German National Statement at the 2020 High-Level Political Forum, delivered by Rita Schwarzelühr-Sutter, Vice-Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, and Maria Flachsbarth, Vice-Minister for Economic Cooperation andDevelopment

14.07.2020 - Speech

Check Against Delivery

As we are starting into the Decade of Action and Delivery for accelerated

implementation of the 2030 Agenda, we all need to scale up our efforts to achieve

the SDGs until 2030!

Because of COVID-19, already more than 500.000 people have lost their lives. The

pandemic brought large sectors of industry to a standstill. It affects particularly

vulnerable groups around the world.

Combating the pandemic, saving lives, and protecting health are top priority. But our

response cannot stop there. Increased efforts towards sustainable development will

make our societies more resilient to COVID-19 and future crises. Therefore, we

unremittingly need to address growing inequalities, the destruction of nature and the

climate crisis.

In 2015, we achieved consensus on

 the need for a transformation of our societies to sustainable development and

 the decarbonization of our economies.

During the last years, the sense of urgency to act on climate change and for a more

sustainable world has been building up. Healthy and resilient societies depend on

social cohesion, inclusive economies and giving nature the space it needs.

We know: The 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement serve as our compass out of

the crisis.

As the G20 Finance Ministers recently stated: “We commit to support an

environmentally sustainable and inclusive recovery. We will be guided by a sense of

shared, long-term responsibility for our planet and citizens consistent with the 2030

Agenda, our national and local development strategies, and relevant international


Especially against the background of the pandemic, the focus of this year’s High-

Level Political Forum (HLPF) on accelerated action and transformative pathways is

very important.

In the next months it will be essential to ensure at the international level that our

programmes and policies in response to the crisis are socially, economically and

ecologically sustainable. They should be designed to make our societies “futureproof”

and our economies climate-neutral and resilient, sustainable, inclusive and


Instead of falling behind in the implementation of the SDGs, we must think about

how we restart our economies in a way that will accelerate implementation.

Germany is committed to a green and better recovery after COVID-19, oriented

towards sustainable development, including climate and biodiversity protection at

national, European and international level. Recovery policies also need to take the

specific impact of the COVID-19 crisis on different groups of society, such as older

persons, children, families and not least women and girls into account. Germany is

committed to policies that work for all to be free to pursue their chosen path in life,

have equal opportunities to thrive, and to equally participate in and lead our

societies, including the EU’s Gender Equality Strategy 2020-2025.

Germany is currently undergoing a comprehensive revision of its National Sustainable

Development Strategy. The Strategy is based on the 2030 Agenda and the guiding

principles of inter-generational equity, quality of life, social cohesion and global

responsibility. The new strategy will determine our course for the upcoming years.

We are convinced that it will be a key instrument for crisis resilience.

Within the EU, Germany supports recovery measures in accordance with the

European Green Deal, contributing to a green recovery. Germany welcomes the

European Commission’s proposal to raise the 2030 emission reduction target to

between 50 and 55 percent, with the objective of a climate-neutral EU by 2050.

Germany is committed to actively engage in the shared response to the global impact

of the COVID-19 pandemic. The German Federal Government has therefore set up

an Emergency COVID-19 Support Programme to help developing countries and

emerging economies to stabilize. It focuses on health and pandemic response, food

security, stabilization in refugee and crisis regions, and safeguarding jobs.

To this end, we are reallocating more than EUR 1 billion in the current 2020 budget.

An additional EUR 3,1 billion was earmarked for 2020 and 2021. This will

complement Germany’s ongoing support for its bilateral and multilateral partners.

At this occasion, we would also like to reiterate that the 2030 Agenda and its SDGs

must be implemented not only for, but also by the whole of society. In order for that

to happen, we need the voices of civil society to be heard, especially in extraordinary

circumstances. This year’s virtual HLPF will provide new forms of digital participation.

We need to ensure that this allows for meaningful stakeholder engagement in the

HLPF deliberations.

Only together can we move forward and ensure that no one is left behind.

Thank you.

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