United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development


Intergovernmental Negotiations on the Post-2015 Agenda
Goals and Targets session - 23-27 March 2015, New York
German Statement on
“Approaches to implement SDGs at national level”
Dr. Ingolf Dietrich, Deputy Director General post 2015,
Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development
Mr. Co-Chair,
Honourable delegates,
If we, the international community, want the post-2015 agenda for sustainable
development to come to life, every country’s contribution is needed: all of us will have
to implement the SDGs at the national level. Germany stands ready to do its part!
Please allow me to expand on the following three points:
First: how are we preparing for national implementation in Germany?
Second: what institutions and instruments are in place in Germany to ensure
effective national implementation?
And additionally: what will be important areas for national activities to implement
the post 2015-Agenda, in Germany and globally?
Regarding the first question of how we are preparing for national
implementation: In line with our understanding of the new Global Partnership and its
principles of universality and shared responsibility, our cabinet decided that our
National Sustainable Development Strategy provides an essential framework for the
national implementation of the post-2015 agenda. The German Sustainable
Development Strategy was presented in 2002 to the United Nations Conference in
Johannesburg and has been followed up since then by changing governments. As
part of the upcoming task to update this strategy by 2016, we are in the process of
further developing and adjusting its concrete goals and indicators in order to
incorporate the goals and the transformative character of the post-2015 agenda.
The national implementation of the post-2015 agenda will require contributions from
all actors. We believe that we are in a good starting position to do so. Sustainability is
becoming increasingly relevant for German enterprises, many of which are known for
their sustainable products and ways of producing. Furthermore two thirds of the
German federal states have their own sustainable development strategies in place or
are in a process of developing them. And our civil society is very interested too and is
constantly lobbying for additional activities with proposals of concrete action.
In order to have all actors on board from the very beginning, they contribute to the
process of up-dating our Sustainable Development Strategy, which has started at the
beginning of this year. We will ensure the involvement of all stakeholders by, for
example, engaging with them in the context of specifically designed national and
regional dialogue conferences.
Regarding my second point on existing institutions and instruments: Within the
framework of our Sustainable Development Strategy, we have set up different
institutions and instruments that will ensure that the goals and indicators of our
Strategy will be effectively implemented:
- The State Secretaries’ Committee on Sustainable Development, which is
composed of all ministries’ State Secretaries and chaired by the Head of the
Federal Chancellery, has to ensure that sustainable development is a guiding
principle of any policy of the German government. In this regard it oversees the
updating and monitoring of the Sustainable Development Strategy.
- The German Sustainable Development Council, consisting of outstanding
personalities from science, business and civil society which are appointed by the
Federal Chancellor, advises the government on sustainable development
questions and contributes to improving the Sustainable Development Strategy.
- The Parliamentary Advisory Council on Sustainable Development provides
parliamentary advisory support, and evaluates the sustainability impact
assessment of the Federal Government. Sustainability impact assessment of
laws and decrees is a prerequisite for their consideration by the cabinet. The
basis for the impact assessment are the targets, indicators and so called
management rules of the Sustainable Development Strategy.
- Every four years, the Federal Government publishes a Progress Report on the
National Sustainable Development Strategy.
- The Federal Statistical Office monitors the progress made in achieving the
specific goals every two years.
- To enhance our system we submit the Sustainable Development Strategy to a
critical analysis from time to time to an international peer-review. The last review
took place 2014 with experts from Sweden, India, the Netherlands, Finland,
South Africa, the US, Great Britain and South Korea and we were happy to
receive good feedback.
Finally, regarding important areas for national activities to implement the post-2015
agenda in Germany and globally: Our cabinet has decided on a set of possible
German contributions towards the implementation of the post-2015 agenda.
Recognizing the international impact of national actions, we have identified
contributions towards:
- Eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, strengthening food security and
- Preserving the natural resource base worldwide
- Establishing sustainable consumption and production patterns worldwide,
including a circular economy and resource efficiency
- Transforming sustainable economies and reducing greenhouse gas emissions
- Promoting education and ITC
- Strengthening health systems worldwide
- Achieve gender equality and realize sustainable and equal opportunities for
women and men, girls and boys
- Strengthening the private sector in its ability to innovate and compete
- Sustainable and integrated urban development.
Of course, this list is not comprehensive. However, it illustrates that ware taking the
principle of universality seriously.
Let me conclude with the following remark: Germany has important elements of the
machinery in place, which will be needed to nationally implement the SDGs. We have
begun at high level of government to define how we are going to implement the post-
2015 agenda with its SDGs at the national level. Germany is very interested to share
its long lasting experience with other member states, and to learn from their
experiences as well.
Thank you very much.