers are ready to take action and to greatly increase the pace of our efforts. We should give special attention to those SDGs on which we have not been doing enough internationally. The Global Sustainable Development Report shows us the way. We need more ambition on a global scale in this field, too – not only on climate action.

We must act now – each and every one of us, and all of us together! We owe that to our children and to their children. Achieving the SDGs is not simply an option – it is the key to a viable future.

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